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Anna Howard Shaw
The Work of Woman Suffrage
Trisha Franzen
University of Illinois Press, 2014

With this first scholarly biography of Anna Howard Shaw (1847-1919), Trisha Franzen sheds new light on an important woman suffrage leader who has too often been overlooked and misunderstood.

An immigrant from a poor family, Shaw grew up in an economic reality that encouraged the adoption of non-traditional gender roles. Challenging traditional gender boundaries throughout her life, she put herself through college, worked as an ordained minister and a doctor, and built a tightly-knit family with her secretary and longtime companion Lucy E. Anthony.

Drawing on unprecedented research, Franzen shows how these circumstances and choices both impacted Shaw's role in the woman suffrage movement and set her apart from her native-born, middle- and upper-class colleagues. Franzen also rehabilitates Shaw's years as president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, arguing that Shaw's much-belittled tenure actually marked a renaissance of both NAWSA and the suffrage movement as a whole.

Anna Howard Shaw: The Work of Woman Suffrage presents a clear and compelling portrait of a woman whose significance has too long been misinterpreted and misunderstood. 


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The Autobiography of Maud Gonne
A Servant of the Queen
Maud Gonne
University of Chicago Press, 1995
Maud Gonne is part of Irish history: her founding of the Daughters of Ireland, in 1900, was the key that effectively opened the door of twentieth-century politics to Irish women. Still remembered in Ireland for the inspiring public speeches she made on behalf of the suffering—those evicted from their homes in western Ireland, the Treason-Felony prisoners on the Isle of Wright, indeed all those whom she saw as victims of imperialism—she is known, too, within and outside Ireland as the woman W. B. Yeats loved and celebrated in his poems.
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Black Feminist Constellations
Dialogue and Translation across the Americas
Edited by Christen A. Smith and Lorraine Leu
University of Texas Press, 2023

A collection of essays, interviews, and conversations by and between scholars, activists, and artists from Latin America and the Caribbean that paints a portrait of Black women's experiences across the region.

Black women in Latin America and the Caribbean suffer a triple erasure: as Black people, as women, and as non-English speakers in a global environment dominated by the Anglophone North. Black Feminist Constellations is a passionate and necessary corrective. Focused on and written by Black women of the southern Americas, the original works composing this volume make legible the epistemologies that sustain radical scholarship, art, and political organizing by Black women everywhere.

In essays, poems, and dialogues, the writers in Black Feminist Constellations reimagine liberation from the perspectives of radical South American and Caribbean Black women thinkers. The volume’s methodologically innovative approach reflects how Black women come together to theorize the world and challenges the notion that the university is the only site where knowledge can emerge. A major work of intellectual history, Black Feminist Constellations amplifies rarely heard voices, centers the uncanonized, and celebrates the overlooked work of Black women.

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Bridging Two Eras
The Autobiography of Emily Newell Blair, 1877-1951
Emily Newell Blair, Edited & Intro by Virginia Jeans Laas
University of Missouri Press, 1999

First written in 1937 and never before published, Bridging Two Eras is the fascinating autobiography of Emily Newell Blair, a remarkable woman who successfully reconciled a productive public life with the traditional values of a housewife and mother.

Because Blair's life essentially spanned two eras, from the end of the nineteenth century through the middle of the twentieth, she thought of herself as a bridge builder. A dedicated feminist, she wanted her autobiography to help women understand what life was like during that transition time. She had moved from being a conventional, middle-class, midwestern wife and mother to becoming an acclaimed author, a nationally known feminist, and vice chairman of the Democratic National Committee only two years after women gained the right to vote. She felt that her story could encourage women to take their rightful places in public life.

Bridging Two Eras is divided into two parts. Book I is a charming evocation of life in southwest Missouri in the closing decades of the nineteenth century. It offers great insight into family relationships, class structure, and social attitudes typical of much of small-town America. Book II addresses Blair's public career and follows her progress as professional writer, suffrage activist, and partisan politician. Included are acute judgments of leading political figures, fascinating vignettes of the suffrage movement, an insider's view of the workings of the national Democratic Party in the 1920s and 1930s, and a valuable outlook on Missouri politics during the first third of the twentieth century.

Perceptive and introspective, Blair captivates her readers as she traces her own evolution. With candor, she explains her conflicts between family and career, acknowledging the difficulties and tensions she faced in pursuing a public life. Delightfully written, Bridging Two Eras provides valuable insight into all the possibilities, as well as the limitations, life then held for an American woman.

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Collected Letters of a Renaissance Feminist
Laura Cereta
University of Chicago Press, 1997
Renaissance writer Laura Cereta (1469–1499) presents feminist issues in a predominantly male venue—the humanist autobiography in the form of personal letters. Cereta's works circulated widely in Italy during the early modern era, but her complete letters have never before been published in English. In her public lectures and essays, Cereta explores the history of women's contributions to the intellectual and political life of Europe. She argues against the slavery of women in marriage and for the rights of women to higher education, the same issues that have occupied feminist thinkers of later centuries.

Yet these letters also furnish a detailed portrait of an early modern woman’s private experience, for Cereta addressed many letters to a close circle of family and friends, discussing highly personal concerns such as her difficult relationships with her mother and her husband. Taken together, these letters are a testament both to an individual woman and to enduring feminist concerns.
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Constance Pascal (1877–1937)
Authority, Femininity and Feminism in French Psychiatry
Felicia Gordon
University of London Press, 2014
Constance Pascal’s career in French psychiatry from 1908 to 1937 exemplifies the opportunities open to women in the French Third Republic as well as the prejudices they encountered. As the first woman psychiatrist in France, Pascal, of Romanian origin, attained professional success at the cost of suppressing her personal life. Best known for her work on dementia praecox, she founded one of the first schools in France for children with severe learning difficulties, and made remarkable contributions in the reform of asylum practices and, influenced by Freudian psychoanalysis, in psychotherapeutic intervention. Her feminism is demonstrated by her distinguished, often contentious, career in a hitherto all male profession and by her support for other women in their professional roles. Her unjustly neglected life story illuminates many of the conflicts experienced by women entering the professions during the belle époque and the inter-war years. The study’s scholarly authority and ambitious theoretical range do not detract from its lively sense of the person and life struggles of the subject making this a fine demonstration of life history research enthralling for the general reader and expert alike.
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Contested Terrain
Reflections with Afghan Women Leaders
Sally L Kitch
University of Illinois Press, 2014
Sally L. Kitch explores the crisis in contemporary Afghan women’s lives by focusing on two remarkable Afghan professional women working on behalf of their Afghan sisters. Kitch's compelling narrative follows the stories of Judge Marzia Basel and Jamila Afghani from 2005 through 2013, providing an oft-ignored perspective on the personal and professional lives of Afghanistan's women. Contending with the complex dynamics of a society both undergoing and resisting change, Basel and Afghani speak candidly--and critically--of matters like international intervention and patriarchal Afghan culture, capturing the ways in which immense possibility alternates and vies with utter hopelessness. Strongly rooted in feminist theory and interdisciplinary historical and geopolitical analysis, Contested Terrain sheds new light on the struggle against the powerful forces that affect Afghan women's education, health, political participation, livelihoods, and quality of life. The book also suggests how a new dialogue might be started--in which women from across geopolitical boundaries might find common cause for change and rewrite their collective stories.
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Dark Continent Of Our Bodies
Black Feminism & Politics Of Respectability
E. Frances White
Temple University Press, 2001
In this provocative book, a black lesbian feminist looks at black feminism -- its roots, its role, and its implications. From Charles Darwin and nineteenth-century racism to black nationalism and the Nation of Islam, from Baptist women's groups to James Baldwin, E. Frances White takes on one institution after another as she re-centers the role of black women in the United States' intellectual heritage. White presents identity politics as a complex activity, with entangled branches of race and gender, of invisibility and voyeurism, of defiance and passivity and conformism.

White's powerful introduction draws on oral narratives from her own family history to illuminate the nature of narrative, both what is said and what is left unsaid. She then sets the historical stage with a helpful history of the inception and development of black feminism and a critique of major black feminist writings. In the three chapters that follow, she addresses the obstacles black feminism has already surmounted and must continue to traverse. Confronting what White calls "the politics of respectability," these chapters move the reader from simplistic views of race and gender in the nineteenth century through black nationalism and the radical movements of the sixties, and their relationship to feminist thought, to the linkages between race, gender, and sexuality in the works of such giants as Toni Morrison and James Baldwin. No one who finishes Dark Continent of Our Bodies will look at race and gender in the same way again.
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Don't Call Me Inspirational
A Disabled Feminist Talks Back
Harilyn Rousso
Temple University Press, 2013

 For psychotherapist, painter, feminist, filmmaker, writer, and disability activist Harilyn Rousso, hearing well-intentioned people tell her, "You're so inspirational!" is patronizing, not complimentary.

In her empowering and at times confrontational memoir, Don't Call Me Inspirational, Rousso, who has cerebral palsy, describes overcoming the prejudice against disability--not overcoming disability. She addresses the often absurd and ignorant attitudes of strangers, friends, and family. 

Rousso also examines her own prejudice toward her disabled body, and portrays the healing effects of intimacy and creativity, as well as her involvement with the disability rights community. She intimately reveals herself with honesty and humor and measures her personal growth as she goes from "passing" to embracing and claiming her disability as a source of pride, positive identity, and rebellion. 

A collage of images about her life, rather than a formal portrait, Don't Call Me Inspirational celebrates Rousso's wise, witty, productive, outrageous life, disability and all.


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Dressed for Freedom
The Fashionable Politics of American Feminism
Einav Rabinovitch-Fox
University of Illinois Press, 2021
Often condemned as a form of oppression, fashion could and did allow women to express modern gender identities and promote feminist ideas. Einav Rabinovitch-Fox examines how clothes empowered women, and particularly women barred from positions of influence due to race or class. Moving from 1890s shirtwaists through the miniskirts and unisex styles of the 1970s, Rabinovitch-Fox shows how the rise of mass media culture made fashion a vehicle for women to assert claims over their bodies, femininity, and social roles. She also highlights how trends in women’s sartorial practices expressed ideas of independence and equality. As women employed new clothing styles, they expanded feminist activism beyond formal organizations and movements and reclaimed fashion as a realm of pleasure, power, and feminist consciousness.

A fascinating account of clothing as an everyday feminist practice, Dressed for Freedom brings fashion into discussions of American feminism during the long twentieth century.

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Eleanor Baldwin and the Woman's Point of View
New Thought Radicalism in Portland’s Progressive Era
Lawrence M. Lipin
Oregon State University Press, 2017
Eleanor Baldwin and the Woman’s Point of View is an intellectual biography of a long-forgotten radical female journalist in Portland, whose daily women’s columns provide a window into the breadth of intellectual radicalism in Progressive Era journalism. Baldwin was one of an early generation of female journalists who were hired to lure female readers to the daily newspaper’s department store advertisements. Instead of catering to the demands of consumerism, Baldwin quickly brought an anti-capitalist, antiracist agenda to her column, “The Woman’s Point of View." She eschewed household hints and instead focused on the immorality of capitalists and imperialists while emphasizing the need for women to become independent and productive citizens. 
 
A century before the Occupy movement and the Women’s March, Baldwin spoke truth to power. Imbued with a New Thought spirituality that presumed progressive thought could directly affect material reality, she wrote to move history forward. And yet, the trajectory of history proved as hard to forecast then as now.  While her personal story seems to embody a modern progressivism, blending abolition with labor reform and anti-banker activism—positions from which she never wavered—her path grew more complicated as times changed in the aftermath of World War I, when she would advocate on behalf of both the Bolsheviks and the Ku Klux Klan.
 
