Rooted in feminist theory, developmental psychology, and cultural anthropology, Sophomore
examines manufactured identity in female adolescence through personal narrative. Its cornerstone, a yearbook-inspired graphic novel, uses genuine and fabricated personal ephemera to retrospectively explore the fluctuating identity of the artist during her teenage years. Drawing from Mary Pipher’s theory of the “true” and “false” selves teenage girls develop in response to gender intensification, and from the phenomenon of constructed online identity, Sophomore: A Year Book
interrogates the formative nature of media and social encounters in shaping the female adolescent sense of self. A corresponding series of monotypes translates the graphic novel’s linear narrative into a jumble of footsteps, photographs, objects, and words, blurring the lines between public and private identity performance. Sophomore
invites us to consider how gender expectations warp authentic adolescent identity expression, and how we construct our memories around the tangible scraps of “self” we leave behind.