This page is my time at Duke. It is my hours, days, and years. Essays I have loved and essays I have hated live here.
★ Stars ★ mark the pieces I look at with my most affectionate eye. I am humbled to present those favorites alongside some of the essays that came before, after, and sometimes even during. Reading these pieces, I reacquaint myself with flutterings of my mind that have long come to stillness and others that yet linger. These are the landmarks of my time at Duke.
Above all, however, these pages are a testament to my wonderful professors who are so much more than that simple word. These are the professors who taught me to care for my thoughts, to look kindly at my mistakes, and to keep going. To them, I say thank you.
★ ★ honors thesis. ★ ★
Dorm Sweet Dorm: Placemaking and Girlhood in the College Bedroom
Distinction in cultural anthropology awarded April 2020. Grade: A+.
Committee: Robin Kirk, Sarah Deutsch, and Matthew Sebastian.
Download complete PDF here.
Localized to Duke University and the digital platforms of dorm décor e-store Dormify and Instagram, this project explores placemaking in the college “girls’” dorm through a lens of materiality and aesthetics. In the complicated dialogue between freshman girls and their bedroom(s), their dorms become contested spaces that can be both a “girly” façade and a refuge called “home.” This girlhood peculiar to the college campus contains a creative potential for becoming as well as a distinct sociality misunderstood as simple conformity. My research traces the aesthetic grammar of the dorm through which college girls relate to one another, the institution, and selves both future and past. To do so, I navigate the conflicting discourse around private/public, girlhood, and human to non-human relations. My work draws upon interviews, ‘room tours,’ photographs, sketches, and descriptions grounded in the sensory to re-experience the college bedroom space.