In this deeply researched and nuanced account of Eleanor Baldwin’s intellectual journey, historian Larry Lipin reveals how even the most dedicated radical can be overcome by unforeseen events. Eleanor Baldwin and the Woman’s Point of View restores a missing chapter in Portland’s Progressive Era history and rescues this passionate, intriguing, and quixotic character from undeserved obscurity.
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Elizabeth Robins, 1862–1952
Actress, Novelist, Feminist
Joanne E. Gates
University of Alabama Press, 1994
Robins’s writing on behalf of women’s rights issues in the first quarter of the twentieth century represents an important contribution to feminist politics

From Childhood, Elizabeth Robins dreamed of a successful career on the stage. Her first impulse to visit England, in 1888, stemmed from her desire to secure better opportunities as an actress, and she soon gained celebrity playing Ibsen’s heroines. While buoyed by this success, she began writing fiction that treated the feminist issues of her time: organized prostitution, women’s positions in war-torn England, and the dangers of rearmament. In her acting, writing, and political activism, she consistently challenged existing roles for women. Robins’s work is marked by a number of true-life components, and this first biography to use the vast collection of her private papers demonstrates how Robins transformed her own life into literary and dramatic capital.

Robins published several novels under the pseudonym C. E. Raimond, culminating in the sensational male-female bildungsroman, The Open Question: A Tale of Two Temperaments, which was set in her native Zanesville, Ohio, and publication of which finally disclosed her identity.

Her fiction is compared to that of Henry James, Edith Wharton, and Willa Cather. Many of her heroines share the characteristics of exhibiting force or willed silence, and Gates's analysis of this trait has implications for feminist theorists in a number of fields.
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Elsie Clews Parsons
Inventing Modern Life
Desley Deacon
University of Chicago Press, 1997
Elsie Clews Parsons was a pioneering feminist, an eminent anthropologist, and an ardent social critic. In Elsie Clews Parsons, Desley Deacon reconstructs Parsons's efforts to overcome gender biases in both academia and society.
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The Essential Lectures of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 1890–1894
Charlotte Perkins Gilman Edited and with an introduction by Andrew J. Ball
University of Alabama Press, 2024

The first collection of lectures and sermons that Charlotte Perkins Gilman delivered in the first four years of her career

The last decades have seen a resurgence of interest in Charlotte Perkins Gilman, now considered among the most important thinkers in US history. She is best known for fiction—such as the classic short story “The Yellow Wall-Paper” (1892)—and nonfiction, including her manifesto Women and Economics (1898), a work of intersectional sociology avant la lettre. Nevertheless, as a young writer, Gilman made her living delivering lectures. One cannot know Gilman without some knowledge of this body of lectures; this book fills that critical gap in Gilman scholarship.

Since the recovery of Charlotte Perkins Gilman began in the late 1960s and continued with the republication of “The Yellow Wall-Paper” in the 1970s, her image in cultural memory has been increasingly celebrated. Andrew J. Ball presents here fifty previously unpublished texts. They trace the development of Gilman’s thoughts on diverse subjects like gender, education, labor, science, theology, and politics—forming an intellectual diary of her growth.

These lectures are not just a testament to Gilman’s personal evolution, but also a crucial contribution to the foundations of American sociology and philosophy. The Essential Lectures of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 1890–1894 marks a historic moment, unveiling the hidden genius of Gilman's oratory legacy.

 

 

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FANNY WRIGHT
REBEL IN AMERICA
Celia Morris
University of Illinois Press, 1992
"A lively, readable narrative, informative to general readers and scholars alike. In its closely documented pages, one of the boldest and most iconoclastic women in Jacksonian America lives again."
-- New York Times Book Review
 
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Fanny Wright
Rebel in America
Celia Morris Eckhardt
Harvard University Press, 1984

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Fearless Women
Feminist Patriots from Abigail Adams to Beyoncé
Elizabeth Cobbs
Harvard University Press, 2023

“A gripping panoramic history that pairs ingenious excavation with enlightening explanation to relight the fire of feminist political identity at the very moment when we need it most.”―Tiya Miles, author of All That She Carried

This passionate and inspiring book by the New York Times bestselling author of The Hello Girls shows us that the quest for women’s rights is deeply entwined with the founding story of the United States.


When America became a nation, a woman had no legal existence beyond her husband. If he abused her, she couldn’t leave without abandoning her children. Abigail Adams tried to change this, reminding her husband John to “remember the ladies” when he wrote the Constitution. He simply laughed—and women have been fighting for their rights ever since.

Fearless Women tells the story of women who dared to take destiny into their own hands. They were feminists and antifeminists, activists and homemakers, victims of abuse and pathbreaking professionals. Inspired by the nation’s ideals and fueled by an unshakeable sense of right and wrong, they wouldn’t take no for an answer. In time, they carried the country with them.

The first right they won was the right to learn. Later, impassioned teachers like Angelina Grimké and Susan B. Anthony campaigned for the right to speak in public, lobby the government, and own property. Some were passionate abolitionists. Others fought just to protect their own children.

Many of these women devoted their lives to the cause—some are famous—but most pressed their demands far from the spotlight, insisting on their right to vote, sit on a jury, control the timing of their pregnancies, enjoy equal partnerships, or earn a living. At every step, they faced fierce opposition. Elizabeth Cobbs gives voice to fearless women on both sides of the aisle, most of whom considered themselves patriots. Rich and poor, from all backgrounds and regions, they show that the women’s movement has never been an exclusive club.

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Feminism and the Legacy of Revolution
Nicaragua, El Salvador, Chiapas
Karen Kampwirth
Ohio University Press, 2004

In many Latin American countries, guerrilla struggle and feminism have been linked in surprising ways. Women were mobilized by the thousands to promote revolutionary agendas that had little to do with increasing gender equality. They ended up creating a uniquely Latin American version of feminism that combined revolutionary goals of economic equality and social justice with typically feminist aims of equality, nonviolence, and reproductive rights.

Drawing on more than two hundred interviews with women in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and the Mexican state of Chiapas, Karen Kampwirth tells the story of how the guerrilla wars led to the rise of feminism, why certain women became feminists, and what sorts of feminist movements they built. Feminism and the Legacy of Revolution: Nicaragua, El Salvador, Chiapas explores how the violent politics of guerrilla struggle could be related to the peaceful politics of feminism. It considers the gains, losses, and internal conflicts within revolutionary women’s organizations.

Feminism and the Legacy of Revolution challenges old assumptions regarding revolutionary movements and the legacy of those movements for the politics of daily life. It will appeal to a broad, interdisciplinary audience in political science, sociology, anthropology, women’s studies, and Latin American studies as well as to general readers with an interest in international feminism.

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Feminism as Life's Work
Four Modern American Women through Two World Wars
Trigg, Mary K
Rutgers University Press, 2014
With suffrage secured in 1920, feminists faced the challenge of how to keep their momentum going. As the center of the movement shrank, a small, self-appointed vanguard of “modern” women carried the cause forward in life and work. Feminism as Life’s Work profiles four of these women: the author Inez Haynes Irwin, the historian Mary Ritter Beard, the activist Doris Stevens, and Lorine Pruette, a psychologist.  Their life-stories, told here in full for the first time, embody the changes of the first four decades of the twentieth century—and complicate what we know of the period.

Through these women’s intertwined stories, Mary Trigg traces the changing nature of the women’s movement across turbulent decades rent by world war, revolution, global depression, and the rise of fascism. Criticizing the standard division of feminist activism as a series of historical waves, Trigg exposes how Irwin, Beard, Stevens, and Pruette helped push the U.S. feminist movement to victory and continued to propel it forward from the 1920s to the 1960s, decades not included in the “wave” model. At a time widely viewed as the “doldrums” of feminism, the women in this book were in fact taking the cause to new sites: the National Women’s Party; sexuality and relations with men; marriage; and work and financial independence. In their utopian efforts to reshape work, sexual relations, and marriage, modern feminists ran headlong into the harsh realities of male power, the sexual double standard, the demands of motherhood, and gendered social structures.

In Feminism as Life’s Work, Irwin, Beard, Stevens, and Pruette emerge as the heirs of the suffrage movement, guardians of a long feminist tradition, and catalysts of the belief in equality and difference.  Theirs is a story of courage, application, and perseverance—a story that revisits the “bleak and lonely years” of the U.S. women’s movement and emerges with a fresh perspective of the history of this pivotal era.
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The Feminism of Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Sexualities, Histories, Progressivism
Judith A. Allen
University of Chicago Press, 2009

Famous for her short fiction—most notably “The Yellow Wallpaper”—Charlotte Perkins Gilman also produced a vast body of nonfiction in tandem with her work as a Progressive-era feminist reformer. Rooted in groundbreaking research on Gilman’s extensive correspondence, publications, and speeches, this keenly argued intellectual biography reconstructs her controversial output and the heady context in which she produced it.

            Judith Allen provides the first comprehensive assessment of Gilman’s complicated feminism by exploring the renowned writer’s theories of sexuality and evolutionary analyses of androcentric—or male-dominated—culture. These ideas, Allen shows, informed Gilman’s many contributions to the suffrage movement, the fight to abolish regulated prostitution, and efforts to legalize birth control. Restoring a previously overlooked public intellectual to her preeminent place in Progressive-era politics and the history of feminism at home and abroad, Allen’s landmark study provides the fullest account available of Gilman’s consequential life and profoundly influential work.

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The Feminism of Uncertainty
A Gender Diary
Ann Snitow
Duke University Press, 2015
The Feminism of Uncertainty brings together Ann Snitow’s passionate, provocative dispatches from forty years on the front lines of feminist activism and thought. In such celebrated pieces as "A Gender Diary"—which confronts feminism’s need to embrace, while dismantling, the category of "woman"—Snitow is a virtuoso of paradox. Freely mixing genres in vibrant prose, she considers Angela Carter, Doris Lessing, and Dorothy Dinnerstein and offers self-reflexive accounts of her own organizing, writing, and teaching. Her pieces on international activism, sexuality, motherhood, and the waywardness of political memory all engage feminism’s impossible contradictions—and its utopian hopes. 
 
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Feminisms
A Global History
Lucy Delap
University of Chicago Press, 2020
Feminism’s origins have often been framed around a limited cast of mostly white and educated foremothers, but the truth is that feminism has been and continues to be a global movement. For centuries, women from all walks of life have been mobilizing for gender justice. As the last decade has reminded even the most powerful women, there is nothing “post-feminist” about our world. And there is much to be learned from the passion and protests of the past.

Historian Lucy Delap looks to the global past to give us a usable history of the movement against gender injustice—one that can help clarify questions of feminist strategy, priority and focus in the contemporary moment. Rooted in recent innovative histories, the book incorporates alternative starting points and new thinkers, challenging the presumed priority of European feminists and ranging across a global terrain of revolutions, religions, empires and anti-colonial struggles.

In Feminisms, we find familiar stories—of suffrage, of solidarity, of protest—yet there is no assumption that feminism looks the same in each place or time. Instead, Delap explores a central paradox: feminists have demanded inclusion but have persistently practiced their own exclusions. Some voices are heard and others are routinely muted. In amplifying the voices of figures at the grassroots level, Delap shows us how a rich relationship to the feminist past can help inform its future.
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Feminist Accused of Sexual Harassment
Jane Gallop
Duke University Press, 1997
Sexual harassment is an issue in which feminists are usually thought to be on the plaintiff’s side. But in 1993—amid considerable attention from the national academic community—Jane Gallop, a prominent feminist professor of literature, was accused of sexual harassment by two of her women graduate students. In Feminist Accused of Sexual Harassment, Gallop tells the story of how and why she was charged with sexual harassment and what resulted from the accusations. Weaving together memoir and theoretical reflections, Gallop uses her dramatic personal experience to offer a vivid analysis of current trends in sexual harassment policy and to pose difficult questions regarding teaching and sex, feminism and knowledge.
Comparing “still new” feminism—as she first encountered it in the early 1970s—with the more established academic discipline that women’s studies has become, Gallop makes a case for the intertwining of learning and pleasure. Refusing to acquiesce to an imperative of silence that surrounds such issues, Gallop acknowledges—and describes—her experiences with the eroticism of learning and teaching. She argues that antiharassment activism has turned away from the feminism that created it and suggests that accusations of harassment are taking aim at the inherent sexuality of professional and pedagogic activity rather than indicting discrimination based on gender—that antiharassment has been transformed into a sensationalist campaign against sexuality itself.
Feminist Accused of Sexual Harassment offers a direct and challenging perspective on the complex and charged issues surrounding the intersection of politics, sexuality, feminism, and power. Gallop’s story and her characteristically bold way of telling it will be compelling reading for anyone interested in these issues and particularly to anyone interested in the ways they pertain to the university.
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A Feminist Legacy
The Rhetoric and Pedagogy of Gertrude Buck
Suzanne Bordelon
Southern Illinois University Press, 2007

The first book-length investigation of a pioneering English professor and theorist at Vassar College, A Feminist Legacy: The Rhetoric and Pedagogy of Gertrude Buck explores Buck’s contribution to the fields of education and rhetoric during the Progressive Era. By contextualizing Buck’s academic and theoretical work within the rise of women’s educational institutions like Vassar College, the social and political movement toward suffrage, and Buck’s own egalitarian political and social ideals, Suzanne Bordelon offers a scholarly and well-informed treatment of Buck’s achievements that elucidates the historical and contemporary impact of her work and life.

