by Kate Amunrud
We hope you’re all enjoying the conference!
This is a message to invite you to check out our program director, Rona Holub’s new blog.
See you at the conference tomorrow!
Saturday, March 2, 2013 1PM
Blanche Wiesen Cook, Moderator
Blanche Wiesen Cook is the Distinguished Professor of History and Women’s Studies at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She earned her PhD from John Hopkins University. She is the author of Eleanor Roosevelt, Volumes I&II and is currently completing the third volume. She is also the author of The Declassified Eisenhower and Women and the World in the 1990s. She is the former Vice-President for Research of the American Historical Association, and former Vice-President and Chair of the Fund for Open Information and Accountability (FOIA, Inc.) She was also Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the Freedom of Information and Access Committee of the Organization of American Historians
Carole Artigiana is an alumna of the women’s history graduate program at Sarah Lawrence college, where she also served as program administrator. She is the founder and president emerita of Global Kids, an organization dedicated to the success of urban youth. She is the 2006 and 2007 Purpose Prize Fellow and recipient of the Spirit of Anne Frank Award.
Melanie Gustafson earned her PhD from New York University and is an alumna of the women’s history graduate program at Sarah Lawrence College. She is currently an associate professor of history at the University of Vermont, where she also teaches courses in women’s and gender studies. She is the author of ecoming a Historian: A Survival Manual for Women and Men and a co-editor of We Have Come to Stay: American Women and Political Parties, 1880-1960.
Phyllis Vine earned her PhD in history at the University of Michigan. She has taught Union College, Bard College, and Sarah Lawrence College. She is most recently the author of One Man’s Castle: Clarence Darrow in Defense of the American Dream and has also written Families in Pain and Household and Kin.
Saturday, March 2, 2013 at 4:45 PM
This panel will be moderated by Maureen Lahey, who earned a master’s in women’s history at Sarah Lawrence College.
Taking Up Space: Empowerment through Community Building and Peaceful Protest
Samantha Daley, Nicole Elinoff, Emily Vrotsos
Administrators of the Seminole County public middle schools near Orlando, Florida are attempting to end bullying among their students. Currently, there are no ways for students to participate in this anti-bullying campaign. The Young Women Leaders Program examines bullying perceptions and experiences of 7th graders through mentoring and encourages students to become involved in anti-bullying activism. This presentation will discuss the importance of community building in the Young Women Leaders Program and how Leading Out Loud, a mentoring workshop has accomplished this.
Nicole Elinoff is currently earning her bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Florida. She serves as a mentor in the Young Women Leaders Program and is the current president of the National Organization for Women at University of Central Florida.
Emiliy Vrotsos holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Florida, where she now works as the program coordinator for the Young Women Leaders Program. She is also the founder of the Young Men’s Leadership Program. She will begin work on a master’s degree in non-profit management at University of Central Florida in Fall 2013.
Samantha Daley is currently earning her bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Florida. She serves as a facilitator in the Young Women Leaders Program, where she previously served as mentor.She is also currently a Student Correspondent for Choice USA.
Saturday March 2, 2013 10:00 AM
This panel will be moderated by Dr. Kathryn Hearst of Sarah Lawrence College.
Feminist Pacifism and Gendered Nonviolence in the Age of New Media
The Sixties anti-nuclear and anti-war group, Women Strike for Peace was known for its media savvy. Their creative direct action attracted broad media attention and created a space for moral and ethical critiques of realpolitik policy during the Cold War. This paper analyzes the legacy of WSP on the rhetoric and tactics of post-Cold War era, feminist-pacifist CODEPINK and maternal nonviolence proponent Kathy Kelly. This paper
finds, in an era where citizen journalists have a great latitude to craft their own brand, that Kelly and CODEPINK both perpetuate maternalism to justify female participation in international debates about war and militarism while at the same time they utilize post-modernist and feminist critiques of international relations in their criticism of U.S. economic sanctions and drone warfare in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.
Amy Schneidhorst received her Ph.D. in History with a concentration in Gender and Women’s studies from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She holds an MA in Peace Studies from the University of Bradford, England, has completed M. Ed. coursework at University of Illinois at Chicago, and holds a BA in Art History from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her most recent publication, from which she draws material for this presentation, is Building a Just and Secure World: Popular Front Women’s Struggle for Peace and Justice in Chicago during the 1960s.
