Queens of Academe: Beauty Pageantry, Student Bodies, and College Life

Queens of Academe: Beauty Pageantry, Student Bodies, and College Life

by Karen W. Tice


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780199842803
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 04/17/2012
Pages: 264
Product dimensions: 9.10(w) x 6.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Karen W. Tice is an Associate Professor of Gender and Women's Studies and Educational Policy Studies at the University of Kentucky.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Beauty and the Boar
Chapter 2. Cleavage and Campus Life
Chapter 3. Pride and Pulchritude: Campus Pageant Politics, 1920-1980
Chapter 4. Making the Grade in the New Millennium: Beauty, Platforming, Celebrity, and Normativity
Chapter 5. "We Are Here:" Pageants as Racial "Homeplaces" and Ethnic Combat Zones
Chapter 6. Class Acts and Class Work: Poise and the Polishing of Campus Queens
Chapter 7. Flesh and Spirit: Bibles, Beauty, and Bikinis
Chapter 8. Afterward: Class Work/Homework

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