Bordelon argues that while Buck did not call herself a feminist, she embodied feminist ideals by demanding the full participation of her female students and by challenging power imbalances at every academic, social, and political level.

A Feminist Legacy reveals that Vassar College is an undervalued but significant site in the history of women’s argumentation and pedagogy. Drawing on a rich variety of archival sources, including previously unexamined primary material, A Feminist Legacy traces the beginnings of feminist theories of argumentation and pedagogy and their lasting legacy within the fields of education and rhetoric.

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The Feminist Memoir Project
Voices from Women's Liberation
DuPlessis, Rachel B
Rutgers University Press, 2007
The women of The Feminist Memoir Project give voice to the spirit, the drive, and the claims of the Women's Liberation Movement they helped shape, beginning in the late 1960s. These thirty-two writers were among the thousands to jump-start feminism in the late twentieth century. Here, in pieces that are passionate, personal, critical, and witty, they describe what it felt like to make history, to live through and contribute to the massive social movement that transformed the nation.

What made these particular women rebel? And what experiences, ideas, feelings, and beliefs shaped their activism? How did they maintain the will and energy to keep such a struggle going for so long, and continuing still?

Memoirs and responses by Kate Millett, Vivian Gornick, Michele Wallace, Alix Kates Shulman, Joan Nestle, Jo Freeman, Yvonne Rainer, Barbara Smith, Ellen Willis, Eve Ensler, Shirley Geok-lin Lim, Roxanne Dunbar, Naomi Weisstein, Alice Wolfson and many more embody the excitement that fueled the movement and the conflicts that threatened it from within. Their stories trace the ways the world has changed.
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Feminist Sociology
Life Histories of a Movement
Thorne, Barrie
Rutgers University Press, 1997
This collection of thirteen life stories recaptures the history of a political and intellectual movement that created feminist sociology as a field of inquiry. As the editors' introduction notes, the life history is a crucial tool for sociological thought. Life histories can be a bridge between individual experience and codified knowledge, between human agency and social structure. Life histories can enhance social theory by revealing categories of meaning usually submerged in the conventions of social science. The authors in this volume, all sociologists who have had great impact upon the field in which they write, show how personal relationships, experiences of inequality, and professional conflict and camaraderie interweave with the formation of social theory, political movements, and intellectual thought. The book makes a powerful impression upon anyone who has struggled with the relationship between social theory and everyday life. -- Accessible, lively articles that combine personal narrative with sociological theory. -- Contributors are some of the leading voices in feminist sociology.
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Feminists Who Changed America, 1963-1975
Edited by Barbara J. Love: Foreword by Nancy F. Cott
University of Illinois Press, 2006

Documenting key feminists who ignited the second wave women's movement

Barbara J. Love’s Feminists Who Changed America, 1963-1975 will be the first comprehensive directory to document many of the founders and leaders (including both well-known and grassroots organizers) of the second wave women's movement.  It tells the stories of more than two thousand individual women and a few notable men who together reignited the women's movement and made permanent changes to entrenched customs and laws.

The biographical entries on these pioneering feminists represent their many factions, all parts of the country, all races and ethnic groups, and all political ideologies. Nancy Cott's foreword discusses the movement in relation to the earlier first wave and presents a brief overview of the second wave in the context of other contemporaneous social movements. 

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Fighting for Equality
A Life of May Wright Sewall
Ray E. Boomhower
Indiana Historical Society Press, 2007
This young readers' biography showcases educator, woman's rights pioneer, and peace activist May Wright Sewall's important contributions to the history of Indianapolis, Indiana, the United States, and the world. Sewall helped to establish such Indianapolis institutions as the Girls' Classical School, the Indianapolis Woman's Club, the Contemporary Club, the Art Association of Indianapolis (today known as the Indianapolis Museum of Art) and the Indianapolis Propylaeum. She served as a valuable ally to such national suffrage leaders as Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton and gave the woman's movement a worldwide focus through her pioneering involvement with the American National Council of Women and the International Council of Women.
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Friends of Alice Wheeldon
Sheila Rowbotham
Pluto Press, 1986

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Fuller in Her Own Time
A Biographical Chronicle of Her Life, Drawn from Recollections, Interviews, and Memoirs by Family, Friends, and Associates
Joel Myerson
University of Iowa Press, 2008
Writer, editor, journalist, educator, feminist, conversationalist, and reformer Margaret Fuller (1810–1850) was one of the leading intellectuals of nineteenth-century America as well as a prominent member of Concord literary circles. Yet the challenging spirit behind her intellectual confidence and mesmerizing energy led to the invention of an unbalanced legacy that denied her a place among the canonical Concord writers. This collection of first-hand reminiscences by those who knew Fuller personally rescues her from these confusions and provides a clearer identity for this misrepresented personality.
     The forty-one remembrances from Nathaniel Hawthorne, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Thomas Carlyle, Harriet Martineau, Henry James, and twenty-four others chart Fuller’s expanding influence from schooldays in Boston, meetings at the Transcendental Club, teaching in Providence and Boston, work on the New York Tribune, publications and conversations, travels in the British Isles, and life and love in Italy before her tragic early death. Joel Myerson’s perceptive introduction assesses the pre- and postmortem building of Fuller’s reputation as well as her relationship to the prominent Transcendentalists, reformers, literati, and other personalities of her time, and his headnotes to each selection present valuable connecting contexts.
     The woman who admitted that “at nineteen she was the most intolerable girl that ever took a seat in a drawing-room,” whose Woman in the Nineteenth Century is considered the first major book-length feminist call to action in America, never conformed to nineteenth-century expectations of self-effacing womanhood. The fascinating contradictions revealed by these narratives create a lively, lifelike biography of Fuller’s “rare gifts and solid acquirements . . . and unfailing intellectual sympathy.”
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Gates of Freedom
Voltairine de Cleyre and the Revolution of the Mind
Eugenia C. DeLamotte
University of Michigan Press, 2004
"The question of souls is old; we demand our bodies, now." These words are not from a feminist manifesto of the late twentieth century, but from a fiery speech given a hundred years earlier by Voltairine de Cleyre, a leading anarchist and radical thinker. A contemporary of Emma Goldman---who called her "the most gifted and brilliant anarchist woman America ever produced"---de Cleyre was a significant force in a major social movement that sought to transform American society and culture at its root. But she belongs to a group of late-nineteenth-century freethinkers, anarchists, and sex-radicals whose writing continues to be excluded from the U.S. literary and historical canon.

Gates of Freedom considers de Cleyre's speeches, letters, and essays, including her most well known essay, "Sex Slavery." Part I brings current critical concerns to bear on de Cleyre's writings, exploring her contributions to the anarchist movement, her analyses of justice and violence, and her views on women, sexuality, and the body. Eugenia DeLamotte demonstrates both de Cleyre's literary significance and the importance of her work to feminist theory, women's studies, literary and cultural studies, U.S. history, and contemporary social and cultural analysis. Part II presents a thematically organized selection of de Cleyre's stirring writings, making Gates of Freedom appealing to scholars, students, and anyone interested in Voltairine de Cleyre's fascinating life and rousing work.
Eugenia C. DeLamotte is Associate Professor of English, Arizona State University.
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A Generation of Women
Education in the Lives of Progressive Reformers
Ellen Condliffe Lagemann
Harvard University Press, 1979

This is a thorough evaluation of the experience shared by a crucial generation of American women, widely known but never fully understood: the progressive social reformers of the early twentieth century. Lagemann portrays five such reformers, Grace Dodge, Maud Nathan, Lillian Wald, Leonora O'Reilly, and Rose Schneiderman, all of New York. Her work breaks new ground with its analysis of the forces that shaped the development of these women, their personalities, their careers, and their consciousness.

Lagemann's concern is education--not in the limited sense of going to college, but education as a lifelong "process of interaction that changes the self." She deals with the combined influences of pedagogy--especially that of parents, vocational mentors, and colleagues--work, and feminism. Lagemann skillfully demonstrates the effects of social, cultural, economic, and intellectual currents on the education of women in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

The relationships Lagemann shows between education and individual achievement and between education and social change create a new understanding of feminism and progressivism in the early twentieth century.

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Going to Boston
Harriet Robinson's Journey to New Womanhood
Claudia L. Bushman
University Press of New England, 2017
As a poet, author, and keen observer of life in 1870s Boston, Harriet Robinson played an essential—if occasionally underappreciated—role in the women’s suffrage movement during Boston’s golden age. Robinson flourished after leaving behind her humble roots in the mill town of Lowell, Massachusetts, deciding to spend a year in Boston discovering the culture and politics of America’s Athens. An honest, bright, and perceptive witness, she meets with Emerson and Julia Ward Howe, with whom she organizes the New England Women’s Club, and drinks deeply of the city’s artistic and cultural offerings. Noted historian Claudia L. Bushman proves a wonderful guide as she weaves together Robinson’s journal entries, her own learned commentary, and selections from other nineteenth-century writers to reveal the impact of the industrial revolution and the rise of women’s suffrage as seen through the experience of one articulate, engaged participant. Going to Boston will appeal to readers interested in both the history of Boston and the history of American progress itself.
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Her Brilliant Career
The Life of Stella Miles Franklin
Jill Roe
Harvard University Press, 2009

Born in the Australian bush, Stella Miles Franklin became an international publishing sensation in 1901, at the age of 21, with My Brilliant Career, whose portrayal of an ambitious and independent woman defying social expectations still captivates readers. In a magisterial biography, Jill Roe details Miles’ extraordinary life.

Early success launched Miles into influential literary and socialist circles in Sydney and Melbourne, where she met Banjo Paterson (composer of “Waltzing Matilda” and author of The Man from Snowy River) and suffragist Vida Goldstein (who introduced her to Christian Science). Researching the lives of working women, Miles disguised herself as a domestic for a year. She then lit out for adventure abroad, landing in San Francisco just after the Great Earthquake. At Jane Addams’ Hull House in Chicago, she joined the women’s labor movement, working for the National Women’s Trade Union League and writing for its magazine.

Moving to Britain in 1915, Miles joined the war cause and served in Macedonia as a hospital orderly and then worked in London for various feminist and progressive causes, including the National Housing Council. Always she wrote, becoming a prolific author of plays as well as novels and archetypal bush stories. Returning to Australia in the 1930s, she supported women’s causes and promoted Australian writers, leaving her estate to endow the nation’s premier literary award.

The culmination of decades of research in thousands of papers left by Miles, Her Brilliant Career stands as the definitive life of this remarkable writer and feminist.

