front cover of Bitter Milk
Bitter Milk
Women and Teaching
Madeleine R. Grumet
University of Massachusetts Press, 1988
The text is arranged in a pattern that mirrors Grumet's argument that women who teach make this passage between the so-called public and private worlds daily and that is also what we teach children to do. The chapters go back and forth between the experience of domesticity and the experience of teaching, between being with one's own children and being with the children of others, between being the child of one's own mother and the teacher of another mother's child, between feeling and form, family and colleagues.

The first and last chapters address the familial relations that fall under the category of reproduction, a frame designed to emphasize the relations of reproduction and their importance to educational theory. The chapters closest to this margin are those that address women's work in schools, and the juxtaposition is chosen to accentuate the dialectical relation of our public and private meanings. The middle chapters are the ones most directly concerned with curriculum, that provisional ground that Grumet is naming as our mediating space, the place where we can heal. The fundamental argument of this text is that knowledge evolves in human relationships.

front cover of The Education of Betsey Stockton
The Education of Betsey Stockton
An Odyssey of Slavery and Freedom
Gregory Nobles
University of Chicago Press, 2022
A perceptive and inspiring biography of an extraordinary woman born into slavery who, through grit and determination, became a historic social and educational leader.
The life of Betsey Stockton (ca. 1798–1865) is a remarkable story of a Black woman’s journey from slavery to emancipation, from antebellum New Jersey to the Hawai‘ian Islands, and from her own self-education to a lifetime of teaching others—all told against the backdrop of the early United States’ pervasive racism. It’s a compelling chronicle of a critical time in American history and a testament to the courage and commitment of a woman whose persistence grew into a potent form of resistance.

When Betsey Stockton was a child, she was “given, as a slave” to the household of Rev. Ashbel Green, a prominent pastor and later the president of what is now Princeton University. Although she never went to school, she devoured the books in Green’s library. After being emancipated, she used that education to benefit other people of color, first in Hawai‘i as a missionary, then Philadelphia, and, for the last three decades of her life, Princeton—a college town with a genteel veneer that never fully hid its racial hostility. Betsey Stockton became a revered figure in Princeton’s sizeable Black population, a founder of religious and educational institutions, and a leader engaged in the day-to-day business of building communities.

In this first book-length telling of Betsey Stockton’s story, Gregory Nobles illuminates both a woman and her world, following her around the globe, and showing how a determined individual could challenge her society’s racial obstacles from the ground up. It’s at once a revealing lesson on the struggles of Stockton’s times and a fresh inspiration for our own.

front cover of Feminine Principles & Women's Experience in American Composition & Rhetoric
Feminine Principles & Women's Experience in American Composition & Rhetoric
Louise Phelps
University of Pittsburgh Press, 1995

In this unique collection, the editors and authors examine, against a rich historical background, the complex contributions that women have made to composition and rhetoric in American education. Using varied and at times experimental modes of presentation to portray teachers and learners at work, including the very young and the elderly, the text provides a generous and fresh feminine perspective on the field.


front cover of Gender, Class, and the Professionalization of Russian City Teachers, 1860–1914
Gender, Class, and the Professionalization of Russian City Teachers, 1860–1914
Christine Ruane
University of Pittsburgh Press, 1994
Christine Ruane examines the issues of gender and class in the teaching profession of late imperial Russia, at a time when the vocation was becoming increasingly feminized in a zealously patriarchal society. Teaching was the first profession open to women in the 1870s, and by the end of the century almost half of all Russian teachers were female. Yet the notion that mothers had a natural affinity for teaching was paradoxically matched by formal and informal bans against married women in the classroom. Ruane reveals not only the patriarchal rationale but also how women teachers viewed their public roles and worked to reverse the marriage ban.

Ruane's research and insightful analysis broadens our knowledge of an emerging professional class, especially newly educated and emancipated women, during Russia's transition to a more modern society.

front cover of Imagining Rhetoric
Imagining Rhetoric
Composing Women of the Early United States
Janet Carey Eldred
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2002

Imagining Rhetoric examines how women’s writing developed in the decades between the American Revolution and the Civil War, and how women imagined using their education to further the civic aims of an idealistic new nation.

In the late eighteenth century, proponents of female education in the United States appropriated the language of the Revolution to advance the cause of women’s literacy. Schooling for women—along with abolition, suffrage, and temperance—became one of the four primary arenas of nineteenth-century women’s activism. Following the Revolution, textbooks and fictions about schooling materialized that revealed ideal curricula for women covering subjects from botany and chemistry to rhetoric and composition. A few short decades later, such curricula and hopes for female civic rhetoric changed under the pressure of threatened disunion.

