Institutions of Engagement: Political Participation in College Yearbooks


College campuses are an important location for young people to fight for their interests. Throughout the years, major events on campuses have been covered by student journalists and archived in college yearbooks. Yearbooks are most often student run and independent from the campus administration providing an example of students telling the story of students. Therefore, as our students explore these books, they will observe events occurring in familiar locations making it easier to relate and connect with the individuals involved. In this paper I describe a lesson where students use college yearbooks as a hands-on tool to help them understand the more complex history of student civic engagement. Beyond a lesson on civic engagement, students will also learn more about their institution as they observe changes and continuities over time. Exploring yearbooks also provides students with experience exploring archives and analyzing qualitative data.



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