(Im)mobility in a Culture of Containment: Rebellion and the Women of the Beat Generation

Stripe, Chelsea

Over the summer of 2013, in Columbia University’s Rare Book and Manuscript archives, I
conducted dissertation research made possible through funding by the Columbia University
Library Research Award. This archival research focused on collections relating to the Beat
Generation in order to advance my dissertation, “Roads of Rebellion: Cultural Contributions by
Women of the Beat Generation.” I sought not only primary documents pertaining to the subjects
of my dissertation—the female Beats, but also I positioned the archives themselves as a cultural
site, determining how their organization might shape or reflect contemporary understandings of
the women of the Beat Generation. While in the archives, then, my agenda was twofold: First, I
would investigate collections belonging to women of the Beat Generation for a greater
understanding of biographical and historical context and for primary source material. Then, I
would look for the presence or absence of female Beats within collections belonging to their
male Beat counterparts for a picture of how the archives may be replicated in or modeled after
current scholarship, where attention to women of the Beat Generation often depends on a
relationship to certain men.



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