For the Public Good: Connecting Women’s History and Public Education Advocacy
Jessie B. Ramey
Public education is a public good. That’s the rallying cry of a new grassroots
movement in the United States opposed to a substantial wave of education “reformers” interested in privatizing public education. These reformers promote the fairly radical belief that public education – an institution widely regarded as a cornerstone of American democracy – has failed. Using the language of choice, competition, accountability, and data-driven decision-making, they argue that public education ought to be subjected to the business techniques of market capitalism. Ironically, those who promote these corporate-style reforms and privatization plans do so in the name of civil rights, equity, and racial justice. Yet privatization efforts of public education have actually harmed our poorest students. To understand how and why local communities are rejecting these corporate-style reforms, this presentation takes Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as a case study, situating the struggle for public education in historical and political context.
Jessie B. Ramey, Ph.D., earned her MA in Women’s History from Sarah Lawrence College in 2002. She is a historian of working families and U.S. social policy and an ACLS New Faculty Fellow in Women’s Studies and history at the University of Pittsburgh. Her new book, Child Care in Black and White: Working Parents and the History of Orphanages won the Lerner-Scott Prize in women’s history from the Organization of American Historians, the Herbert G. Gutman Prize from the Labor and Working-Class History Association, and the John Heinz Award from the National
Academy of Social Insurance.
Who Needs Feminism? Feminist Pedagogy and Public Engagement in a Digital World
Rachel F. Seidman
As a final project in my class at Duke on Women and the Public Sphere: History,
Theory and Practice, the students created a poster campaign called Who Needs Feminism. In this campaign, individuals from a wide variety of racial, ethnic, and gender identities held up signs completing the sentence “I need feminism because…” When the students posted these pictures online, they instantly “went viral.” Today Who Needs Feminism has received over 23,000 “likes” on Facebook, thousands of submissions of new posters from around the world, and the attention of media giants. The students
continue to organize and expand on the campaign, and to use it as a springboard for activism. Faculty on other campuses are using the campaign as the basis for lesson plans in their classrooms. I hope to use our experience to open up a dialogue on how these shifts affect the powerful connections between feminist pedagogy, civic activism, and what we might call public scholarship.
Rachel F. Seidman received her B.A. in History and Classics from Oberlin college, and her Ph.D. in U.S. History from Yale University. She is the Associate director of the Southern Oral History Program at the Center for the Study of the American South, University of North Carolina Chapel-Hill. Her most recent publication is “After Todd Akin, Why Women – And Men – Still Need Feminism” for The Christian Science Monitor.
Saturday, March 2, 2013 at 3:00 PM
This panel will be moderated by Gayle Fischer of Salem State College.
Outerwear to Underwear: The Dress Reform Movement in the Nineteenth Century
Traci L. Gott
Women’s clothing in the 19th century was restrictive and unhealthy across all social classes. Women wore tight-laced corsets, multiple petticoats, restrictive garters, among other uncomfortable and often-harmful garments. The dress-reform movement, carried out by members of the women’s-rights movement, utopian communities, and health reformers, aimed to design women’s clothing that was less limiting. Although unassociated with men’s clothing, each group produced a variation of a women’s trouser. Intense public outcry about the ‘gender’ of clothing, particularly the ‘male’ trouser, prompted many of these reforms underground. However, the health reformers kept the movement going in the public eye, but shifted their focus from outerwear to undergarments in order to avoid public criticism. Their reforms led to many of the fashion trends seen in the coming decades, namely the 1920s, when women’s clothing was significantly modified for the first time since the Middle Ages.
Traci L. Gott is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Buffalo, where she also teaches American Studies. She earned bachelor’s degrees from Northeastern State University and master’s degrees from the University of Oklahoma.
Solidarity through Shopping: Depression-Era Activism for Worker Justice
The League of Women Shoppers (LWS) was founded in 1935 as a response to a New York department-store strike. Using the slogan “Use your buying power for justice,” the LWS conducted investigations into labor disputes, produced propaganda, and developed campaigns around local and national labor issues. The LWS were committed to direct action and focused on campaigns that included letter-writing , boycotts, walking picket lines, and non-violent civil disobedience. This paper argues that the LWS carried on the ideals of the New Deal, which set a clear standard of what working conditions should be in a democratic country.
