Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)




Kathrin Levitan

Committee Member

Guillaume Aubert

Committee Member

Leisa Meyer


Using age as a category of analysis the first paper in this M.A. Research Portfolio examines Jedidiah Morse’s geography textbooks, the first geography textbooks written and published in the United States. By comparing and contrasting Morse’s textbooks with the ages of his intended audiences in mind the paper argues that Morse manipulated his portrayal of geography and citizenship in order to cultivate in his young readers a love for their country. The second paper in this Research Portfolio studies the travel diaries of five teenage girls in the 1920s and 1930s. By interrogating moments when the girls wrote about alcohol, experimented with their clothing, encountered the opposite sex, and commented on gender norms it becomes clear that while they traveled the girls challenged prevailing white, middle and upper-middle class gender and sexual norms in the United States at this time. The girls’ attention to sexuality both on their voyages and once in Europe reveals that their understanding of their sexual selves was not solely shaped by what they experienced within the United States but also by what they encountered beyond the country’s borders.



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