Using a variety of texts, including novels, textbooks, letters, diaries, and memoirs, Janet Carey Eldred and Peter Mortensen chart the shifting ideas about how women should learn and use writing, from the early days of the republic through the antebellum years. They also reveal how these models shaped women’s awareness of female civic rhetoric—both its possibilities and limitations.


front cover of Learning Legacies
Learning Legacies
Archive to Action through Women's Cross-Cultural Teaching
Sarah Ruffing Robbins
University of Michigan Press, 2017
Examines pedagogy as a toolkit for social change, and the urgent need for cross-cultural collaborative teaching methods

front cover of My Daughter, the Teacher
My Daughter, the Teacher
Jewish Teachers in the New York City Schools
Markowitz, Ruth Jacknow
Rutgers University Press, 1993
'My son, the doctor' and 'my daughter, the teacher' were among the most cherished phrases of Jewish immigrant parents," writes Ruth Markowitz in recounting this story of Jewish women who taught school in New York. Teaching was an attractive profession to the daughters of immigrants. It provided status, security, was compatible with marriage, and licenses did not require expensive training. In the interwar years, Jewish women in New York entered teaching in large and unprecedented numbers. In fact, by 1960 the majority of all New York teachers were Jewish women. By interviewing sixty-one retired teachers, Ruth Markowitz re-created their lives and the far-reaching influence they had on public education.These women faced many barriers--from lack of parental and financial support to discrimination--as they pursued their educations. Those women who completed their training still had difficulty finding teaching positions, especially during the Depression. Once hired, the teachers' days were filled with overcrowded classes, improperly maintained facilities, enormous amounts of paperwork, few free periods, and countless extracurricular obligations. They also found themselves providing social services; Markowitz finds a large number of teachers who took a special interest in minority children.The teachers Markowitz interviewed often agree with the assessment others have made that the 1930s were in their own way a golden age in the schools. The retired teachers remember the difficult times, but also their love of teaching and the difference they made in the classrooms. Their energy, initiative, and drive will help inspire teachers today, who face the serious problems of drugs, teenage pregnancy, and violence in their classrooms.

front cover of Oy Pioneer!
Oy Pioneer!
A Novel
Marleen S. Barr
University of Wisconsin Press, 2003

What would happen if a feminist Jewish wit and scholar invaded David Lodge’s territory? Marleen S. Barr, herself a pioneer in the feminist criticism of science fiction, provides a giddily entertaining answer in this feisty novel. Oy Pioneer! follows professor Sondra Lear as she makes her inimitable way through a world of learning—at times fantastic, at times all too familiar, often hilarious, and always compulsively interesting.
    As if Mel Brooks and Erica Jong had joined forces to recreate Sex and the City for the intellectual set, the story is a heady mix of Jewish humor, feminist insight, and academic satire. Lear is a tenured radical and a wildly ambitious intellectual, but is subject nonetheless to the husband-hunting imperatives of her Jewish mother. Her adventures expand narrative parameters according to Barr’s term "genre fission."
    Mixing elements of science fiction, fantasy, ethnic comedy, satire, and authentic experience of academic life, Oy Pioneer! is uncommonly fun—a Jewish feminist scholar’s imaginative text boldly going where no academic satire has gone before—and bringing readers along for an exhilarating ride.


front cover of Plum Wine
Plum Wine
A Novel
Angela Davis-Gardner
University of Wisconsin Press, 2006

    Barbara Jefferson, a young American teaching in Tokyo in the 1960s, is set on a life-changing quest when her Japanese surrogate mother, Michi, dies, leaving her a tansu of homemade plum wines wrapped in rice paper. Within the papers Barbara discovers writings in Japanese calligraphy that comprise a startling personal narrative. With the help of her translator, Seiji Okada, Barbara begins to unravel the mysteries of Michi's life, a story that begins in the early twentieth century and continues through World War II and its aftermath.
     As Barbara and Seiji translate the plum wine papers they form an intimate bond, with Michi a ghostly third in what becomes an increasingly uneasy triangle. Barbara is deeply affected by the revelation that Michi and Seiji are hibakusha, survivors of the atomic bombing in Hiroshima, and even harder for her to understand are the devastating psychological effects wrought by war. Plum Wine examines human relationships, cultural differences, and the irreparable consequences of war in a story that is both original and timeless.

