Charlene Conrad Liebeau Research Prize
I am delighted to share that my student, Hana Kozuka, has been selected as a winner for the Charlene Conrad Liebeau Research Prize. Hana was a student in my R1B from last semester, “Bodily Possession: The Collection Impulse and the Origins of Modern Medical Museums in the Western World,” which explored the long history of medicalized bodies and the often painful legacies of display and spectacle that inhere in many of our institutions. In the course, we also looked at non-normative bodies in public– especially via the stories of people who made their livings in freak shows and circuses– as we learned about the ethical costs of such 19th century amusements.
Hana RAN with her final research project, and was very interested in focussing on Queer History. She took her research away from the freak show and the circus, and trained her lens on the world of theater and vaudeville. Through careful excavation of primary sources, Hana developed an amazing paper about early male impersonators.
Hana’s project could not have been more timely. Since Hana’s deep dive into the history of early cross-gender performance in Victorian America, recent political developments across several states remind us how important uncovering these queer histories is– as we are reminded that the suppression of artistic expression has happened before, and has been overcome.