Kendra Atleework ’11 arrived at Scripps College with a love of alternative and punk music and an interest in music journalism. Those interests were quickly explored and honed as an undergrad: she learned to play bass, joined a punk band, discovered a radio station “filled to the roof with dusty vinyl,” and found a niche of open-minded, intelligent, and politically-active friends.
She also met writing professor Kimberly Drake, who became one of the thesis readers for Kendra’s senior thesis: “Agents of Resistance: Women in Punk and Radical Activism.”
“My thesis explores women in resistance through subversive subcultures, such as punk and radical politics,” Kendra says. “I play in a punk band and participate in radical organizing and noticed women in these fields receive significantly different treatment than men. I argue that if women want to change their situation in many realms of life, we gain great power in making the subversive decision to act as agents of resistance.”
Professor Drake’s support also helped Kendra create her own self-designed major: creative writing for contemporary media. It’s a fusion of everything she’s most passionate about: journalism, feminism, subversiveness, and rock n’ roll.
“Initially I wanted to study music journalism,” she says. “This desire evolved and became more complicated, and this major has been perfect. It lets me combine many different fields while really improving my writing skills.”
Kendra worked at campus radio station KSPC, hosted a punk show with local bands, and worked to unionize dining hall workers with Direct Action Claremont. Currently living in San Diego, she follows her passions by continuing her music, writing, and activism.
“Having learned a lot of new ways to think about the world, I’m looking forward to everything I can create (and subvert) now that I’m out here in it!”