Abstract

This Independent Study explores experiences of LGBTQ+ identified students at Wooster. To collect data I used photovoice, a community-based research process that asks participants to create images about their experiences and engage in group dialogues using their images as a catalyst for discussion. Participants were given two prompts: “What is the spirit of your experience at Wooster?” and “Who are you in different spaces?” which they answered using photographs taken with their cell phones. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community myself, I used my cell phone to take photographs answering these same prompts. Through photographs and interviews from nine participants, I identified five main categories of discussion: navigating identities, creating spaces, The College of Wooster community, LGBTQ+ student organizations, and the Office of Sexuality and Gender Inclusion. Together, the photographs demonstrated several important aspects of LGBTQ+ life at The College of Wooster, including the strength and importance of interpersonal relationships with peers and mentors and the need for defined LGBTQ+ spaces on campus. The culmination of the study is a researcher and participant photographic exhibition, a written discussion and analysis of the data, and a website containing the photographs and interview excerpts. This project provided a space for participants and viewers to reflect on the culture and climate of The College of Wooster in an effort to encourage dialogue about LGBTQ+ lives here.

The website can be found at: LensOfOurOwnWooster.omeka.net

Advisor

Milligan, Bridget

Second Advisor

Craven, Christa

Department

Art and Art History; Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Disciplines

Art Practice | Fine Arts | Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies | Photography | Social Welfare

Publication Date

2017

Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis

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© Copyright 2017 Foster J. Cheng