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In Common Cause
The “Conservative” Frances Trollope and the “Radical” Frances Wright
Susan S. Kissel
University of Wisconsin Press, 1993
Nineteenth century writers and reformers Frances Trollope and Frances Wright have always been viewed as ideological opposites. In Common Cause: The "Conservative" Frances Trollope and the "Radical" Frances Wright looks at their political commonalities rather than their differences. It traces the way in which these two women have been stereotyped and denigrated for over 100 years. It considers the many contributions of both women to the most significant political movements of their times: anti-slavery; women's rights; and industrial reform.
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Inside Agitators
Australian Femocrats and the State
Hester Eisenstein
Temple University Press, 1996
Is a "woman-friendly" state possible? Can women achieve full social citizenship? At a time when backlash against people of color, women, and the poor is accelerating, this account of the experiences of Australian feminists is illuminating: Australian feminists succeeded in making women's issues like child care and domestic violence part of the main stream political agenda. Inside Agitators is the first full-length study of the Australian femocrats published in the United States. Hester Eisenstein (herself a former femocrat) chronicles the efforts of a cohort of women, feminist bureaucrats, who changed the gender landscape--from the initial invitation to enter government by Labor in 1973 to the rise of neo-liberalism and the contemporary attack on the public sector. Connecting the femocrats to specifically Australian features of political culture and political economy, this book analyzes the implicit political theory of the femocrats. Eisenstein addresses the issues of strategies for social change, class, race and racism, sexuality and sexual politics, "gendered" experience, and accountability to the women's movement. This important study explores the possibilities and limits of the contemporary attempt by the women's movement to constitute women as a "gender interest," and to use state power as an instrument for social change.
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“It Changed My Life”
Writings on the Women’s Movement, With a New Introduction
Betty Friedan
Harvard University Press, 1998

“It changed my life.” That’s what Betty Friedan heard over and over from women throughout the United States after the publication of her radical best-seller, The Feminine Mystique, sparked the beginning of contemporary feminism. The first stirring and uncertain years of the women’s movement helped many women put a name to the sense of invisibility, powerlessness, and depression that Friedan famously called “the problem that has no name.”

First published in 1976, “It Changed My Life” is a compellingly readable collection of reports from the front, back in the days less than a generation ago when women were routinely shut out of the professions and higher education, underpaid, condescended to, and harassed without consequences to the harassers. The book describes the political campaigns for equal pay and job opportunities, for the outlawing of sex discrimination, for the Equal Rights Amendment, and for legalized abortion, the creation of National Organization for Women, the National Abortion Rights Action League, and the National Women’s Political Caucus, and analyzes the antifeminist backlashes. Encounters with Simone de Beauvoir and Indira Gandhi are juxtaposed with moving and vivid personal struggles of many ordinary women. Among those women was Friedan herself, who frankly recorded her astonishment, gratification, and anger as the movement she helped create grew beyond all her hopes, and then raced beyond her control into a sexual politics she found disturbing.

A classic of modern feminism, “It Changed My Life” brings back years of struggle for those who were there, and recreates the past for the readers of today who were not yet born during these struggles for the opportunities and respect to which women can now feel entitled. In changing women’s lives, the women’s movement has changed everything.

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Jeannette Rankin
A Political Woman
James J. Lopach
University Press of Colorado, 2015
"If I had my life to live over, I would do it all again, but this time I would be nastier."
—Jeannette Rankin (1880-1973)

Jeannette Rankin, the first woman elected to Congress, stands tall among American icons. The representative from Montana won her seat at a time when women didn't have the right to vote in most states. Her firm stances inspired both admiration and fury across party lines, and she gained nearly canonical status among feminists and pacifists. In Jeannette Rankin: A Political Woman, James Lopach and Jean Luckowski demythologize Rankin, showing her to be a talented, driven, and deeply divided woman.

Until now, no biography has explored Rankin's inconsistencies. The authors extensively consulted the correspondence of her family members and contemporaries, uncovering ties between her politics and her familial and personal relationships. They reveal how she succeeded through her wealthy brother's influence as well as her own extraordinary efforts; how she drew inspiration not from her rural roots but from the radical hotbed of Greenwich Village; and how she championed an independent, woman-centered life while deferring to family.

Revealing her complexities along with her accomplishments, Jeannette Rankin: A Political Woman will be the definitive biography of this path-breaking politician for years to come.
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Laura Méndez de Cuenca
Mexican Feminist, 1853–1928
Mílada Bazant; Foreword by Mary Kay Vaughan
University of Arizona Press, 2018
Laura Méndez de Cuenca—poet, teacher, editor, writer, and feminist—dared to bypass the cultural traditions of her time.

In the early 1870s, when conservative religious thought permeated all aspects of Mexican life, she was one of very few women to gain admission to an extraordinary constellation of male poets, playwrights, and novelists, who were also the publicists and statesmen of the time. She entered this world through her poetry, intellect, curiosity, assertiveness, but her personal life was fraught with tragedy: she had a child out of wedlock by poet Manuel Acuña, who killed himself shortly thereafter. She later married another poet, Agustín Fidencio Cuenca, and had seven other children. All but two of her children died, as did Agustín.

As a penniless young widow facing social rejection, Laura became a teacher and an important force in Mexico’s burgeoning educational reform program. She moved abroad—first to San Francisco, then St. Louis, then Berlin. In these places where she was not known and women had begun to move confidently in the public sphere, she could walk freely, observe, mingle, make friends across many circles, learn, think, and express her opinions. She wrote primarily for a Mexican public and always returned to Mexico because it was her country’s future that she strove to create.

Now, for the first time in English, Mílada Bazant shares with us the trajectory of a leading Mexican thinker who applied the power of the pen to human feeling, suffering, striving, and achievement.
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Left of Karl Marx
The Political Life of Black Communist Claudia Jones
Carole Boyce Davies
Duke University Press, 2007
In Left of Karl Marx, Carole Boyce Davies assesses the activism, writing, and legacy of Claudia Jones (1915–1964), a pioneering Afro-Caribbean radical intellectual, dedicated communist, and feminist. Jones is buried in London’s Highgate Cemetery, to the left of Karl Marx—a location that Boyce Davies finds fitting given how Jones expanded Marxism-Leninism to incorporate gender and race in her political critique and activism.

Claudia Cumberbatch Jones was born in Trinidad. In 1924, she moved to New York, where she lived for the next thirty years. She was active in the Communist Party from her early twenties onward. A talented writer and speaker, she traveled throughout the United States lecturing and organizing. In the early 1950s, she wrote a well-known column, “Half the World,” for the Daily Worker. As the U.S. government intensified its efforts to prosecute communists, Jones was arrested several times. She served nearly a year in a U.S. prison before being deported and given asylum by Great Britain in 1955. There she founded The West Indian Gazette and Afro-Asian Caribbean News and the Caribbean Carnival, an annual London festival that continues today as the Notting Hill Carnival. Boyce Davies examines Jones’s thought and journalism, her political and community organizing, and poetry that the activist wrote while she was imprisoned. Looking at the contents of the FBI file on Jones, Boyce Davies contrasts Jones’s own narration of her life with the federal government’s. Left of Karl Marx establishes Jones as a significant figure within Caribbean intellectual traditions, black U.S. feminism, and the history of communism.

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Letters and Orations
Cassandra Fedele
University of Chicago Press, 2000
By the end of the fifteenth century, Cassandra Fedele (1465-1558), a learned middle-class woman of Venice, was arguably the most famous woman writer and scholar in Europe. A cultural icon in her own time, she regularly corresponded with the king of France, lords of Milan and Naples, the Borgia pope Alexander VI, and even maintained a ten-year epistolary exchange with Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain that resulted in an invitation for her to join their court. Fedele's letters reveal the central, mediating role she occupied in a community of scholars otherwise inaccessible to women. Her unique admittance into this community is also highlighted by her presence as the first independent woman writer in Italy to speak publicly and, more importantly, the first to address philosophical, political, and moral issues in her own voice. Her three public orations and almost all of her letters, translated into English, are presented here for the first time.
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Life in the Writings of Storm Jameson
A Biography
Elizabeth Maslen
Northwestern University Press, 2014

Margaret Storm Jameson (1891–1986) is primarily known as a compelling essayist; her stature as a novelist and champion of the dispossessed is largely forgotten. In Life in the Writings of Storm Jameson, Elizabeth Maslen reveals a figure who held her own beside fellow British women writers, including Virginia Woolf; anticipated the Angry Young Women, such as Doris Lessing; and was an early champion of such European writers as Arthur Koestler and Czesław Miłosz. Jameson was a complex character whose politics were grounded in social justice; she was passionately antifascist—her novel In the Second Year (1936) raised the alarm about Nazism—but always wary of communism. An eloquent polemicist, Jameson was, as president of the British P.E.N. during the 1930s and 1940s, of invaluable assistance to refugee writers. Elizabeth Maslen’s biography introduces a true twentieth century hedgehog, whose essays and subtly experimental fiction were admired in Europe and the States.

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The Living of Charlotte Perkins Gilman
An Autobiography
Charlotte Perkins Gilman
University of Wisconsin Press, 1991

    Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1869-1935) was one of the leading intellectuals of the American women's movement in the first two decades of the twentieth century.  Moving beyond the struggle for suffrage, Gilman confronted an even larger problem—economic and social discrimination against women.  Her book, Women and Economics, published in 1898, was repeatedly printed and translated into seven languages.  She was a tireless traveler, lecturer, and writer and is perhaps best known for her dramatic short story, "The Yellow Wallpaper."  Gilman's autobiography gives us access to the life of a remarkable and courageous woman.
    Originally published in 1935, soon after Gilman's death, The Living of Charlotte Perkins Gilman has been out of print for several years.  This edition includes a new introduction by Gilman's noted biographer, Anne J. Lane.

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Living When Everything Changed
My Life in Academia
Mary Kay Thompson Tetreault
Rutgers University Press, 2019
Entering the academy at the dawn of the women’s rights movement in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the first generation of feminist academics had a difficult journey. With few female role models, they had to forge their own path and prove that feminist scholarship was a legitimate enterprise. Later, when many of these scholars moved into administrative positions, hoping to reform the university system from within, they encountered entrenched hierarchies, bureaucracies, and old boys’ networks that made it difficult to put their feminist principles into practice. 

In this compelling memoir, Mary Kay Thompson Tetreault describes how a Catholic girl from small-town Nebraska discovered her callings as a feminist, as an academic, and as a university administrator. She recounts her experiences at three very different schools: the small progressive Lewis & Clark College, the massive regional university of Cal State Fullerton, and the rapidly expanding Portland State University. Reflecting on both her accomplishments and challenges, she considers just how much second-wave feminism has transformed academia and how much reform is still needed. 

With remarkable candor and compassion, Thompson Tetreault provides an intimate personal look at an era when both women’s lives and university culture changed for good.

The Acknowledgments were inadvertently left out of the first printing of this book. We apologize for the oversight, and offer them here instead. Future printings will include this information. (https://d3tto5i5w9ogdd.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/29185420/Thompson-Tetreault-Acknowledgments.pdf)
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Living with His Camera
Jane Gallop
Duke University Press, 2003
Photography is usually written about from the point of view of either the photographer or the viewer. Living with His Camera offers a perspective rarely represented—that of the photographed subject. Dick Blau has been making art photographs of the people he lives with for more than thirty years; cultural theorist Jane Gallop has been living with him—and his camera—for twenty years.

Living with His Camera is Gallop’s nuanced meditation on photography and the place it has in her private life and in her family. A reflection on family, it attempts—like Blau’s photographs themselves—to portray the realities of family life beyond the pieties of conventional representations. Living with His Camera is about some of the most pressing issues of visuality and some of the most basic issues of daily life. Gallop considers intimate photographs of moments both dramatic and routine: of herself giving birth to son Max or crying in the midst of an argument with Blau, pouring herself cereal as Max colors at the breakfast table, or naked, sweeping the floor. With her trademark candor, humor, and critical acumen, Gallop mixes personal reflection with close readings of Roland Barthes’s Camera Lucida, Susan Sontag’s On Photography, Kathryn Harrison’s novel Exposure, and Pierre Bourdieu’s Photography.

