Recent Posts

Hold Fast.

Hold Fast.

I went to Copenhagen some years ago to give a paper about mermaids. This was made all the more magical because I gave this paper in the city of everyone’s favorite mermaid, surrounded by other people interested in mermaids (such as the amazing Megan Dunn), 

“As a boy, she is fine.” Gender diversity meets the “Boy Scales” in primary school

“As a boy, she is fine.” Gender diversity meets the “Boy Scales” in primary school

Of course when Anthropology News announced a special issue on Graphic Ethnography I had to throw my hat into the proverbial ring. After all, it’s kind of what I do as a comics-based researcher. I was thrilled that they accepted my piece, and that they 

Look what came in the mail.

Look what came in the mail.

Thank you so much, Grinnell College, for this honor. As I said in my wee acceptance speech, what Grinnell gave me is at the center of all the work I have done and all the work I will ever do. Grinnell taught me to find the resonant moments–the arias–in the thrum of the everyday, and to try to be of service and joy to others. I will keep trying to be worthy of this award, and of my Grinnell education.

Trans Day of Visibility

Trans Day of Visibility

It’s Trans Day of Visibility. Just yesterday my daughter had her hormone blocker implant topped up. No big deal at all. But as we were leaving the surgeon said, “I’m so glad you don’t live in Arkansas. Then this wouldn’t be allowed.” So very right. 

Let’s use comics to analyze qualitative data!

Let’s use comics to analyze qualitative data!

That’s right. It can be done. And it is awesome. Your friendly neighborhood cartoonist and comics-based researcher (CBR) here to tell you how to use the visual arts in general–and comics specifically–to analyze data. That’s what I’m able to share in my chapter, graciously included 

The best award yet.

The best award yet.

I’ve won a whole bunch of fancy awards over the years, but none of them has been as important, or has made me feel as happy or as humbled, as learning that I am among the recipients of this year’s Grinnell College Alumni Awards.

Everything I have done can be traced back to the outstanding education I received as a student at Grinnell, and the College’s principles of social justice, service to the community, and leaving the world better than you found it. It was at Grinnell that I learned how to fight the good fight.

Thank you so much. I could not be among better company.

On death in preschool

On death in preschool

My newest research article will be appearing in a beautiful special issue of Ethnography and Education, edited by the brilliant and supportive Debbie Albon and Christina Huf. Debbie and Christina and I met at the Ethnography and Education conference at New College, Oxford, held each 

Graphic Installation on Carers in HE

Graphic Installation on Carers in HE

Dr. Marie Pierre Moreau and I have perpetrated a delicious graphic installation piece of comics-based/arts-based research focusing on the experiences of carers in higher education. This project has been generously supported by an AdvanceHE Good Practice Grant. We hope to bring the exhibit to locations 

Ghostly Presences Out There

Ghostly Presences Out There

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a horror for the vast majority of us, however it has been particularly nasty for girls and women, who bear the brunt of the social, emotional and economic impacts of the pandemic. This goes doubly for teenage girls. As a mother of teenagers, I can attest that the grind has been nothing short of brutal. However, as a scholar in gender diverse childhoods it has been gutting to watch the miseries unfold for transgender girls and young women who, isolated from face to face support and hold up in new pandemic closets, have struggled to be seen and aided in sense-making, even by the most supportive parents. The phantasmic reality of living under covid has yielded to an even more difficult to pin down discomfort, a deep unease, that afflicts gender diverse girls. With help from my research participants—generous, kind young women and their families–I have told a story in CBR format here.

Even if you are not yourself a gender diverse or transgender girl, know that what Lily experiences in this story may resonate with you. The ghosts, as we all know, are absolutely everywhere. No wonder we feel by turns terrified, out of sorts, unwell, uneasy and even hopeful in the midst of our horror. It goes on.

Galman, S. C. (2020). Ghostly presences out there: Transgender girls and their families in the time of COVID. Girlhood Studies, 13 (3) 79-97. https://doi.org/10.3167/ghs.2020.130307

Coloring Books for All Our Kids

Coloring Books for All Our Kids

As a scholar in childhood, one of the things I struggle with is how after spending so much time with young children and their families, much of the research writing I produce is for a different audience– usually research journals. And let’s face it, most