Featured pieces come from any genre, and reflect exceptional work from each issue. This semester, we highlight an extended essay from Koki Kobayashi (’21) and a thesis distillation from Bridget Simons (’20).

Though we may be accessing this site from around the world, we acknowledge our affiliation with the University of Notre Dame and thus our presence on the traditional homelands of Native peoples (even if virtually) including the Haudenosauneega, Miami, Peoria, and particularly the Pokégnek Bodéwadmik, who have been using this land for education for thousands of years, and continue to do so.

Miss Americana vs. The Patriarchy:
Feminist Humor in Taylor Swift’s Satirical Music Videos

Slavery and Prostitution in Pre-Civil War America

By Clarkston Doman (’23) In early-to-mid 19th century America, slave plantation labor was prevalent in the South, while wage labor centered around cities and factories was becoming more common in the North. Robert William Fogel, in his chapter “American Slavery: A flexible, highly developed form of capitalism,” refutes the common conception that the pre-Civil WarContinue reading “Slavery and Prostitution in Pre-Civil War America”

George Washington to Charles Lawrence: An Examination of Washington’s Relationship with Dress

By Emmet Powell (’23) For upper class white men in 18th century America, fashion was a luxury they were able to partake in. To do so, many maintained close relationships with their merchants, designers, and tailors. On July 20, 1967 George Washington wrote a letter to Charles Lawrence, who aided Washington with his material needs,Continue reading “George Washington to Charles Lawrence: An Examination of Washington’s Relationship with Dress”

Swiftian Femininity: Taylor Swift’s Gender Identity and Branding

By Dessi Gomez (’21) The public constructs Taylor Swift as if she were an idea, not a person, according to her gender and her gender expression.  These constructions are intertwined with her breakout into fame as “America’s sweetheart” and “ultimate good girl.” As she grew up in front of the public, she began to beContinue reading “Swiftian Femininity: Taylor Swift’s Gender Identity and Branding”

“A Movement, Not a Moment”:
The US Women’s National Soccer Team and Its Fight for Equal Pay, 2016-2020

#ImWithKap: How Social Media Impacted NFL Athlete Activism

By Grace Rozembajgier (’23) The past eight years have seen racial justice come to the forefront of the American social discussion, especially with the Black Lives Matter movement. Since Kaepernick’s resistance in 2016, racial awareness for equality and the Black Lives Matter movement has increased in the sports world. Most notably, this past summer, theContinue reading “#ImWithKap: How Social Media Impacted NFL Athlete Activism”

Birdwatching Goes Both Ways: An Analysis of Birds Aren’t Real

By Matthew Bisner (’22) In the summer of 2019, a billboard loomed over Memphis, Tennessee with a simple message: “Birds Aren’t Real.”  A representative of the eponymous organization, appearing on local news, maintained that leaders in the U.S. government had slaughtered all birds and replaced them with surveillance drones beginning in the 1950s.  Across theContinue reading “Birdwatching Goes Both Ways: An Analysis of Birds Aren’t Real”

Cultural Receptions of Disillusionment in 1960s Suburban America

By Ava DeLonais-Dick (’22) Romanticized in the paintings of Normal Rockwell and iconic Coca-Cola ads, the 1950s strike many today as a time when America was simpler and quaint. American nostalgia remembers the post-World War II “ideal” of the white, suburban, nuclear family. Yet, even as the culture of the suburbia came into maturity inContinue reading “Cultural Receptions of Disillusionment in 1960s Suburban America”

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