Presenting his photographs and her text, Living with His Camera is a portrait of a couple whose professional activity is part of their private lives and whose private life is viewed through their professional gazes. While most of us set aside rigorous thought when we turn to the sentimental realm of home life, Gallop and Blau look at each other not only with great affection but also with the keen focus of a sharp, critical gaze.

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Love, Anarchy, & Emma Goldman
A Biography
Candace Serena Falk
Rutgers University Press, 2019
“What this remarkable book does . . . is to remind us of that passion, that revolutionary fervor, that camaraderie, that persistence in the face of political defeat and personal despair so needed in our time as in theirs.” —Howard Zinn

“Fascinating …With marvelous clarity and depth, Candace Falk illuminates for us an Emma Goldman shaped by her time yet presaging in her life the situation and conflicts of women in our time.” —Tillie Olsen

One of the most famous political activists of all time, Emma Goldman was also infamous for her radical anarchist views and her “scandalous” personal life. In public, Goldman was a firebrand, confidently agitating for labor reform, anarchism, birth control, and women’s independence. But behind closed doors she was more vulnerable, especially when it came to the love of her life. 

Reissued on the sesquicentennial of Emma Goldman's birth, Love, Anarchy, & Emma Goldman is an account of Goldman’s legendary career as a political activist. But it is more than that—it is the only biography of Emma Goldman. The flow of her life and words is at its core. Here, Candace Falk offers an intimate look at how Goldman’s passion for social reform dovetailed with her passion for one man: Chicago activist, hobo king, and red-light district gynecologist Ben Reitman. This takes us into the heart of their tumultuous love affair, finding that even as Goldman lectured on free love, she confronted her own intense jealousy. 
 
As director of the Emma Goldman papers, Falk had access to over 40,000 writings by Goldman—including her private letters and notes—and she draws upon these archives to give us a rare insight into this brilliant, complex woman’s thoughts. The result is both a riveting love story and a primer on an exciting, explosive era in American politics and intellectual life. 
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Love, Anarchy, & Emma Goldman
A Biography
Falk, Candace
Rutgers University Press, 1990
Candace Falk's biography captures Goldman's colorful life as a social and labor reformer, revolutionary, anarchist, feminist, agitator for free love and free speech, and advocate of birth control. And it gives the reader a rare glimpse into Goldman as a woman, alone, searching for the intimacy of a love relationship to match her radiant social vision. Falk explores the clash between Goldman's public vision and private life, focusing on her intimate relationship with Ben Reitman, Chicago's celebrated social reformer, hobo king, and red-light district gynecologist. During this passionate and stormy relationship, Goldman lectured in public about free love and women's independence, while in private she struggled with intense jealousy and longed for the comfort of a secure relationship. Falk's account draws upon a serendipitous discovery of a cache of intimate letters between Goldman and Reitman. Falk then goes beyond Goldman's ten-year relationship with Reitman, following Goldman's inner passions through her years of exile and later life. Written with a literary sensitivity, Falk tells a riveting story, consistently placing Goldman in the context of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century radicalism.
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A Love Letter to This Bridge Called My Back
Edited by gloria j. wilson, Joni B. Acuff, and Amelia M. Kraehe
University of Arizona Press, 2022
In 1981, Chicana feminist intellectuals Cherríe Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa published what would become a touchstone work for generations of feminist women of color—the seminal This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color. To celebrate and honor this important work, editors gloria j. wilson, Joni B. Acuff, and Amelia M. Kraehe offer new generations A Love Letter to This Bridge Called My Back.

In A Love Letter, creators illuminate, question, and respond to current politics, progressive struggles, transformations, acts of resistance, and solidarity, while also offering readers a space for renewal and healing. The central theme of the original Bridge is honored, exposing the lived realities of women of color at the intersections of race, class, gender, ethnicity, and sexuality, advancing those early conversations on what it means to be Third World feminist conscious.

A Love Letter recognizes the challenges faced by women of color in a twenty-first-century world of climate and economic crises, increasing gun violence, and ever-changing social media constructs for women of color. It also retains the clarion call Bridge set in motion, as Moraga wrote: “A theory in the flesh means one where the physical realities of our lives—our skin color, the land or concrete we grew up on, our sexual longing—all fuse to create a politic born of necessity.”
 
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Lucy Stone
Speaking Out for Equality
Kerr, Andrea M
Rutgers University Press, 1992
No study of women's history in the United States is complete without an account of Lucy Stone's role in the nineteenth-century drive for legal and political rights for women.This first fully documented biography of Stone describes her rapid rise to fame and power and her later attempt at an equitable mariage.

Lucy Stone was a Massachusetts newspaper editor, abolitionist, and charismatic orator for the women's rights movement in the last half of the nineteenth century. She was deeply involved in almost every reform issue of her time. Charles Sumner, Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Julia Ward Howe, Horace Greeley, and Louisa May Alcott counted themselves among her friends. Through her public speaking and her newspaper, the Woman's Journal, Stone became the most widely admired woman's rights spokeswoman of her era. In the nineteenth century, Lucy Stone was a household name.

Kerr begins with Stone's early roots in a poor family in western Massachusetts. She eventually graduated from Oberlin College and then became a full-time public speaker for an anti-slavery society and for women's rights. Despite Stone's strident anti-marriage ideology, she eventually wed Henry Brown Blackwell, and had her first child at the age of thirty-nine.

Although Kerr tells us about Stone's public accomplishments, she emphasizes Stone's personal struggle for autonomy. "Lucy Stone (Only)" was Stone's trademark signature following her marriage. Her refusal to surrender her birth name was one example of her determination to retain her individuality in an era where a woman's right to a separate identity ended with marriage.

Of equal importance is Kerr's discussion of Stone's relationship with Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, as well as her revisionist treatment of the schism which eventually divided Stone from Stanton and Anthony. Stone urged legislators not to ignore the need for women's suffrage as they rushed to enfranchise black males. Stanton and Anthony dwelt only on the need for women's suffrage, at the expense of black suffrage. Women's historians, the general reader, and historians of the family will appreciate the story of Stone's attempt to balance the conflicting demands of career and family.


 

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Medicine Stories
Essays for Radicals
Aurora Levins Morales
Duke University Press, 2019
In this revised and expanded edition of Medicine Stories, Aurora Levins Morales weaves together insights and lessons learned over a lifetime of activism to offer a new theory of social justice. Calling for a politics of integrity that recognizes the complicated wholeness of individual and collective lives, Levins Morales delves among the interwoven roots of multiple oppressions, exposing connections, crafting strategies, and uncovering the wellsprings of resilience and joy. Throughout these twenty-eight essays—twenty-one of which are new or extensively revised—she exposes the structures and mechanisms that silence voices and divide movements. The result is a medicine bag full of techniques and perspectives to build a universal solidarity that is flexible, nuanced, and strong enough to fundamentally shift our world toward justice. Intimately personal and globally relevant, Medicine Stories brings clarity and hope to tangled, emotionally charged social issues in beautiful and accessible language.
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Memoirs of an Early Arab Feminist
The Life and Activism of Anbara Salam Khalidi
Anbara Salam Khalidi
Pluto Press, 2013

Memoirs of an Early Arab Feminist is the first English translation of the memoirs of Anbara Salam Khalidi, the iconic Arab feminist. At a time when women are playing a leading role in the Arab Spring, this book brings to life an earlier period of social turmoil and women's activism through one remarkable life.

Anbara Salam was born in 1897 to a notable Sunni Muslim family of Beirut. She grew up in 'Greater Syria', in which unhindered travel between Beirut, Jerusalem and Damascus was possible, and wrote a series of newspaper articles calling on women to fight for their rights within the Ottoman Empire. In 1927 she caused a public scandal by removing her veil during a lecture at the American University of Beirut.

Later she translated Homer and Virgil into Arabic and fled from Jerusalem to Beirut following the establishment of Israel in 1948. She died in Beirut in 1986. These memoirs have long been acclaimed by Middle East historians as an essential resource for the social history of Beirut and the larger Arab world in the 19th and 20th centuries.

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Only Paradoxes to Offer
French Feminists and the Rights of Man
Joan W. Scott
Harvard University Press, 1996

When feminists argued for political rights in the context of liberal democracy they faced an impossible choice. On the one hand, they insisted that the differences between men and women were irrelevant for citizenship. On the other hand, by the fact that they acted on behalf of women, they introduced the very idea of difference they sought to eliminate. This paradox--the need both to accept and to refuse sexual difference in politics--was the constitutive condition of the long struggle by women to gain the right of citizenship. In this new book, remarkable in both its findings and its methodology, award-winning historian Joan Wallach Scott reads feminist history in terms of this paradox of sexual difference.

Focusing on four French feminist activists--Olympe de Gouges, who wrote the Declaration of the Rights of Woman and Citizen during the French Revolution; Jeanne Deroin, a utopian socialist and candidate for legislative office in 1848; Hubertine Auclert, the suffragist of the Third Republic; and Madeleine Pelletier, a psychiatrist in the early twentieth century who argued that women must "virilize" themselves in order to gain equality--Scott charts the repetitions and variations in feminist history. Again and again, feminists tried to prove they were individuals, according to the standards of individuality of their day. Again and again, they confronted the assumption that individuals were men. But when sexual difference was taken to be a fundamental difference, when only men were regarded as individuals and thus as citizens, how could women also be citizens? The imaginative and courageous answers feminists offered to these questions are the subject of this engaging book.

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The Only Woman in the Room
The Norma Paulus Story
Norma Paulus
Oregon State University Press, 2017
Norma Petersen Paulus grew up Depression-poor in Eastern Oregon, survived a bout with polio in her teens, taught herself to be a legal secretary, and graduated from law school with honors despite not attending college first. Anyone with such a story would be remarkable, but she was just getting started.
 
Paulus came from a family of Roosevelt Democrats, but when a friend campaigned for a Republican seat in the state legislature, she switched parties. As she put it, “The Republicans were in politics for all the right reasons.” Amid the nationwide political upheavals of the late 1960s, Oregon’s Republicans, led by popular governor Tom McCall, seemed to be her kind of people—principled, pragmatic, and committed to education, the environment, and equality for all citizens under the law.
 
Paulus’s appointment by Governor McCall to the Marion-Polk Boundary Commission in 1969, a precursor to Oregon’s urban growth boundaries, helped launched her on a long and distinguished career of public service. She ran successfully for the Oregon House of Representatives in 1970, the first women to do so in the district. After three terms in the House, where she championed environmental causes, women’s rights and government transparency, she was elected Oregon’s Secretary of State in 1976—the first woman to hold that office and be elected to a statewide office in Oregon. She was the Republican candidate for governor in 1986, served a stint on the Northwest Power and Conservation Council, went on to become Oregon’s superintendent of public instruction, and headed the Oregon Historical Society.
 
During her years of public service, spanning the 1970s through the early 2000s, Norma Paulus occupied a distinctive niche in Oregon’s progressive political ecosystem. Her vivid personality and strong convictions endeared her to a broad swath of citizens. Beautiful and opinionated, charming and forceful, Paulus was widely covered in statewide and national newspapers and television during her eventful, sometimes controversial career. Now, The Only Woman in the Room sums up her life and work in a lively, anecdotal history that will appeal to historians, political scientists, newshounds, and ordinary citizens alike.
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Opening Doors to Quaker Religious Education
Mary Snyder
QuakerPress, 1999

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A Pan-American Life
Selected Poetry and Prose of Muna Lee
Muna Lee; Edited and with biography by Jonathan M. Cohen
University of Wisconsin Press, 2004
The extraordinary Muna Lee was a brilliant writer, lyric poet, translator, diplomat, feminist and rights activist, and, above all, a Pan-Americanist. During the twentieth century, she helped shape the literary and social landscapes of the Americas. This is the first biography of her remarkable life and a collection of her diverse writings, which  embody her vision of Pan America, an old concept that remains new and meaningful today.
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Pauli Murray
Autobiography Black Activist Feminist Lawyer
Pauli Murray
University of Tennessee Press, 1989

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Political Woman
Florence
Sharon Strom
Temple University Press, 2001
Florence Hope Luscomb's life spanned nearly all of the twentieth century. Born into a remarkable family of abolitionists and progressive thinkers, the young Florence accompanied her feminist mother to lectures and political rallies, soon choosing a course of political engagement and social activism from which she never retreated.

