Hannah Bailey is from Kansas City, MO and received a B.A. in American Studies at the University of Missouri–Kansas City before coming to KU in 2014 for the American Studies PhD program.
"My dissertation examines the mechanisms of state power in Kansas in the mid-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to analyze how subjects deemed non-normative fit into a state social structure that is racialized, gendered, sexualized, classed, and ableist. In determining fitness for the ideal of full citizenship, military, medical, educational, and religious figures functioned as arbiters of normative personhood. My project draws on archival evidence from military, medical, religious, and economic institutions that sought to create what I describe as normal personhood through coercion, violence, and the creation of legitimate rule. It argues that if we evaluate that evidence alongside the violence of Indian dispossession, early and continued commitment to private property, imperialism, and social/political hierarchies of race, gender, and ability, Kansas becomes much less paradoxical and, indeed, helps us understand how the U.S. state itself emerged and grew."