Sunday, February 19, 2012

"Queens of Academe"

New from Oxford University Press: Queens of Academe: Beauty Pageantry, Student Bodies, and College Life by Karen W. Tice.

About the book, from the publisher:
Universities are unlikely venues for grading bodies, beauty, poise, and style. Nonetheless, thousands of college women have sought not only college diplomas but campus beauty titles and tiaras throughout the twentieth century, and the cultural power of beauty pageants continues into the twenty-first.

In Queens of Academe, Karen W. Tice asks how, and why, does higher education remain in the beauty and body business and with what effects on student bodies and identities. Drawing on archival research and interviews as well as hundreds of hours observing college pageants on predominantly black and white campuses, Tice argues the pageants help to illuminate the shifting iterations of class, race, religion, culture, sexuality, and gender braided into campus rituals and student life. Moving beyond a binary of objectification versus empowerment, Tice offers a nuanced analysis of the making of idealized collegiate masculinities and femininities, and the stylization of higher education itself.
Karen W. Tice is an Associate Professor of Gender and Women's Studies and Educational Policy Studies at the University of Kentucky.