Politcal Women counters the traditional narratives that place men at the center of political thinking and history. Showing how three generations of Luscomb's family had set the stage for her activism, this biography presents her story against the backdrop of Boston's politics and larger struggles for social justice. Luscomb participated in every significant social reform movement of her time -- from securing women's right to vote and supporting trade unionism to advocating an end to the war in Vietnam. Luscomb also ran for public office; she was narrowly defeated when she ran for Boston's city council in 1922. Although unsuccessful as a third-party candidate for Congress (in 1936 and 1950) and for Governor of Massachusetts (in 1952), she was one of the few women of her time to seek office. Independent, athletic, and spirited, she apparently never thought that traditional gender prescriptions applied to her. A practicing architect before the First World War, an exuberant hiker all her life, and a member in collective-living arrangements, Luscomb enjoyed a life of rich experiences and sustaining relationships.

In Florence Luscomb's biography, Sharon Hartman Strom suggests that although women were excluded from the activities and sites associated with conventional politics until recently, they did political work that gave purpose to their lives and affected political thinking in their communities, states, and ultimately the nation.
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Progressive Women in Conservative Times
Racial Justice, Peace, and Feminism
Lynn, Susan
Rutgers University Press, 1992

Susan Lynn explores women's progressive social reform efforts in the 1940s and 1950s, an era when women activists promoted a postwar vision of a society based on an expanded welfare state, a powerful labor movement, a strong tradition of civil liberties, racial equality, and a peaceful international order. Lynn focuses on two organizations, the YWCA and the American Friends Service Committee, to explore this agenda.

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Proper Women
Feminism and the Politics of Respectability in Iran
Fae Chubin
Temple University Press, 2024
Proper Women tells the unprecedented story of an NGO-led “women’s empowerment” program in Tehran that was created to serve young, impoverished Iranians and Afghan refugees. Fae Chubin recounts the well-intentioned efforts of cosmopolitan NGO administrators whose loyalty to liberal feminist principles of individualism, sexual autonomy, and anti-traditionalism complicated their objective of empowering marginalized women.

Chubin brings attention to the varying class, ethnic, religious, and national identities of NGO staff and clients that shaped their differing understandings of oppression and justice. Her examination of the tensions within the organization reveals why the efforts of the NGO workers failed to gain purchase among the intended beneficiaries.

Proper Women concludes by encouraging feminist activists to not only examine the role of local politics and transnational connections in shaping their definitions of empowerment, but also consider the advantages of a justice-enhancing practice as opposed to justice monism for their target populations.
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Reading Arab Women's Autobiographies
Shahrazad Tells Her Story
By Nawar Al-Hassan Golley
University of Texas Press, 2003

Authors of autobiographies are always engaged in creating a "self" to present to their readers. This process of self-creation raises a number of intriguing questions: why and how does anyone choose to present herself or himself in an autobiography? Do women and men represent themselves in different ways and, if so, why? How do differences in culture affect the writing of autobiography in various parts of the world?

This book tackles these questions through a close examination of Arab women's autobiographical writings. Nawar Al-Hassan Golley applies a variety of western critical theories, including Marxism, colonial discourse, feminism, and narrative theory, to the autobiographies of Huda Shaarawi, Fadwa Tuqan, Nawal el-Saadawi, and others to demonstrate what these critical methodologies can reveal about Arab women's writing. At the same time, she also interrogates these theories against the chosen texts to see how adequate or appropriate these models are for analyzing texts from other cultures. This two-fold investigation sheds important new light on how the writers or editors of Arab women's autobiographies have written, documented, presented, and organized their texts.

[more]

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Reading Ronell
Edited by Diane Davis
University of Illinois Press, 2008

Avital Ronell has won worldwide acclaim for her work across literature and philosophy, psychoanalysis and popular culture, political theory and feminism, art and rhetoric, drugs and deconstruction. In works such as The Test Drive, Stupidity, Crack Wars, and The Telephone Book, she has perpetually raised new and powerful questions about how we think, what thinking does, and how we fool ourselves about the troubled space between thought and action.

In this collection, some of today's most distinguished and innovative thinkers turn their attention to Ronell's teaching, writing, and provocations, observing how Ronell reads and what comes from reading her. By reading Ronell, and reading Ronell reading, contributors examine the ethico-political implications of her radical dislocations and carefully explicate, extend, and explore the paraconcepts addressed in her works.

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Refounding Democracy through Intersectional Activism
How Progressive Era Feminists Redefined Who We Are, and What It Means Today
Wendy Sarvasy
Temple University Press, 2024
In Refounding Democracy through Intersectional Activism, Wendy Sarvasy recovers the unacknowledged Progressive Era social democratic feminist refounders who used collective political agency to reshape the body politic. Through intersectional activism, or the bridging of different movements, the refounders, who include Ida Wells-Barnett, Rose Schneiderman, and Jane Addams, created an intersectional, social democratic feminist understanding of democracy that allowed them to imagine their full inclusion.

Sarvasy shows how these activists worked to incorporate women by combining political democracy with the creation of a welfare state. They embedded this nation-state project within a new humanitarian transnational level as they evolved their multileveled social citizenship.

Refounding Democracy through Intersectional Activism demonstrates how a theory-activist dynamic played out in experimental socializing spaces and democratic conversations. It offers an inspirational method for intersectional activists today.
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Revolutionary Feminists
The Women's Liberation Movement in Seattle
Barbara Winslow
Duke University Press, 2023
Revolutionary Feminists tells the story of the radical women’s liberation movement in Seattle in the 1960s and 1970s from the perspective of a founding member, Barbara Winslow. Drawing on her collection of letters, pamphlets, and photographs as well as newspaper accounts, autobiographies, and interviews, Winslow emphasizes the vital role that Black women played in the women’s liberation movement to create meaningful intersectional coalitions in an overwhelmingly White city. Winslow brings the voices and visions of those she calls the movement’s “ecstatic utopians” to life. She charts their short-term successes and lasting achievements, from organizing women at work and campaigning for subsidized childcare to creating women-centered rape crisis centers, health clinics, and self-defense programs. The Seattle movement was essential to winning the first popular vote in the United States to liberalize abortion laws. Despite these achievements, Winslow critiques the failure of the movement's White members to listen to Black, Latina, Indigenous, and Asian American and Pacific Islander feminist activists. Reflecting on the Seattle movement’s accomplishments and shortcomings, Winslow offers a model for contemporary feminist activism.
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The Road to Seneca Falls
Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the First Woman's Rights Convention
Judith Wellman
University of Illinois Press, 2004
Feminists from 1848 to the present have rightly viewed the Seneca Falls convention as the birth of the women's rights movement in the United States and beyond. In The Road To Seneca Falls, Judith Wellman offers the first well documented, full-length account of this historic meeting in its contemporary context.                               
 
The convention succeeded by uniting powerful elements of the antislavery movement, radical Quakers, and the campaign for legal reform under a common cause. Wellman shows that these three strands converged not only in Seneca Falls, but also in the life of women's rights pioneer Elizabeth Cady Stanton. It is this convergence, she argues, that foments one of the greatest rebellions of modern times.
 
Rather than working heavy-handedly downward from their official "Declaration of Sentiments," Wellman works upward from richly detailed documentary evidence to construct a complex tapestry of causes that lay behind the convention, bringing the struggle to life. Her approach results in a satisfying combination of social, community, and reform history with individual and collective biographical elements. 
 
The Road to Seneca Falls challenges all of us to reflect on what it means to be an American trying to implement the belief that "all men and women are created equal," both then and now. A fascinating story in its own right, it is also a seminal piece of scholarship for anyone interested in history, politics, or gender.
 
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Seeking the One Great Remedy
Francis George Shaw and Nineteenth-Century Reform
Lorien Foote
Ohio University Press, 2003

A radical abolitionist and early feminist, Francis George Shaw (1809–1882) was a prominent figure in American reform and intellectual circles for five decades. He rejected capitalism in favor of a popular utopian socialist movement; during the Civil War and Reconstruction, he applied his radical principles to the Northern war effort and to freedmen’s organizations.

A partnership with Henry George in the late 1870s provided an international audience for Shaw’s alternative vision of society. Seeking the One Great Remedy is the biography of this remarkable and influential man. In compelling detail, author Lorien Foote depicts the many aspects and exploits of the Shaw family. Their activities provide a perspective on the course of American reform that calls into question previous interpretations of the reform movement of this period.

Francis George Shaw is perhaps best known as the father of Robert Gould Shaw, subject of the movie Glory. Francis and his wife, Sarah Blake Shaw, achieved considerable notoriety for their activities, including their effort to shape public opinion during the Civil War. Turning the tragic death of their son into a public relations and propaganda triumph, they altered Northern opinion about the war and shaped a historical perception of the famous Massachusetts Fifty-fourth that continues today.

Seeking the One Great Remedy argues that social radicalism was pervasive among elite reformers before and after the Civil War and finds in the dramatic story of Francis George Shaw a model of that cause.

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Selected Letters of Lucretia Coffin Mott
Lucretia Coffin Mott. Edited by Beverly Wilson Palmer: With the Assistance of Holly Byers Ochoa, Associate Editor, and Carol Faulkner, Editing Fellow
University of Illinois Press, 2002

This landmark volume collects Lucretia Mott's correspondence for the first time, highlighting the length and breadth of her work as an activist dedicated to reform of almost every kind and providing an intimate glimpse of her family life. 

Mott’s achievements left a mark on reform movements from abolition to women's rights. The letters cover her work in these causes as well as her founding of key antislavery organizations; her friendships with Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth; her efforts to bring Quakers into the abolitionist movement; and her part in organizing the 1848 Seneca Falls Woman's Rights Convention. Other correspondence cover her fifty-six-year marriage, the five children she raised to adulthood, and informal insights and news with and about her cherished family. 

An invaluable resource, Selected Letters of Lucretia Coffin Mott reveals the incisive mind, sense of mission, and level-headed personality that made this extraordinary figure a major force in nineteenth-century American life.

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The Selected Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony
Against an Aristocracy of Sex, 1866 to 1873
Gordon, Ann D
Rutgers University Press, 2000
Against an Aristocracy of Sex, 1866-1873 is the second of six volumes of the Selected Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. The entire collection documents the friendship and accomplishments of two of America's most important social and political reformers. Though neither Stanton nor Anthony lived to see passage of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920, each of them devoted fifty-five years to the cause of women's suffrage.

The second volume picks up the story of Stanton and Anthony at the end of 1866, when they launched their drive to make universal suffrage the priority of Reconstruction. Through letters, speeches, articles, and diaries, this volume recounts their years as editor and publisher of the weekly paper the Revolution, their extensive travels, and their lobbying with Congress. It touches on the bitter division that occurred among suffragists over such controversial topics as marriage and divorce, and a national debate over the citizenship of women under the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments. By the summer of 1873, when this volume ends, Anthony stood convicted of the federal crime of illegal citizenship of women under the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments. By the summer of 1873, when this volume ends, Anthony stood convicted of the federal crime of illegal voting. An irate Stanton warned, "I felt afresh the mockery of this boasted chivalry of man towards woman."
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The Selected Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony
An Awful Hush, 1895 to 1906
Gordon, Ann D
Rutgers University Press, 2012

The “hush” of the title comes suddenly, when first Elizabeth Cady Stanton dies on October 26, 1902, and three years later Susan B. Anthony dies on March 13, 1906. It is sudden because Stanton, despite near blindness and immobility, wrote so intently right to the end that editors had supplies of her articles on hand to publish several months after her death. It is sudden because Anthony, at the age of eighty-five, set off for one more transcontinental trip, telling a friend on the Pacific Coast, “it will be just as well if I come to the end on the cars, or anywhere, as to be at home.”