2007 A Notable Fiction Book of 2007, selected by the Kiriyama Prize Committee
Winner, Fiction Award, Southern Independent Bookstore Alliance
Notable Fiction, Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize

front cover of Refiguring Rhetorical Education
Refiguring Rhetorical Education
Women Teaching African American, Native American, and Chicano/a Students, 1865-1911
Jessica Enoch
Southern Illinois University Press, 2008

Refiguring Rhetorical Education: Women Teaching African American, Native American, and Chicano/a Students, 1865-1911 examines the work of five female teachers who challenged gendered and cultural expectations to create teaching practices that met the civic and cultural needs of their students.

The volume analyzes Lydia Maria Child’s The Freedmen’s Book, a post–Civil War educational textbook for newly freed slaves; Zitkala Ša’s autobiographical essays published in the Atlantic Monthly in 1900 that questioned the work of off-reservation boarding schools for Native American students; and Jovita Idar, Marta Peña, and Leonor Villegas de Magnón’s contributions to the Spanish-language newspaper La Crónica in 1910 and 1911—contributions that offered language and cultural instruction their readers could not receive in Texas public schools.

Author Jessica Enoch explores the possibilities and limitations of rhetorical education by focusing on the challenges that Child, Zitkala Ša, Idar, Peña, and Villegas made to dominant educational practices. Each of these teachers transformed their seemingly apolitical occupation into a site of resistance, revising debilitating educational methods to advance culture-based and politicized teachings that empowered their students to rise above their subjugated positions.

Refiguring Rhetorical Education considers how race, culture, power, and language are both implicit and explicit in discussions of rhetorical education for marginalized students and includes six major tenets to guide present-day pedagogies for civic engagement.


front cover of Rhetorical Education in Turn-of-the-Century U.S. Women's Journalism
Rhetorical Education in Turn-of-the-Century U.S. Women's Journalism
Grace Wetzel, with a foreword by Shari J. Stenberg
Southern Illinois University Press, 2022
Examining the rhetorical and pedagogical work of three turn-of-the-century newspaperwomen

At the end of the nineteenth century, newspapers powerfully shaped the U.S. reading public, fostering widespread literacy development and facilitating rhetorical education. With new opportunities to engage audiences, female journalists repurposed the masculine tradition of journalistic writing by bringing together intimate forms of rhetoric and pedagogy to create innovative new dialogues. Rhetorical Education in Turn-of-the-Century U.S. Women’s Journalism illuminates the pedagogical contributions of three newspaperwomen to show how the field became a dynamic site of public participation, relationship building, education, and activism in the 1880s and 1890s.

Grace Wetzel introduces us to the work of Omaha correspondent Susette La Flesche Tibbles (Inshta Theamba), African American newspaper columnist Gertrude Bustill Mossell, and white middle-class reporter Winifred Black (“Annie Laurie”). Journalists by trade, these three writers made the mass-circulating newspaper their site of teaching and social action, inviting their audiences and communities—especially systematically marginalized voices—to speak, write, and teach alongside them.

Situating these journalists within their own specific writing contexts and personas, Wetzel reveals how Mossell promoted literacy learning and community investment among African American women through a reader-centered pedagogy; La Flesche modeled relational news research and reporting as a survivance practice while reporting for the Omaha Morning World-Herald at the time of the Wounded Knee Massacre; and Black inspired public writing and activism among children from different socioeconomic classes through her “Little Jim” story. The teachings of these figures serve as enduring examples of how we can engage in meaningful public literacy and ethical journalism.

front cover of The Train to Estelline
The Train to Estelline
The First Novel in a Trilogy
Jane Roberts Wood
University of North Texas Press, 2000

front cover of Women's Work?
Women's Work?
American Schoolteachers, 1650-1920
Joel Perlmann and Robert A. Margo
University of Chicago Press, 2001
American schoolteaching is one of few occupations to have undergone a thorough gender shift yet previous explanations have neglected a key feature of the transition: its regional character. By the early 1800s, far higher proportions of women were teaching in the Northeast than in the South, and this regional difference was reproduced as settlers moved West before the Civil War. What explains the creation of these divergent regional arrangements in the East, their recreation in the West, and their eventual disappearance by the next century?

In Women's Work the authors blend newly available quantitative evidence with historical narrative to show that distinctive regional school structures and related cultural patterns account for the initial regional difference, while a growing recognition that women could handle the work after they temporarily replaced men during the Civil War helps explain this widespread shift to female teachers later in the century. Yet despite this shift, a significant gender gap in pay and positions remained. This book offers an original and thought-provoking account of a remarkable historical transition.

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