Kari Smalkoski is an assistant professor in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies and Asian American Studies. Her current book project, American Dream Disrupted: Reframing Narratives on Asian American youth, gender, and inequality in schools, is a multi-sited ethnography that examines the impact of gender, race, and sports on Hmong American youth. Professor Smalkoski is co-founder and director of Minnesota Youth Story Squad. MYSS partners with Twin Cities public schools and prioritizes a justice and activist focused media making curriculum that amplifies the voices of youth through digital storytelling. She is currently principal investigator and co-principal investigator on local, national, and federal grants including MN Transform, a higher education initiative that engages anti-colonial and racial justice work through the public humanities at the University of Minnesota and across the state of Minnesota.

Professor Smalkoski is on leave Fall semester 2023 and will be in residence at the Institute for Advanced Study. 


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  • Gender, race, and sports
  • Masculinity and youth
  • Girlhood studies
  • Critical refugee studies
  • Education and political economy
  • Feminist analysis of family
  • Ethnographic research methods
  • Community Engaged partnerships