Category: Undergraduate Writing Series

Tracing the Red in “Redbone”: Colorism and Misogyny in Black History

“My peanut butter chocolate cake with Kool-Aid” – this line from the 2016 song “Redbone” by Childish Gambino (aka Donald Glover) describes the appearance of a light-skinned Black woman with a bright red undertone to her skin and hair: a “redbone.” The figure of the untrustworthy “redbone” woman is a common theme in contemporary rap… Read more →

¡Escúchanos! Immigration and Reproductive Politics

Two years ago, the case of a 17-year-old undocumented immigrant catalyzed the creation of a class action suit from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) against the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). Jane Doe, the name given to maintain her anonymity and safety as a pregnant minor, and her story of struggle and success captivated… Read more →

How Perceived Racial Differences Created a Crisis in Black Women’s Healthcare

In 2016, a black baby born in Charlottesville, Virginia, was almost ten times more likely than a white baby to die in their first year of life.1 That same year, researchers from the University of Virginia revealed that nearly 21% of first-year medical students at the school believed that black patients had stronger immune systems… Read more →

Hijabophobia: An Unseen but Entirely Visible Force

In August 2017, a burqa-clad woman stepped into the chambers of the Australian parliament and sat down. To the individuals behind the cameras, she was entirely unknown. But for the members of Parliament, it was all too obvious who she was and what she was trying to do. The black cloth came off to reveal… Read more →

More than Accomplices: The Crimes of Hitler’s Female SS

The names most commonly associated with the Holocaust are undoubtedly Heinrich Himmler, Joseph Goebbels, Adolph Eichmann, and, of course, Adolph Hitler himself. Modern society tends to attribute the worst crimes of Nazi Germany to the murderous SS and their collaborators. The notoriety of these famous faces makes it seem that men were solely responsible for… Read more →

Mujeres Libres: Women, Anarchy, and the Fragility of Democracy in Spain

Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sanchez decided to call a snap election in April 2019 following the withdrawal of support by the Catalan separatists who were propping up his government. The short-term implications of another general election in Spain were great, as the lack of a stable government in recent years has impacted Spain’s social… Read more →

Women in the French Resistance

In France, women have long played a vital role in the military. Like most modern militaries, in multiple conflicts the French army had “camp followers,” mostly women, but also men and children, who took care of the cooking, laundering, and other tasks needed to maintain a large standing army. During the French Revolution, some women… Read more →

Sex Trafficking in Twentieth-Century Europe

Thanks to Liam Neeson and edgy action-thrillers like Taken, Americans have a pretty specific idea of what the sex-trafficking industry looks like: naïve young American girls, traveling on their own for the first time, who trust the wrong guy and get kidnapped. In Taken, the girl’s father happens to be ex-CIA with a “very particular… Read more →

Thomsonianism Meets Juice Cleanses

I will be the first to admit that I love juices. They’re colorful, full of tasty fruits and vegetables, and highly “Instagrammable.” I’ve been known to occasionally treat myself to a $10 cold-pressed drink, but there’s more to juice than just an expensive beverage. They’ve become part of an alternative medicine culture surrounding the idea… Read more →

Understanding Shaming’s Place in History: The Story of Germany’s Victims

It can be difficult for those who have never experienced sexual violence to understand and address the pain of survivors. From the women who’ve chosen to come forward and report instances of abuse in the entertainment industry as part of the #MeToo Movement, to less publicized cases in which women make the brave choice to… Read more →