The complicated relationship between girls and music, and the mobility that it both affords and denies them, is only legible through conversations with girls. As it turns out, the music of Katy Perry makes that relationship most legible.
Sarah Dougher is a writer, educator and musician from Portland, Oregon. She is currently collaborating with Diane Pecknold on a book about American tween music criticism. She teaches American music cultures and gender studies at Portland State University and at high schools around the Portland area. Last year she had a Fulbright in Norway, and began work on her first volume of poetry.
Posts by Sarah Dougher
The real Elvis is American, remember, and America is a consumer society. The desires we project, the stuff we buy—that is what feels real to us. It lets us have any Elvis we want. He left plenty of kitsch in his wake, plenty of pseudo-religion, plenty of Elvis jokes—but he was not, is not, a joke. He lived our contradictions, released our inhibitions, and lost himself in the process.