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Catherine Driscoll

The history of modern girlhood is entwined with anxieties about cultural norms and cultural change that are foundational to "girlhood" and "girl culture." This essay sketches a history of discourses on girls, girlhood and girl culture as the necessary genealogical context for a subsequent discussion of the field of contemporary girl studies. It begins with historical perspectives on the 'girl of the period' from the nineteenth century, through the "girl of yesterday," the "it girl" to the post World War I period that coalesced the cultural conditions necessary for the teenager to take on iconic status. The second half of the article considers girlhood studies today—and in particular its interest in locating, describing and problematizing girls' voice and girls' agency. In a world increasingly perceived as "global," these are powerful starting points for thinking about what constitutes "girl studies" (or "girlhood studies" or "girl culture studies") today.

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Making It Up

Intergenerational Activism and the Ethics of Empowering Girls

Emily Bent

I want to be a part of this; I want to be a part of the change. (15-year-old Divya) 1 On 8 March 2015, a cold winter’s day in New York City, a seventeen-year-old girl with dark spiral curls and turquoise glasses, stepped onto the dais in the middle

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Annabel Erulkar and Girmay Medhin

Background Approximately one in eight of the world’s population is a female aged between 10 and 24, and attention is increasingly being focused on the central role of adolescent girls in achieving global health and sustainable and other development

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The Doll “InbeTween”

Online Doll Videos and the Intertextuality of Tween Girl Culture

Jessica E. Johnston

Like many tweens in the late 1990s, I played with American Girl dolls. At the time, I would never have imagined that some years later girls would be filming and uploading videos to YouTube of their dolls dancing to Taylor Swift, sledding in the snow

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Hopeful, Harmless, and Heroic

Figuring the Girl Activist as Global Savior

Jessica K. Taft

Introduction Ten years ago, I wrote that girl activists were largely invisible in both academic literature and public discourse. I noted that “finding documentation of their stories, their organizations, and their words is not easy; they are

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Natalie Clark

journal shortly after I left the small town in which I grew up and moved to Vancouver. This poem speaks to the legacy of colonization, the absence of consent, and the violations of Indigenous girls’ lands and bodies, but also names and evokes the power of

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Emily Bent

gathered inside the United Nations (UN) to commemorate the International Day of the Girl Child (IDG) with an event called Girls Speak Out ( GSO ), organized annually by the Working Group on Girls (WGG) and hosted by the Missions of Canada, Peru, and

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Sarah E. Whitney

, received widespread acclaim. To date, Dias’s project has resulted in the worldwide distribution of over 9,000 volumes of children’s literature. 1 Marley Dias’s activism exemplifies Black Girl Magic, a mediated discourse affirming African-American girls

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Joan Njagi

representation. They can transcend infrastructural barriers to amplify the voices of girls and young women in challenging social norms that marginalize and exclude them, and define their agenda. They can influence social norms and public policies, even in rural

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“Something Good Distracts Us from the Bad”

Girls Cultivating Disruption

Crystal Leigh Endsley

better be good. We were going to spend that afternoon making use of a literary and feminist tradition designed to explore how girls “engage with the complex identificatory possibilities … to negotiate their gendered, raced, classed, and sexed identities