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Imagining the Girl Effect

An Ethnography of Corporate Social Responsibility

Carolina Garcia

Kathryn Moeller. 2018. The Gender Effect: Capitalism, Feminism, and the Corporate Politics of Development. Oakland, CA. University of California Press.

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Intergenerational Writing Practices in Chinese Fiction for Adolescent Girls

Yan Du


The Anthology of Chinese Fictions on Adolescent Girls’ Psychology (2016) is one of the most renowned collections of girls’ stories in Chinese children's literature. Authored by Qin Wenjun, Cheng Wei, and Chen Danyan, it is often associated with the rise of shaonǚ xiaoshuo (girls’ fiction) in China. In this article, I evaluate the collective writing practices of the women authors mentioned above, focusing, in particular, on how their featured stories address intergenerational dissent and explore models of communication between adolescent girls and women. Highlighting how The Anthology traverses the age divide in a time during which both children's literature and the lives of teenagers underwent significant shifts, I intend to further scholarly understandings of Chinese girls’ fiction as a unique literary phenomenon.

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Precarious Girls and (Cruel) Optimism

Protecting Sexually Abused Teenage Girls

Rosemary R. Carlton


Using data collected as part of a larger qualitative study, I attend to the presence of two seemingly opposing narratives shaped by neoliberal and postfeminist attitudes—a gloomy one in which girls are thought to be at risk of experiencing poor life outcomes and an optimistic one that claims ubiquitous opportunity for all girls regardless of circumstance or experience. I suggest that both narratives combine to contribute to girls’ responsibilization for their future successes (and failures). I consider the potential cruelty of optimistic child protection practices grounded in a fantasy of future success as self-determined and accessible to those sexually abused teenage girls willing to work hard.

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(Un)romantic Becomings

Girls, Sexuality-assemblages, and the School Ball

Toni Ingram


Popular culture and media often portray school balls and proms as romantic spaces and having a date is perceived as the norm. While gender(ed) and heterosexual discourses continue to shape young people's experiences, girls’ understandings of the school ball do not necessarily conform to dominant ideas. In this article, I draw on a new materialist ontology of sexuality to explore the relations in-between girls, dates, and the school ball. I examine ball-girl-date encounters as sexuality-assemblages comprising bodies, spatial-material arrangements, practices, and imaginings. In this frame, sexuality is conceptualized as becoming via an array of material-discursive, human, and more-than-human forces. I consider how ball-girl capacities and desires become emergent and contingent, opening up ways of thinking about girls and the school ball beyond popular cultural constructions.

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When Girls Lead

Changing the Playbook for Climate Justice

Tsun-Chueh Huang and Emily Bent


Greta Thunberg's prominence in the climate justice movement symbolically positions girls at the epicenter of geopolitical resistance, but, while she is given immediate authority across media outlets, other girls’ visions of a more equitable future are often disregarded; this demands our careful attention. We discuss the work of five New York City-based girl activists of color engaged in this movement. We explore the ways in which their intersectional identities and social positions shape their mobilization strategies and draw connections to other popular social justice movements; their activist playbook reveals the transformative potential of intersectional feminist politics in the hands of Generation Z. These girl activists of color generate sophisticated, relational platforms for climate justice informed by the interconnected issues of racial and economic injustice.

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Witnessing Public Mourning in Haudenosaunee Youth Theatre

Margot Francis


While the Indigenous youth suicide crisis in Canada is widely acknowledged, there is little scholarly attention given to writers who reflect on this from the perspective of being suicide survivors. In this article, I consider the play, And She Split the Sky in Two, by Aleria McKay, a youth survivor from Six Nations. I explore how her work functions as an anti-colonial text that re-envisions the suicide crisis at Six Nations through mourning the gendered, affective, systemic, and spatial legacies of colonial violence. McKay's characters are learning to tell their own stories to completion, depathologizing experiences of despair and entrapment. This work provides a girl's perspective on the long slow process of staying alive to create a different future.

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Ambiguous Narratives of World War Technologies in Contemporary Military History Museums

Stephan Jaeger


This article provides an analysis of how military history museums in Germany, Britain, Belgium, Poland, and the United States exhibit and contextualize weapon technologies that were developed in the two world wars. The article focuses on technologies (gas warfare, the atomic bomb, tanks, and the V2 long-range rocket) that are directly connected to military success and innovation but also relate to dehumanization and destruction. By employing the analytical concepts of experientiality and of antagonistic, cosmopolitan, and entangled memory, this article demonstrates how museums can create open or closed narratives, steer the visitor toward particular interpretations, enhance or deconstruct the authentic aura of technological artifacts, and stage the symbolic potential of technologies. In addition, it shows how museums can educate visitors and allow them to experience the ambiguities, controversies, and complexities of these technologies.

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Collective Identities, Black Girlhood and 60s Vocal Groups

Apryl Berney


Drawing on interviews with Black women who sang in all-female vocal groups during the late 1950s and early 1960s, I examine the important role played by integrated public and private schools in the formation of the 1960s girl group phenomenon. From talent shows to choir practice, locker rooms to hallways, Black girls took up audible space in institutions of higher learning whenever they harmonized with friends or acquaintances. The collective identities Black girls created in their vocal groups allowed them to challenge racial and gender stereotypes in the civil rights era while also modeling sisterhood and friendship for subsequent generations of girls.

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Cultivating Educational Spaces that Support Black Girl's Spatial Inquiries

Katie Scott Newhouse


In this article, I use data collected as part of my dissertation (Newhouse 2020) to inquire into how one participant, Joanna, who self-identifies as a Black girl, described her lived experiences while attending the Voices alternative-to-detention program. I use the theoretical framework of disability studies in education and critical race theory (DisCrit) with critical spatial theory to analyze collected ethnographic data, such as in-depth field notes, audio-recorded informal conversations, and semi-structured interviews, to show the space Joanna co-created with adult facilitators to center her lived experiences. An attention to the spatial dimension shows how spaces are agentive and has important implications for developing and sustaining educational spaces that cultivate an understanding of the geographies that draw from and center Black girls’ lived experiences.

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Dear Mama

A Luo's Letter Addressing Gossips, Girl Fights, and Gashes

Esther O. Ohito