History of Women and Gender

Join us for an in-depth exploration of the latest scholarship.

The Boston Seminar on the History of Women and Gender invites scholars and students to meet periodically and discuss new research. Sessions may consider any aspect of the history of women and gender without chronological limitations. A collaboration of the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America and the Massachusetts Historical Society, the seminar meets in turn at the facilities of the two sponsors.

Seminar meetings revolve around the discussion of a precirculated paper. Sessions open with remarks from the essayist and an assigned commentator, after which the discussion is opened to the floor. After each session, the Society serves a light buffet supper.

History of Women and Gender Seminar "Qualified Women": Women, Performance and Political Labor in the New Deal 10 October 2013. Thursday, 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required. Location: Schlesinger Library Kate Dossett, University of Leeds Comment: Susan Ware, General Editor, American National Biography

This project is focused on how women were able to develop a mode of public presentation that challenged the masculine political culture of the New Deal. It aims to move beyond the “good-or-bad for women?” question, which continues to shape gender scholarship on the New Deal particularly and studies of women in politics more broadly.

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History of Women and Gender Seminar Women versus Connecticut: Insights from the Pre-Roe Abortion Battles 12 December 2013. Thursday, 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required. Amy Kesselman, SUNY at New Paltz Comment: Linda Gordon, New York University

In the early 1970s lawsuit Abele v. Markle, Women versus Connecticut coupled litigation with grassroots organizing in a strategy that stimulated public discussion of reproductive rights and brought women’s experiences of Connecticut’s abortion laws to bear on what went on in the courtroom. The story illustrates the role of the feminist reproductive rights movement in shaping Roe v. Wade.

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History of Women and Gender Seminar "Talents Committed to Your Care": Reading and Writing Antislavery 3 April 2014. Thursday, 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required. Mary Kelley, University of Michigan Comment: Elizabeth Maddock Dillon, Northeastern University

“Talents Committed to Your Care” takes as its subject reading and writing practices in America’s newly independent America. This project explores the historically contingent identities and the material texts that men and women produced in and through their engagement with a remarkably rich transatlantic literary culture. In looking not only at the cultivation of individual identities but also at the establishment of collective ties, it will be measuring the degree to which gender played a foundational role.

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History of Women and Gender Seminar "How can the wife submit?" African Families Negotiate Gender and Slavery in New England 15 April 2014. Tuesday, 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required. Location: Schlesinger Library Gloria Whiting, Harvard University Comment: Barbara Krauthamer, University of Massachusetts—Amherst

Rescheduled from February 13, 2014.

This paper discusses various ways in which the everyday realities of slavery shaped gender relations in Afro-New England families. While the structure of slave families in the region was unusually matrifocal, these families nonetheless exhibited a number of patriarchal tendencies. Enslaved African families in New England therefore complicate the assumption of much scholarship that the structure of slave families defined their normative values.

Be sure to RSVP for this program by emailing seminars@masshist.org or phoning 617-646-0568.

Authors will not read their essays but will offer brief remarks; please read the paper ahead of time and come prepared to join in the discussion. If you are not a subscriber to the series (subscribers receive online advance access to the papers) you may pick up a copy at the MHS front desk on the day of the program. Please phone 617-646-0568 with any questions.

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More events
10 October 2013 Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required. History of Women and Gender Seminar

"Qualified Women": Women, Performance and Political Labor in the New Deal

5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Location: Schlesinger Library Kate Dossett, University of Leeds Comment: Susan Ware, General Editor, American National Biography

Be sure to RSVP for this program by emailing seminars@masshist.org or phoning 617-646-0568.

Authors will not read their essays but will offer brief remarks; please read the paper ahead of time and come prepared to join in the discussion. If you are not a subscriber to the series (subscribers receive online advance access to the papers) you may pick up a copy at the MHS front desk on the day of the program. Please phone 617-646-0568 with any questions.

12 December 2013 Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required. History of Women and Gender Seminar

Women versus Connecticut: Insights from the Pre-Roe Abortion Battles

5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Amy Kesselman, SUNY at New Paltz Comment: Linda Gordon, New York University

Be sure to RSVP for this program by emailing seminars@masshist.org or phoning 617-646-0568.

Authors will not read their essays but will offer brief remarks; please read the paper ahead of time and come prepared to join in the discussion. If you are not a subscriber to the series (subscribers receive online advance access to the papers) you may pick up a copy at the MHS front desk on the day of the program. Please phone 617-646-0568 with any questions.

3 April 2014 Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required. History of Women and Gender Seminar

"Talents Committed to Your Care": Reading and Writing Antislavery

5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Mary Kelley, University of Michigan Comment: Elizabeth Maddock Dillon, Northeastern University

Be sure to RSVP for this program by emailing seminars@masshist.org or phoning 617-646-0568.

Authors will not read their essays but will offer brief remarks; please read the paper ahead of time and come prepared to join in the discussion. If you are not a subscriber to the series (subscribers receive online advance access to the papers) you may pick up a copy at the MHS front desk on the day of the program. Please phone 617-646-0568 with any questions.

15 April 2014 Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required. History of Women and Gender Seminar

"How can the wife submit?" African Families Negotiate Gender and Slavery in New England

5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Location: Schlesinger Library Gloria Whiting, Harvard University Comment: Barbara Krauthamer, University of Massachusetts—Amherst

Rescheduled from February 13, 2014.

This paper discusses various ways in which the everyday realities of slavery shaped gender relations in Afro-New England families. While the structure of slave families in the region was unusually matrifocal, these families nonetheless exhibited a number of patriarchal tendencies. Enslaved African families in New England therefore complicate the assumption of much scholarship that the structure of slave families defined their normative values.


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