In between the beautiful bindings of a wine-colored journal lies the narratives that go unspoken. Words of triumph, fear and individuality are strewn across the pages, each told through their unique voices. Sharing the thoughts and experiences of young people, Sprinkle: An Undergraduate Journal of Feminist and Queer Studies, works to “challenge the normative experiences that are often privileged within our society.”
Sprinkle was originally founded in 2007 at McGill University, where it was coined ‘Sprinkle: Journal of Sexual Diversity Studies’ and focused on feminist and queer studies. The journal has since expanded, creating a publication at Cal Poly and several internationally.
According to their online mission statement, the journal hopes “to draw attention to queer history and experience as well as other issues of gender and sexuality, subjects not often addressed within classroom curricula. This journal hopes to draw from and appeal to a wide audience and people of numerous identities and backgrounds. Sprinkle aims to lend legitimacy to the thoughts and experiences of young people and produce an engaging publication.”
The journal showcases undergraduate research and writing relating to gender and sexuality in innovative and critical ways that are not always discussed in the classroom.
“I would describe the journal as inclusive, compelling, critical/significant and inspiring,” assistant editor of Sprinkle and English senior Amanda Chu said. “It’s really great to see undergraduate students engage in critical theory and present their ideas and observations about current feminist and queer theory.”
Each school year, the journal asks students to submit works that encompass a critical analysis exploring the realms of gender, sexuality and intersectionality.
Reviewed by three independent members, the Sprinkle team narrows down the submissions to 10 essays.
“It’s all quite laborious, collaborative and time-intensive, but very much worth it,” managing editor of Sprinkle and English senior Han Choi said.
Currently in their 11th volume, Sprinkle has grown since its inception. Originally written with ‘sexuality’ as the main topic, the journal has shifted to include a multitude of unique personal anecdotes.
“I’m seeing more and more articles dealing with other facets of identity such as race, class and immigration status,” graduate assistant Emma Sturm said. “This is a really exciting shift because we’re not moving away from conversations about gender and sexuality, but instead enriching them and making them deeper and deeper by seeing how they interact with all these other things.”
Sprinkle is also an open space and forum for narratives that are repressed from mainstream conversations. By offering new perspectives on contemporary topics, the journal promotes and provides outlines for robust discussions.
“We hope that Sprinkle, and publications like it, will not only bring new perspectives to the field, but also empower young people to participate in academic knowledge building,” Choi said.
The journal also provides relevant material surrounding the political atmosphere presented in today’s society.
“I think especially given the current political climate on and off campus, it’s important to provide opportunities for students to feel accepted, see their identities reflected in a publication and connect with one another,” Sturm said. “Sprinkle does this in a number of ways, whether it be physically bringing people together for a launch party, or serving as supplemental reading material that sparks discussion amongst friends.”
Primarily consisting of students, the Sprinkle team has many goals and visions for the future of the publication.
“The future of Sprinkle is largely not up to me and thus my goals may not be the goals students preserve for future volumes. But I also know that there are students who feel just as strongly with just as much conviction about shedding light on inequality through the written word,” Choi said. “I know and trust that because we speak truth into the world, bear witness to injustice and refuse to remain silent in the face of oppression, the journal will continue and prosper as a true student-led project for many years to come.”
The journal celebrated the publication of their 11th volume May 19. Ethnic studies junior Gianna Bissa won best paper. Bissa’s paper ‘Necrocapitalism and U.S. Imperialism: The Gulf War, Hurricane Katrina, Palestine, Gentrification, and Police Violence, details violent injustices based on the application of American law.
All of the narratives are available online at The Freire Project’s Sprinkle website for free. Copies will also be available in the Women and Gender Studies Department Office (building 47).