Volume VI of this extraordinary series of selected papers is inescapably about endings, death, and silence. But death happens here to women still in the fight. An Awful Hush is about reformers trained “in the school of anti-slavery” trying to practice their craft in the age of Jim Crow and a new American Empire. It recounts new challenges to “an aristocracy of sex,” whether among the bishops of the Episcopal church, the voters of California, or the trustees of the University of Rochester. And it sends last messages about woman suffrage. As Stanton wrote to Theodore Roosevelt on the day before she died, “Surely there is no greater monopoly than that of all men, in denying to all women a voice in the laws they are compelled to obey.”

With the publication of Volume VI, this series is now complete.

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The Selected Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony
In the School of Anti-Slavery, 1840 to 1866
Gordon, Ann D
Rutgers University Press, 1997

In the School of Anti-Slavery, 1840-1866 is the first of six volumes of The Selected Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. The collection documents the lives and accomplishments of two of America's most important social and political reformers. Though neither Stanton nor Anthony lived to see the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920, each of them devoted fifty-five years to the cause. Their names were synonymous with woman suffrage in the United States and around the world as they mobilized thousands of women to fight for the right to a political voice.

Opening when Stanton was twenty-five and Anthony was twenty, and ending when Congress sent the Fourteenth Amendment to the states for ratification, this volume recounts a quarter of a century of staunch commitment to political change. Readers will enjoy an extraordinary collection of letters, speeches, articles, and diaries that tells a story-both personal and public-about abolition, temperance, and woman suffrage.

When all six volumes are complete, the Selected Papers of Stanton and Anthony will contain over 2,000 texts transcribed from their originals, the authenticity of each confirmed or explained, with notes to allow for intelligent reading. The papers will provide an invaluable resource for examining the formative years of women's political participation in the United States. No library or scholar of women's history should be without this original and important collection.

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The Selected Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony
National Protection for National Citizens, 1873 to 1880
Gordon, Ann D
Rutgers University Press, 2003

National Protection for National Citizens, 1873 to 1880 is the third of six planned volumes of TheSelected Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. The entire collection documents the friendship and accomplishments of two of America's most important social and political reformers. Though neither Stanton nor Anthony lived to see passage of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920, each of them devoted fifty-five years to the cause of woman suffrage.

The third volume of the Selected Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony opens while woman suffragists await the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in cases testing whether the Constitution recognized women as voters within the terms of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments. At its close they are pursuing their own amendment to the Constitution and pressing the presidential candidates of 1880 to speak in its favor. Through their letters, speeches, articles, and diaries, the volume recounts the national careers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony as popular lecturers, their work with members of Congress to expand women's rights, their protests during the Centennial Year of 1876, and the launch that same year of their campaign for a Sixteenth Amendment.

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The Selected Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony
Their Place Inside the Body-Politic, 1887 to 1895
Gordon, Ann D
Rutgers University Press, 2009
Their Place Inside the Body-Politic is a phrase Susan B. Anthony used to express her aspiration for something women had not achieved, but it also describes the woman suffrage movement’s transformation into a political body between 1887 and 1895. This fifth volume opens in February 1887, just after the U.S. Senate had rejected woman suffrage, and closes in November 1895 with Stanton’s grand birthday party at the Metropolitan Opera House. 

At the beginning, Stanton and Anthony focus their attention on organizing the  International Council of Women in 1888.  Late in 1887, Lucy Stone’s American Woman Suffrage Association announced its desire to merge with the national association led by Stanton and Anthony.  Two years of fractious negotiations preceded the 1890 merger, and years of sharp disagreements followed.  Stanton made her last trip to Washington in 1892 to deliver her famous speech “Solitude of Self.”  Two states enfranchised women—Wyoming in 1890 and Colorado in 1893—but failures were numerous. Anthony returned to grueling fieldwork in South Dakota in 1890 and Kansas and New York in 1894.  From the campaigns of 1894, Stanton emerged as an advocate of educated suffrage and staunchly defended her new position.
 
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The Selected Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony
When Clowns Make Laws for Queens, 1880-1887
Gordon, Ann D
Rutgers University Press, 2006
When Clowns Make Laws for Queens, 1880 to 1887 is the fourth of six planned volumes of The Selected Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. The entire collection documents the friendship and accomplishments of two of America's most important social and political reformers.

At the opening of the fourth volume, suffragists hoped to speed passage of a sixteenth amendment to the Constitution through the creation of Select Committees on Woman Suffrage in Congress. Congress did not vote on the amendment until January 1887. Then, in a matter of a week, suffragists were dealt two major blows: the Senate defeated the amendment and the Senate and House reached agreement on the Edmunds-Tucker Act, disenfranchising all women in the Territory of Utah.

As evidenced in this volume's selection of letters, articles, speeches, and diary entries, these were years of frustration. Suffragists not only lost federal and state campaigns for partial and full voting rights, but also endured an invigorated opposition. In spite of these challenges, Stanton and Anthony continued to pursue their life's work. In 1880 both women retired from lecturing to devote attention to their monumental History of Woman Suffrage. They also opened a new transatlantic dialogue about woman's rights during a trip to Europe in 1883.

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A Sister's Memories
The Life and Work of Grace Abbott from the Writings of Her Sister, Edith Abbott
Edited by John Sorensen
University of Chicago Press, 2015
Among the great figures of Progressive Era reform, Edith and Grace Abbott are perhaps the least sung. Peers, companions, and coworkers of legendary figures such as Jane Addams and Sophonisba Breckinridge, the Abbott sisters were nearly omnipresent in turn-of-the-century struggles to improve the lives of the poor and the working-class people who fed the industrial engines and crowded into diverse city neighborhoods. Grace’s innovative role as a leading champion for the rights of children, immigrants, and women earned her a key place in the history of the social justice movement. As her friend and colleague Eleanor Roosevelt wrote, Grace was “one of the great women of our day . . . a definite strength which we could count on for use in battle.”

A Sister’s Memories is the inspiring story of Grace Abbott (1878–1939), as told by her sister and social justice comrade, Edith Abbott (1876–1957). Edith recalls in vivid detail the Nebraska childhood, impressive achievements, and struggles of her sister who, as head of the Immigrants’ Protective League and the U.S. Children’s Bureau, championed children’s rights from the slums of Chicago to the villages of Appalachia. Grace’s crusade can perhaps be best summed up in her well-known credo: “Justice for all children is the high ideal in a democracy.” Her efforts saved the lives of thousands of children and immigrants and improved those of millions more. These trailblazing social service works led the way to the creation of the Social Security Act and UNICEF and caused the press to nickname her “The Mother of America’s 43 Million Children.” She was the first woman in American history to be nominated to the presidential cabinet and the first person to represent the United States at a committee of the League of Nations.

Edited by Abbott scholar John Sorensen, A Sister’s Memories is destined to become a classic. It shapes the diverse writings of Edith Abbott into a cohesive narrative for the first time and fills in the gaps of our understanding of Progressive Era reforms. Readers of all backgrounds will find themselves engrossed by this history of the unstoppable, pioneer feminist Abbott sisters.
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Sophonisba Breckinridge
Championing Women's Activism in Modern America
Anya Jabour
University of Illinois Press, 2019
Sophonisba Breckinridge's remarkable career stretched from the Civil War to the Cold War. She took part in virtually every reform campaign of the Progressive and New Deal eras and became a nationally and internationally renowned figure. Her work informed women’s activism for decades and continues to shape progressive politics today. Anya Jabour's biography rediscovers this groundbreaking American figure. After earning advanced degrees in politics, economics, and law, Breckinridge established the University of Chicago's School of Social Service Administration, which became a feminist think tank that promoted public welfare policy and propelled women into leadership positions. In 1935, Breckinridge’s unremitting efforts to provide government aid to the dispossessed culminated in her appointment as an advisor on programs for the new Social Security Act. A longtime activist in international movements for peace and justice, Breckinridge also influenced the formation of the United Nations and advanced the idea that "women’s rights are human rights." Her lifelong commitment to social justice created a lasting legacy for generations of progressive activists.
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Stanton in Her Own Time
A Biographical Chronicle of Her Life, Drawn from Recollections, Interviews, and Memoirs by Family, Friends, and Associates
Noelle A. Baker
University of Iowa Press, 2016

Among nineteenth-century women’s rights reformers, Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815–1902) stands out for the maternal and secular advocacy that shaped her activism and public reception. A wife and mother of seven, she was also a prolific writer, transatlantic women’s rights leader, popular lecturer, congressional candidate, canny historian, and freethought champion. Her lifelong interest in women’s sexual and reproductive rights and late efforts to reform institutional religion are as relevant to our time as they were to her own.

Stanton’s professional life lasted a half-century, ranging from antebellum women’s rights organization and oratory, to a post–Civil War career as a lyceum lecturer, to a late-century role as an incisive religious and cultural critic. Acutely aware of the medical, religious, legal, and educational barriers to women’s independence, she advocated for married women’s right to vote, obtain a divorce, gain custody of their children, and own property. As she grew more radical over the years, she also demanded judicial reform, the separation of church and state, free love, progressive coeducational opportunities, and women’s right to limit their fertility.  

In this richly contextualized collection of primary sources, Noelle A. Baker brings together accounts of Stanton’s life and ideas from both well-known and recently recovered figures. From the teacher chiding an assertive young woman to erstwhile allies worrying about her growing radicalism, their voices paint a vivid portrait of a woman of vaunting ambition, powerhouse intellect, and her share of human failings. 

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The Story I Tell Myself
A Venture in Existentialist Autobiography
Hazel E. Barnes
University of Chicago Press, 1997
Best known as the writer who introduced French existentialism to English-speaking readers through her translation of Sartre's Being and Nothingness, Hazel E. Barnes has written an autobiography that is both the success story of a professional woman as well as a profoundly moving reflection on growing older. Transcending the personal details of her life, Barnes' memoir stands as an important contribution to the intellectual history of our century.

"An intimate record of our times and of the ongoing issues that challenge us to define ourselves over and over again."—Kirkus Reviews

"An engaging autobiography that spans not only [Barnes'] self-identified period of 'flourishing' but virtually all the twentieth century."—Library Journal

"Thoughtful, gracefully written reflections. . . . Readers will be glad they pursued an unusual woman's intellectual and personal journey."—Booklist

"An accessible, wonderfully written book packed with wisdom and insight."—Denver Post

"Absorbing and satisfying."—Gertrude Reif Hughes, Women's Review of Books
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Sylvia Pankhurst
A Life in Radical Politics
Mary Davis
Pluto Press, 1999

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Telling to Live
Latina Feminist Testimonios
Latina Feminist Group
Duke University Press, 2001
Telling to Live embodies the vision that compelled Latina feminists to engage their differences and find common ground. Its contributors reflect varied class, religious, ethnic, racial, linguistic, sexual, and national backgrounds. Yet in one way or another they are all professional producers of testimonios—or life stories—whether as poets, oral historians, literary scholars, ethnographers, or psychologists. Through coalitional politics, these women have forged feminist political stances about generating knowledge through experience. Reclaiming testimonio as a tool for understanding the complexities of Latina identity, they compare how each made the journey to become credentialed creative thinkers and writers. Telling to Live unleashes the clarifying power of sharing these stories.
The complex and rich tapestry of narratives that comprises this book introduces us to an intergenerational group of Latina women who negotiate their place in U.S. society at the cusp of the twenty-first century. These are the stories of women who struggled to reach the echelons of higher education, often against great odds, and constructed relationships of sustenance and creativity along the way. The stories, poetry, memoirs, and reflections of this diverse group of Puerto Rican, Chicana, Native American, Mexican, Cuban, Dominican, Sephardic, mixed-heritage, and Central American women provide new perspectives on feminist theorizing, perspectives located in the borderlands of Latino cultures.
This often heart wrenching, sometimes playful, yet always insightful collection will interest those who wish to understand the challenges U.S. society poses for women of complex cultural heritages who strive to carve out their own spaces in the ivory tower.

