A photo of two items in the Collecting Radical Girls: Activist Curation collection.

Collecting Radical Girls: Activist Curation

Jacqueline Reid-Walsh

This colloquium seeks to provide a forum for discussing theoretical issues related to girlhood studies and curation, as well as practicing techniques for radical collecting related to girlhood. During the 2021-2022 academic year, our group read and discussed works by scholars of girlhood studies, who explicitly address the challenges that are presented by the lack of archival materials available for their research. Those authors whose work focused on BIPOC girls had an even more difficult time uncovering relevant girlhood experiences in the archives. Each also offered their strategies for combating these research challenges, including focusing on specific formats, which the Radical Girls group used as a jumping off point for our makerspace activities.

For the 2022-2023 academic year, the next step for Radical Girls will be to investigate the availability of documentation of girlhood in Penn State archives and special collections across the commonwealth. Each meeting will feature a guest speaker/curator who will share more about a girlhood studies related collection at Penn State. The year’s culminating event will be a trip to the Abington campus to visit the Ogontz School for Young Ladies archives. Sign up for email updates here.