Date of Award

Spring 4-28-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Margaret Yoon


The hybrid visual-verbal form of the graphic novel has been embraced to depict stories from a variety of genres, but it is particularly effective in detailing experiences of girlhood and adolescent development. This thesis seeks to explore the representations of girlhood and private spaces of development in examining four primary graphic works: The Diary of a Teenage Girl (2002) by Phoebe Gloeckner, Fun Home (2006) by Alison Bechdel, This One Summer (2014) by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki, and Ghost World (1997) by Daniel Clowes. Informed by graphic novel theory and girlhood studies and stemming directly from bedroom culture theory, this project explores the possibilities in creating alternate private spaces of development that assume the traditional role of the girlhood bedroom. Through examining these primary sources it becomes clear that the private space of development can manifest in tangible and intangible forms, providing platforms for girlhood growth and exploration. The graphic nature of these works is essential in creating a naturalistic portrayal of the creation of and actions within these private spaces. The creation of alternate private spaces in girlhood marks a movement towards maturity and independence, and ultimately serves to exemplify how girlhood operates beyond the bedroom.

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