Assimilative labor--such as gender performance, or code-switching--is required in every aspect of life for marginalized people to survive in physical and digital spaces. This aesthetic and performative labor is what women of color, and trans + nonbinary people of color are forced to juggle while managing societal stereotypes and expectations with their own safety, autonomy, and self-determination in all spheres of life.

From engaging with online media, navigating one’s career, being afforded respect and value in relationships, and being treated with equity in the eyes of the law -- intersectionally marginalized individuals are required to perform daily invisibilized, uncompensated labor. This labor has been commodified and made invisible through centuries of systemic kyriarchy. The result is the explicit and implicit oppressive codes of conduct imposed upon these individuals as they aim to lead their lives with agency, safety, and dignity.

This project allows UROPs and other researchers to explore aesthetic and performative labor through 8 spheres of daily life: media, performance, movement, career, reproductive justice, physical health, mental health, and relationships. Through historical and current examples centering the experiences of intersectionally marginalized individuals, UROP students and researchers will engage in critical discourse and analysis of intersectional labor and aesthetic oppression. Project activities for the Summer term include: (1) high level literature and media analysis of relevant work on race, gender, social hierarchy, and society, (2) detailed social-science research on a sphere of daily life and its impacts on intersectionally marginalized individuals, (3) supporting a research project developing a visual and immersive artifact on the experiences of intersectionally marginalized individuals in society. The student will work closely with their research mentor and team. The option to renew for Fall may be available. All the work for this research project will be completed virtually.

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