PANEL: Transnational Women’s Activism

Saturday March 2, 2013  3:00PM

This panel will be moderated by Mallory Craig-Karim of Sarah Lawrence College.

Women’s Efforts for Peace in the U.S. and Great Britain: The First 100 years, 1815 –  1915

Wendy E. Chmielewski

Women on both sides of the Atlantic were members of the first peace societies and activists in the movements for peace, beginning in the second decade of the nineteenth century. While they were kept in the general membership, rather than in leadership positions, women raised a significant portion of the finances which funded the movement and hundreds of women voiced their varied opinions on peace issues and specific events through publication of books, pamphlets, essays, stories, poems, and hymns. This paper will outline the types of peace activism in which women on both sides of the Atlantic participated throughout the century before the advent of the modern peace movement at the beginning of World War I.

Wendy E. Chmielewski earned her Ph.D. in Women’s History from the State University of New York at Binghamton. She is currently the George R. Cooley Curator at the Swarthmore College Peace Collection. Her most recent publication is Jane Addams and the Practice of Democracy, edited by Marilyn Fisher, Carol Nackenoff, and Wendy


North African Female Peace Activists: A Window of Opportunity. The Case of Amira

Habiba Boumlik is presenting a paper on a woman peace activist from Tunisia named Amira Yahyaoui. Yahyaoui has been very active since the early days of the Arab Spring. The paper will be based on sources written in Arabic, French, and English. Her research will trace Amira’s trajectory and active presence on the web.


Historiography of the Chinese Women’s Movement During the Early 20th Century

Katrina Brown

This presentation will give an overview of where, how and why women
organized in China during the first decades of the 20th Century. The paper will compare of two book-length English language studies that have been done on the Chinese women’s movement. Tani Barlow’s book, The Question of Women in Chinese Feminism, is an intellectual history that focuses on the ideological nuances of the feminist debate in China. On a different note, Women in the Chinese Enlightenment: Oral and Textual
Histories, by Wang Zheng is a collection of oral histories of women who participated in the women’s movement in the early 20th century in China. Taken together, these books paint a picture of both the ideas that influenced the development of feminist thought in China, but also how the thought was translated into action and the numerous which ways it influenced Chinese women’s life experiences and opportunities. This historiography of feminist theory and activism in China illustrates how Chinese women’s history is an important contribution to any conversation about the history and nuances
of both global feminisms and women’s activism.

Katrina Brown is a current student in the Sarah Lawrence College Women’s History Graduate program with a special interest in Chinese women’s history


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