Published: Feb. 17, 2020

We are pleased to announce an upcoming talk by Shalini Shankar (Northwestern University), co-sponsored by the CU Literacy Practicum, the Department of Linguistics, and the Department of Anthropology. Prof. Shankar will be discussing her new book, Beeline: What Spelling Bees Reveal about Generation Z’s New Path to Success (2019). 

Wednesday, April 1
British Studies Room

Title: "The Imperfect Futures of Generation Z: Spelling Bees and Childhood in the New Millennium"

Abstract: Generation Z (1997-2012) is America’s most diverse generation, but what else distinguishes it from preceding cohorts of Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials? Drawing on research conducted at spelling bees with Generation Z spellers (born 1997-2012), I explore how “Bee Parents” who raise Indian American elite spellers leverage their educational training as Asian immigrants and envision their children’s futures. The talk will examine how dynamics of immigrant parenting and competition offer insights into meanings of gender, ethnicity, and race while also presenting broader shifts in childhood with regard to success and futurity.

About the Speaker: Shalini Shankar is Professor of Anthropology and Asian American Studies at Northwestern University. She is a 2017 Guggenheim Fellow and author of Beeline: What Spelling Bees Reveal about Generation Z’s New Path to Success (2019); Advertising Diversity: Ad Agencies and the Creation of Asian American Consumers (2015); and Desi land: Teen Culture, Class, and Success in Silicon Valley (2008).