Contributors. Luz del Alba Acevedo, Norma Alarcón, Celia Alvarez, Ruth Behar, Rina Benmayor, Norma E. Cantú, Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Gloria Holguín Cuádraz, Liza Fiol-Matta, Yvette Flores-Ortiz, Inés Hernández-Avila, Aurora Levins Morales, Clara Lomas, Iris Ofelia López, Mirtha N. Quintanales, Eliana Rivero, Caridad Souza, Patricia Zavella

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Things No Longer There
A Memoir of Losing Sight and Finding Vision
Susan Krieger
University of Wisconsin Press, 2005
    Things No Longer There is a lovingly crafted collection of personal stories about the author's struggle toward enlightenment while losing her eyesight. It is also, more broadly, about invisible landscapes—places of the heart that linger long after they have disappeared from the world outside. In these ten brief tales and one novella-length intimate drama, Susan Krieger takes us on a series of adventures in vision, a journey both inward and to various parts of the country. We travel with her as she goes birdwatching before sunrise in the New Mexico desert, learns to walk with a white cane, revisits an old love, returns to a summer camp of her youth, and reflects on the nature of blindness and sight.
    Krieger's touching memoir explores the ways that outer landscapes may change and sight may be lost, but inner visions persist, giving meaning, jarring the senses with a very different picture than what appears before the eyes. This book will reward both the general reader and those interested in disability studies, feminist ethnography, and lesbian studies.
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To Beijing and Beyond
Pittsburgh and the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women
Janice Auth
University of Pittsburgh Press, 1998
Documents 1995 UN Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. Forty three essays by men and women who attended the conference tell of their experiences and how they’ve applied what they learned at home.

The words of these college presidents, students, teachers, homemakers, retirees, writers, clergy, and entrepreneurs who participated in the UN Fourth World Conference on Women document the remarkable initiative, energy, and vision of those who began and continue to coordinate the activities of Pittsburgh/Beijing ’95 and Beyond. Auth also offers background information on the three previous UN Women’s Conferences, outlines the work that has been accomplished since the 1995 conference, and the plans for implementing the Beijing Platform for Action at the local level. Her remarks and the stories she has collected offer an intimate portrayal of an historical event that was largely under-reported by popular media. Essential reading for anyone who wants to know what really happened and what they can do now.
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Unruly Souls
The Digital Activism of Muslim and Christian Feminists
Kristin M. Peterson
Rutgers University Press, 2022
Amid growing digital activism to address gender-based violence, institutional racism, and homophobia in U.S. society, Unruly Souls explores the intersectional feminist activism among young people within Islam and Evangelical Christianity. These religious misfits—marginalized from traditional religious spaces due to their sexuality, gender, or race—employ the creative tactics of digital media in their work to seek justice and to display their fundamental equality in the eyes of God. Through an analysis of various digital projects from hip-hop music videos and Instagram accounts to Twitter hashtags and podcasts, Kristin Peterson argues that the hybrid, flexible, playful, and sensory nature of digital media facilitate intersectional feminist activism within and beyond religious communities. Drawing on work from queer theory, decolonial theory, and Black feminist theory, this study explores how those who have been marginalized are able to effectively deploy their disregarded status along with digital media tactics to cultivate empathetic communities for those recovering from religious trauma.
 
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A Very Dangerous Woman
Martha Wright and Women's Rights
Sharon H. Penney
University of Massachusetts Press, 2004
A very dangerous woman is what Martha Coffin Wright's conservative neighbors considered her, because of her work in the women's rights and abolition movements. In 1848, Wright and her older sister Lucretia Mott were among the five brave women who organized the historic Seneca Falls Women's Rights Convention. Wright remained a prominent figure in the women's movement until her death in 1875 at age sixty-eight, when she was president of the National Woman Suffrage Association. At age twenty-six, she attended the 1833 founding of the American Anti-Slavery Society and later presided over numerous antislavery meetings, including two in 1861 that were disrupted by angry antiabolitionist mobs. Active in the Underground Railroad, she sheltered fugitive slaves and was a close friend and supporter of Harriet Tubman.

In telling Wright's story, the authors make good use of her lively letters to her family, friends, and colleagues, including Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. These letters reveal Wright's engaging wit and offer an insider's view of nineteenth-century reform and family life. Her correspondence with slaveholding relatives in the South grew increasingly contentious with the approach of the Civil War. One nephew became a hero of the Confederacy with his exploits at the Battle of Fredericksburg, and her son in the Union artillery was seriously wounded at Gettysburg while repelling Pickett's Charge.

Wright's life never lacked for drama. She survived a shipwreck, spent time at a frontier fort, experienced the trauma of the deaths of a fiancé, her first husband, and three of her seven children, and navigated intense conflicts within the women's rights and abolition movements. Throughout her tumultuous career, she drew on a reservoir of humor to promote her ideas and overcome the many challenges she faced. This accessible biography, written with the general reader in mind, does justice to her remarkable life.
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Voice Lessons
By Alice Embree
University of Texas Press, 2021

Voice Lessons explores the rich personal and political terrain of Alice Embree, a 1960s activist and convert to the women’s liberation movement of the 1970s, bringing a woman’s perspective to a transformational time in US history. This riveting memoir traces the author’s roots in segregated Austin and her participation in efforts to integrate the University of Texas. It follows her antiwar activism from a vigil in front of President Lyndon Johnson’s ranch in 1965 to a massive protest after the shootings at Kent State in 1970. Embree’s activism brought her and the Students for a Democratic Society into conflict with Frank Erwin, the powerful chairman of the UT Board of Regents, and inspired a campus free speech movement. She recounts her experiences living in New York during the tumultuous years of 1968 and 1969, including the Columbia University strike and the Woodstock music festival. She also tells about protesting at the Chicago Democratic Convention, her interactions with Yippies and poets, and her travels to Chile, Cuba, and Mexico. Embree highlights the radical roots of the women’s liberation movement in Austin and the audacious women’s community that challenged gender roles, fought for reproductive justice, and inspired a lifetime of activism.

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When a Flower Is Reborn
The Life and Times of a Mapuche Feminist
Rosa Isolde Reuque Paillalef, Edited, translated, and with an introduction by Florencia E. Mallon
Duke University Press, 2002
A pathbreaking contribution to Latin American testimonial literature, When a Flower Is Reborn is activist Rosa Isolde Reuque Paillalef’s chronicle of her leadership within the Mapuche indigenous rights movement in Chile. Part personal reflection and part political autobiography, it is also the story of Reuque’s rediscovery of her own Mapuche identity through her political and human rights activism over the past quarter century. The questions posed to Reuque by her editor and translator, the distinguished historian Florencia Mallon, are included in the text, revealing both a lively exchange between two feminist intellectuals and much about the crafting of the testimonial itself. In addition, several conversations involving Reuque’s family members provide a counterpoint to her story, illustrating the variety of ways identity is created and understood.

A leading activist during the Pinochet dictatorship, Reuque—a woman, a Catholic, and a Christian Democrat—often felt like an outsider within the male-dominated, leftist Mapuche movement. This sense of herself as both participant and observer allows for Reuque’s trenchant, yet empathetic, critique of the Mapuche ethnic movement and of the policies regarding indigenous people implemented by Chile’s post-authoritarian government. After the 1990 transition to democratic rule, Reuque collaborated with the government in the creation of the Indigenous Development Corporation (CONADI) and the passage of the Indigenous Law of 1993. At the same time, her deepening critiques of sexism in Chilean society in general, and the Mapuche movement in particular, inspired her to found the first Mapuche feminist organization and participate in the 1996 International Women’s Conference in Beijing. Critical of the democratic government’s inability to effectively address indigenous demands, Reuque reflects on the history of Mapuche activism, including its disarray in the early 1990s and resurgence toward the end of the decade, and relates her hopes for the future.

An important reinvention of the testimonial genre for Latin America’s post-authoritarian, post-revolutionary era, When a Flower Is Reborn will appeal to those interested in Latin America, race and ethnicity, indigenous people’s movements, women and gender, and oral history and ethnography.

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With the Weathermen
The Personal Journal of a Revolutionary Woman
Susan Stern and Edited and with an introduction by Laura Browder
Rutgers University Press, 2007
Drugs. Sex. Revolutionary violence. From its first pages, Susan Stern's memoir With the Weathermen provides a candid, first-hand look at the radical politics and the social and cultural environment of the New Left during the late 1960s.

The Weathermen--a U.S.-based, revolutionary splinter group of Students for a Democratic Society--advocated the overthrow of the government and capitalism, and toward that end, carried out a campaign of bombings, jailbreaks, and riots throughout the United States. In With the Weathermen Stern traces her involvement with this group, and her transformation from a shy, married graduate student into a go-go dancing, street-fighting "macho mama." In vivid and emotional language, she describes the attractions and difficulties of joining a collective radical group and in maintaining a position within it.

Stern's memoir offers a rich description of the raw and rough social dynamics of this community, from its strict demands to "smash monogamy," to its sometimes enforced orgies, and to the demeaning character assassination that was led by the group's top members. She provides a distinctly personal and female perspective on the destructive social functionality and frequently contradictory attitudes toward gender roles and women's rights within the New Left.

Laura Browder's masterful introduction situates Stern's memoir in its historical context, examines the circumstances of its writing and publication, and describes the book's somewhat controversial reception by the public and critics alike.
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Women Build the Welfare State
Performing Charity and Creating Rights in Argentina, 1880–1955
Donna J. Guy
Duke University Press, 2009
In this pathbreaking history, Donna J. Guy shows how feminists, social workers, and female philanthropists contributed to the emergence of the Argentine welfare state through their advocacy of child welfare and family-law reform. From the creation of the government-subsidized Society of Beneficence in 1823, women were at the forefront of the child-focused philanthropic and municipal groups that proliferated first to address the impact of urbanization, European immigration, and high infant mortality rates, and later to meet the needs of wayward, abandoned, and delinquent children. Women staffed child-centered organizations that received subsidies from all levels of government. Their interest in children also led them into the battle for female suffrage and the campaign to promote the legal adoption of children. When Juan Perón expanded the welfare system during his presidency (1946–1955), he reorganized private charitable organizations that had, until then, often been led by elite and immigrant women.

Drawing on extensive research in Argentine archives, Guy reveals significant continuities in Argentine history, including the rise of a liberal state that subsidized all kinds of women’s and religious groups. State and private welfare efforts became more organized in the 1930s and reached a pinnacle under Juan Perón, when men took over the welfare state and philanthropic and feminist women’s influence on child-welfare activities and policy declined. Comparing the rise of Argentina’s welfare state with the development of others around the world, Guy considers both why women’s child-welfare initiatives have not received more attention in historical accounts and whether the welfare state emerges from the top down or from the bottom up.

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Women's Activism in Contemporary Russia
Linda Racioppi
Temple University Press, 1997
Through in-depth interviews with activists, the authors provide a broad and thorough introduction to the emerging women's movement and women's organizations in Russia. The focus is on the development of women's activism in late Soviet and post-Soviet Russia and the challenges for activists in a time of resurgent nationalism and turmoil over democratic reform.

Linda Racioppi and Katherine O'Sullivan See present a concise history of women's situation in tsarist Soviet Russia, which shows how their ability to organize was constrained by social strictures and state policies. They also analyze how the state-sponsored Soviet Women's Committee and new groups like the Independent Women's Forum, the Women's League, and the International Institute for Entrepreneurial Development responded to the challenges and opportunities of the transition. The authors examine the dynamics among these  groups as well. The personal life histories of the activists reflect the ways women have  responded to the changing political, economic, and social landscape in the former Soviet Union.
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