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The Girl in the Text

Representations, Positions, and Perspectives

Ann Smith

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A “Sense of Presence”

The “me of me” in Black Girlhoods

Claudia Mitchell and Ann Smith

We begin by paying tribute to feminist Black scholar, bell hooks, who died 15 December 2021. As the numerous citations in just this issue alone bear witness, she has had a huge influence on feminist ways of thinking particularly in relation to how race, gender, and capitalism intersect. In her well-known essay, “In Our Glory” on Black girlhood and visual culture (), she offers a memory of losing a photograph of herself as a young girl in the 1950s masquerading, as she called it, in full cowgirl regalia.

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The Lives of Girls and Young Women in the Time of COVID-19

Claudia Mitchell and Ann Smith

As with Zika, Ebola, HIV and AIDS, and other pandemics in recent history, girls and young women are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 socially and emotionally if not medically. Some observers have referred to the current crisis as a tale of two pandemics in reference to both the obvious health issues and the pervasive gender inequalities that have become exacerbated, and others have referred to it as “the shadow pandemic” (UN Women 2020: n.p.) in highlighting the negative impact that physical distancing and social isolation are having on already vulnerable girls and young women experiencing sex- and gender-based violence. All over the world girls and young women are facing increasing levels of precariousness as a direct result of the health measures being taken to curb the global transmission of COVID-19. The increasing lack of privacy in the home furthers the practice of cultural forms of patriarchy that lead to violence.

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The Girl in the Hijab

Contemporary Feminist Perspectives

Claudia Mitchell and Ann Smith

The image of a young girl wearing a hijab can be seen to be an iconic representation of the complex intersection between feminism on the one hand, and religion and culture on the other. While the hijab is a visible marker of traditional gender norms in some Islamic communities, many modern Muslim women and girls have reclaimed it as a symbol of faith, identity, and choice. In keeping with contemporary feminist dialogue, we seek to understand and respect these nuanced perspectives.

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Navigating the Intersection

Refugee and Displaced Girls and Contemporary Feminism

Claudia Mitchell and Ann Smith

In the evolving discourse of contemporary feminism, a critical intersection at the nexus of girlhood studies and the experiences of refugee and displaced girls is evident. We are witnessing unprecedented levels of such displacement because of conflict and climate change among other causes of instability, and this brings the challenges and the triumphs of girls on the move into sharp focus in feminist advocacy and scholarship. This Special Issue, Girls on the Move: Girlhood and Forced Displacement, Migration, and (Re)settlement, guest edited by Rosemary Carleton and Nesa Bandarchian Rashti explores some of the intricacies of this intersection and the articles as a whole advocate for a nuanced feminist response centered on the rights, needs, and voices of refugee and displaced girls.