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Research Assistant Opportunity

Children’s Musician-Education Ella Jenkins [Research Assistant]

Professor: Gayle Wald

Department: American Studies

Title: Children’s Musician-Educator Ella Jenkins

Description: I am researching and writing about Ella Jenkins, the most important children’s musician of the 20th century. At 95, Jenkins has released more than 40 albums on the independent Folkways record label. She has won a Grammy and been deemed a “national treasure” and the “first lady of children’s music.” Jenkins wrote liner notes (written texts) to go along with every one of her albums. They are a rich literary archive of her thinking as an African American woman whose career was shaped by civil rights and anti-fascism. I am looking for someone to collect all of these texts and perform a content analysis of them.

Duties: The RA will collect Jenkins’s digitized liner notes (written texts that accompanied each of her albums) and perform a content analysis of them. What are the themes that run through these texts? What turns up as quirky or unusual? How does Jenkins tell a story about herself in these texts? How do her themes change over time?

If you are interested in US cultural history and woman’s and African American history, this will be a fun project. This is a project that will allow you to use skills in literary/ textual /cultural analysis.

Time commitment: 1-3 hours per week (average)

Credit hour option*: 1

Submit Cover Letter/Resume to: gwald@gwu.edu

*If credit is sought, all registration deadlines and requirements must be
met. Students selected to be research assistants should contact Brianna
Crayton (bcrayton@gwu.edu) whether they intend to pursue credit or not.

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