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Drake professor to present cross-national research on young adults

February 26, 2010
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Darcie Vandegrift

Darcie Vandegrift, Drake University associate professor of sociology, will deliver a talk about her research on the commonalities and distinctions among young adult narratives in different national contexts at 3:30 p.m. Friday, March 5.

The Humanities Colloquium series lecture, "Global Youth Studies?: The Perils and Promise of Theorizing Cross-National Youth Identity," is free and open to the public. It will be held in Drake's Honors Lounge in Medbury Hall, 2730 Forest Ave.

Vandegrift will talk about her research done through interviews, observation and media analysis on how young adults navigate identity, opportunity and constraints as temporally, nationally and transnationally situated social actors.

She is interested in theorizing the commonalities and distinctions among young adult narratives in different national contexts. She has interviewed young adult citizens of countries that have geopolitically repositioned themselves in recent decades, namely Russia, China and Venezuela.  

Vandegrift and a research team of five Drake students recently received an ASIANetwork Freeman Foundation Summer Fellowship to conduct ethnographic work in summer 2010 on young adults and identity in urban China.

The recipient of two Fulbright awards, Vandegrift has published work on tourism, global restructuring and local inequalities in gender and society, Latin American Caribbean and ethnic studies and race and ethnicity. She teaches courses on youth studies, globality, inequality and qualitative inquiry.

The Humanities Colloquium Series will continue through the spring semester with the following presentations, which will take place from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in the Medbury Honors Lounge:

  • March 26 -- Maura Strassberg, professor of law, "Feminist and Hegelian Perspectives on the Legal Status of Polygamy, Polyamory and Same-Sex Marriage"
  • April 9 -- Stacey Tovino, director of health law and policy and associate professor of law, "Scientific Understandings of Postpartum Illness: Improving Health Law and Policy"
  • April 30 -- Peiqin Zhou, visiting Fulbright Scholar, "Christianity and English Learning in Nanjing, China"

For more information, contact Joseph Schneider at or 515-271-2158.