Gen Ed Girlhood

Artifact-centric Approach Invites New Students to Girlhood Studies

in Girlhood Studies
Author:
Jen AlmjeldJames Madison University, USA almjeljm@jmu.edu

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Abstract

While general education (gen ed) courses are commonly created as overviews of disciplines, a girlhood-centric approach celebrates a tightly focused introduction to girl identities as an entry point to critical analysis of gender and associated systems of oppression. I offer a rationale for my Cultural Constructions of Girlhood course and discuss specific assignments and strategies for introducing girlhood as a field of study for university students. This course offers grounding in how important childhood literature is in shaping our concepts of who we are and are allowed to be as well as indicating ways in which the idea of literature may be expanded and updated to include many modes and styles of text by attending to the artifacts of everyday girlhood.

Contributor Notes

Jen Almjeld (ORCID: 0000-0002-0626-6235) is a professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the School of Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication at James Madison University. Her research centers on feminist methodologies, identity performances, digital rhetorics, and community engagement. Recent work appears in the Journal of Multimodal Rhetorics (2021, 2022), Computers and Composition (2019) and the Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement (2022). As the director of the Young Women's Leadership Program in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County, she also frequently participates in and studies community partnerships in higher education. Email: almjeljm@jmu.edu

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Girlhood Studies

An Interdisciplinary Journal

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