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Queens of Academe Beauty Pageants and Campus Life Synopsis

Universities are unlikely venues for grading, branding, and marketing beauty, bodies, poise, and style. Nonetheless, thousands of college women have sought not only college diplomas but campus beauty titles and tiaras throughout the twentieth century. The cultural power of beauty pageants continues today as campus beauty pageants, especially racial and ethnic pageants and pageants for men, have soared in popularity. 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. She explores why students compete in and attend pageants such as Miss Pride and Best Bodies on Campus as well as why websites such as Campus Chic and campus-based etiquette and charm schools are flourishing. Based on archival research and interviews with contemporary campus queens and university sponsors as well as hundreds of hours observing college pageants on predominantly black and white campuses, Tice examines how campus pageant contestants express personal ambitions, desires, and, sometimes, racial and political agendas to resolve the incongruities of performing in evening gowns and bathing suits on stage while seeking their degrees. Tice argues the pageants help to illuminate the shifting terrain of class, race, religion, sexuality, and gender braided in campus rituals and student life. Moving beyond a binary of objectification versus empowerment, Tice offers a nuanced analysis of the contradictory politics of education, feminism, empowerment, consumerism, race and ethnicity, class, and popular culture have on students, idealized masculinities and femininities, and the stylization of higher education itself.

Queens of Academe Beauty Pageants and Campus Life Press Reviews

This is the first book to provide a complete history of campus beauty contests and their deep embedding in American life, as we strive to provide ways in which young women can fulfill themselves. Whether we condemn judging women by beauty standards or understand that this imperative goes back to the ancient Greeks, we know that beauty and its manifestations drive our culture as much as athletic contests and games. * Lois Banner, University of Southern California *

Book Information

ISBN: 9780199842780
Publication date: 31st May 2012
Author: Karen W. (Associate Professor, Department of Gender & Women's Studies and Educational Policy Studies, University of Kentu Tice
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 264 pages
Categories: Pageants, parades, festivals, Higher & further education, tertiary education, Fashion & society,

About Karen W. (Associate Professor, Department of Gender & Women's Studies and Educational Policy Studies, University of Kentu Tice

Karen Tice is Associate Professor in the Department of Gender & Women's Studies and Educational Policy Studies at the University of Kentucky. She is the author of Tales of Wayward Girls and Immoral Women: Case Records and the Professionalization of Social Work (Illinois, 1998).

More About Karen W. (Associate Professor, Department of Gender & Women's Studies and Educational Policy Studies, University of Kentu Tice

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