We are pleased to share that Louisa Goldman ’20 has completed her honors thesis in American Studies at Colby. And what a timely topic she explored! Louisa explains, “To better understand the social, economic, and cultural factors underlying vaccine hesitance, I focused on the Maine anti-vax community, specifically efforts surrounding Maine’s 2019 ‘Yes on 1’ referendum. I performed a demographic analysis of campaign contributions and gained insight into the anti-vax movement’s sudden growth. Using the tools provided in the American Studies senior seminar, I placed these campaign themes in the context of the neoliberal state and found that vaccine rejection has stemmed prominently from supporters’ internalized sense of individualism and familial responsibility. This sense has persisted amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, even when we are faced with a global vaccine crisis.”