Identity + Citizenship

The central thread through all of my research is my analysis of the relationship between identity and citizenship — or how we know who we are and how that who we are is regulated.  In my dissertation I research how postwar activists understood this relationship as rooted in practices of police violence and urban renewal and histories of colonialism.

Two undergraduate courses I’ve taught in American Studies focus on this relationship between identity and citizenship.  My spring 2015 course “Blood, Bones, and Brains” examined twentieth century US history through the lens of the body, and focused on how the body became a canvas for self-definition and regulation.  My summer 2015 online course “Youth Cultures” used Tumblr to facilitate discussion about how American youth identity is continually constructed as both youthfully beautiful and immaturely undeveloped.

A  graphic I made as part of the end-of-the-course "mind-mapping" assignment that asks students to rethink the organization of the course and connect class topics and readings in a new order.  In this graphic I depicted the two core oppositional yet connected themes of youth culture -- conformity and rebellion.  To see more mind maps from the course, check out my Tumblr: http://amstyouthculture.tumblr.com/
A graphic I made as part of the end-of-the-course “mind-mapping” assignment that asks students to rethink the organization of the course and connect class topics and readings in a new order. In this graphic I depicted the two core oppositional yet connected themes of youth culture — conformity and rebellion. To see more mind maps from the course, check out my Tumblr: http://amstyouthculture.tumblr.com/

Additionally, I’ve conducted research on the high school women’s liberation movement between the mid-1960s and mid-1970s. My paper, “Girls Are Equal Too: Education, Body Politics, and the Making of Teenage Feminism,” published in the academic journal Gender Issues, analyzes how teenage girls began to articulate how their age shaped their unique experience with sexual discrimination.  In particular, in this paper I focus on how teenage girls articulated feminism through their own perspectives and bodies. Letters and essays written by teenage girls during this time demonstrate how girls saw feminism as a tool to challenge gender role socialization and build a supportive and collaborative community of girl activists within this revolutionary context. Ultimately, by challenging age divisions between the adult-dominated face of the Second Wave and the girl-focused Third Wave, this paper uses the voices of teenage girls to shed light on an earlier movement of “girl power” that has yet to be excavated.

girlspowerf
This poster was created by See Red Women’s Workshop – a British women’s liberation graphics collective.  See this poster and more of their work by clicking on this image.

 

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keralovell

American Studies scholar at the University of Hawai'i and blogger of my research on urban studies, food, visuality, and social justice and the connections between them.

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