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Ruth H. Kim

Doctoral Candidate, Education Department
University of California, Santa Cruz

2009 Youth Purpose Research Award Winner

Ruth H. Kim is a doctoral candidate in Education and Sociology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her research interests include critical youth studies (cultural production & politics, hip hop culture & pedagogy, literacies), feminist theories, and cultural & youth community organizations. Her dissertation is a critical ethnography that captures the organizing methods and pedagogies of one non-profit literary arts youth organization in the San Francisco Bay Area that focuses on the development and presentation of youth spoken word. Prior to entering her Ph.D. program, she taught creative & academic writing in educational outreach programs and coordinated university student organizations.


Award Project: 
Poetry as Purpose: Extending Beyond the Self through Youth Spoken Word
Award Project Description: 

This research project is a critical investigation of beyond-the-self purposes that inspire or drive youth poets to produce and perform spoken word. How are youth introduced to these purposes? How are these purposes sustained through their involvement with the artistic form and community of spoken word? This study contributes understandings of the significance of organizing around poetry's relevance for youth and why so many youth are drawn to and participate in spoken word.