Beth Robinson earned a PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she is currently a lecturer in women’s studies. She has published two pieces for the Encyclopedia of Race and Racism, 2nd Edition, and will soon publish a piece in Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000 titled “How did the League of Women Shoppers Use Their Privilege to act in Solidarity with Workers?.”
Saturday, March 2, 2013 10:00 AM
Interpreting Women’s Activism in Red Scare America, 1919-1929
In the Red Scare that followed World War I, antiradicals, anti-moderns, and
antifeminists expressed their conviction that just like Bolshevism, feminist activists
would bring disorder and unrest to the United States. This phenomenon is best
exemplified in the experience of Louise Bryant, an American radical, activist, writer,
and the wife of America’s most prominent “Bolshevik,” John Reed. Anxious Americans
tried Bryant in the court of public opinion for her radicalism and her sympathy for Soviet
Russia. In this case and in many others, Americans used discussions about women as
a privileged site through which to discuss what they saw as a larger social and cultural
struggle between Bolshevism and Americanism, between social radicalism and social
conservatism. This relationship between sex disorder and political disorder, one framed
by the dislocations of wartime and the specter of internationalism, marked Americans’
thinking on gender norms and family life as well as on politics and citizenship in the
decade to come.
Erica Ryan is a Sarah Lawrence College alumna, and she holds an M.A. in History and Ph.D. from Brown University. She is an Assistant Professor at Rider University in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, where she teaches U.S. History, Women’s History, History of Gender and Sexuality, and World History. Her work War on the Family: Sex, Gender, and Americanism, 1919-1929 is to be published in Fall 2013 by the Temple University Press.
Defining Family, Defining Nation: Gender and Patriotism in 1960s California
Natalia Mehlman Petrzela
In 1968 California, Republican Max Rafferty built his U.S. Senate campaign
around an attack on the “cowards and Communists” populating California’s educational
institutions. Nearby Rafferty’s Los Angeles campaign headquarters, officers of Women
Strike for Peace, a radical feminist-pacifist group, spoke in a disarmingly similar idiom.
In response to the vandalism of the group’s office, the group issued a press release
demanding to know the “identity of these ‘brave’ men who hide behind the ‘curtain’
of violence and death threats… They are cowards.” Across the political spectrum,
California’s burgeoning and diversifying populace considered the very fabric of American
patriotism and morality under siege, and issues of gender and family were at the
forefront of these concerns. While historians have begun to identify how the coalescing
Right married concerns over sexual morality and patriotism, this paper is unique in
exploring how these anxieties mobilized citizens of all political stripes, thus explaining
the depth of the social transformations afoot in the late 1960s.
Natalia Mehlman Petrzela received her B.A. in History from Columbia College, and her Ph.D. in History from Stanford University. She currently works as Co-Chair of Education Studies at Eugene Lang College, The New School in NYC. She has two works under review at the moment, her book manuscript Schooled Right: The Educational Origins of Modern Conservatism and her article “The Roots of Polarization: Max Rafferty, Education, and the Roots of Modern Conservatism”.
Red Feminism? Debating ‘Family Values’ in New York State, 1970-1980
New York State, especially New York City, was a key center of modern feminism
– but, perhaps because feminist reform was so strong there, the state was also home
to a growing conservative “family values” movement in the 1970s. These family
value conservatives were disappointed to see the Democratic Party, by the 1970s,
increasingly advocate using taxpayer dollars to finance feminist-backed initiatives such
as sex education programs in public schools and Medicaid-financed abortions at the
state level. Conservative family values women campaigned against these initiatives by
branding them not only “anti-family,” but as communist. The women’s activism helped
give conservative Republicans in the state an electoral base and set of issues to usurp
power from both Democrats and more powerful pro-feminist moderates in their own
party – trends in the state of New York that also occurred on the national level during
the 1970s as the political right embraced a limited, conservative definition of the family
that is still at the center of its political rhetoric and policies.
Stacie Taranto received her A.B. in History from Duke University, and both her A.M. and Ph.D. in history from Brown University. She currently works as an Assistant Professor of History at Ramapo College of New Jersey, where she teaches a variety of U.S. History and Women’s History courses. She currently has a book manuscript under contract, Kitchen Table Politics: Conservative Women and Family Values in the Seventies.