History of Women, Gender, & Sexuality

Exhibition

Turning Points in American History

10 June 2016 to 25 February 2017 Details

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The Boston Seminar on the History of Women, Gender, & Sexuality is the new name of the Boston Seminar on the History of Women and Gender. Just as the pathbreaking field of “women’s history” grew to encompass studies of femininity, masculinity, and LGBTQ history, the seminar’s new name indicates the importance of the study of sexuality to this interrelated set of questions and methodologies for understanding the past.

 

The seminar invites scholars and students to meet periodically and discuss new research. Sessions may consider any aspect of the history of women, gender, and sexuality 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.

September

History of Women and Gender Seminar Developing Women: Global Poverty, U.S. Foreign Aid, and the Politics of Productivity in the 1970s 29 September 2016.Thursday, 5:30PM - 7:30PM Location: Radcliffe, Fay House, Sheerr Room, 10 Garden St. in Cambridge Joanne Meyerowitz, Yale University Comment: Priya Lal, Boston College “Developing Women” is a chapter of a book-in-progress on U.S. involvement in campaigns ...

“Developing Women” is a chapter of a book-in-progress on U.S. involvement in campaigns to end global poverty in the 1970s and 1980s. This chapter focuses on the  “women in development” movement of the 1970s. It shows how indigent women came to be seen as potential “income generators” who were central to anti-poverty programs.

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December
History of Women and Gender Seminar Panel: The History of Black Feminisms 8 December 2016.Thursday, 5:30PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Françoise Hamlin, Brown University, Tanisha C. Ford, University of Delaware, and Treva Lindsey, Ohio State University and the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research Moderator: Kali Nicole Gross, Wesleyan University A conversation about black feminisms that will encompass issues of identity, class, and culture and ...

A conversation about black feminisms that will encompass issues of identity, class, and culture and pay tribute to the scholarship of Leslie Brown of Williams College. Ford is the author of Liberated Threads: Black Women, Style, and the Global Politics of Soul. Hamlin is the author of Crossroads at Clarksdale: The Black Freedom Struggle in the Mississippi Delta After World War II, while Lindsey’s forthcoming book is Colored No More: New Negro Womanhood in the Nation’s Capital.

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February
History of Women and Gender Seminar Conversation: Sexuality of History, History of Sexuality 23 February 2017.Thursday, 5:30PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Location: Radcliffe, Fay House, Sheerr Room, 10 Garden St. in Cambridge Sue Lanser, Brandeis University, and Jim Downs, Connecticut College Moderator: Jen Manion, Amherst College Please join us for a conversation with the authors of two important new books in the history of ...

Please join us for a conversation with the authors of two important new books in the history of sexuality.  This wide-ranging discussion will explore the relationship between lesbian and gay male histories, literary and historical methods, representation and political mobilization of people and communities. We will explore the following questions: How do such vastly different works advance the ongoing project of queer historicism and/or LGBTQ history and to what end? What scholarly fields and trends have enabled and inspired this new work? Who is the audience for LGBTQ history and queer scholarship, the LGBTQ community or the academy? How do we make theoretical insights legible and relevant to the community? How do we articulate the urgency to make the history of sexuality and LGBTQ communities central part of curricula, graduate training, and our professional organizations?"

Sue Lanser is author of The Sexuality of History: Modernity and the Sapphic, 1565-1830 (Chicago, 2014) which explores the ways in which a historically specific interest in lesbians intersected with and stimulated systemic concerns that would seem to have little to do with sexuality. Departing from the prevailing trend of queer reading whereby scholars ferret out hidden content in “closeted” texts, Lanser situates overtly erotic representations within wider spheres of interest. In so doing, she demonstrates that just as one can understand sexuality by studying the past, so too can one understand the past by studying sexuality. Jim Downs is author of Stand by Me (Basic, 2016) which rewrites the history of gay life in the 1970s, arguing that the decade was about much more than sex and marching in the streets. Drawing on a vast trove of untapped records at LGBT community centers in Los Angeles, New York, and Philadelphia, Downs tells moving, revelatory stories of gay people who stood together—as friends, fellow believers, and colleagues—to create a sense of community among people who felt alienated from mainstream American life.

More
April
History of Women and Gender Seminar Sadie Alexander, Black Women’s Work, and Economic Citizenship during the New Deal Era 20 April 2017.Thursday, 5:30PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Lauren Meyer, Yale University Comment: Martin Summers, Boston College This essay argues that Sadie Alexander, the first black woman to earn a Ph.D. in economics and a ...

This essay argues that Sadie Alexander, the first black woman to earn a Ph.D. in economics and a successful practicing lawyer, offered an alternative, black feminist definition of economic citizenship that shifted discourses on the relationship between race, gender, labor, and the meaning of citizenship. Alexander positioned black women’s paid labor as a potential source of strength: for black women themselves, for national economic wellbeing, and for the movement for black first-class citizenship.

More
More events
History of Women and Gender Seminar Developing Women: Global Poverty, U.S. Foreign Aid, and the Politics of Productivity in the 1970s 29 September 2016.Thursday, 5:30PM - 7:30PM Location: Radcliffe, Fay House, Sheerr Room, 10 Garden St. in Cambridge Joanne Meyerowitz, Yale University Comment: Priya Lal, Boston College

“Developing Women” is a chapter of a book-in-progress on U.S. involvement in campaigns to end global poverty in the 1970s and 1980s. This chapter focuses on the  “women in development” movement of the 1970s. It shows how indigent women came to be seen as potential “income generators” who were central to anti-poverty programs.

close
History of Women and Gender Seminar Panel: The History of Black Feminisms Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required. 8 December 2016.Thursday, 5:30PM - 7:30PM Françoise Hamlin, Brown University, Tanisha C. Ford, University of Delaware, and Treva Lindsey, Ohio State University and the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research Moderator: Kali Nicole Gross, Wesleyan University

A conversation about black feminisms that will encompass issues of identity, class, and culture and pay tribute to the scholarship of Leslie Brown of Williams College. Ford is the author of Liberated Threads: Black Women, Style, and the Global Politics of Soul. Hamlin is the author of Crossroads at Clarksdale: The Black Freedom Struggle in the Mississippi Delta After World War II, while Lindsey’s forthcoming book is Colored No More: New Negro Womanhood in the Nation’s Capital.

close
History of Women and Gender Seminar Conversation: Sexuality of History, History of Sexuality Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required. 23 February 2017.Thursday, 5:30PM - 7:30PM Location: Radcliffe, Fay House, Sheerr Room, 10 Garden St. in Cambridge Sue Lanser, Brandeis University, and Jim Downs, Connecticut College Moderator: Jen Manion, Amherst College

Please join us for a conversation with the authors of two important new books in the history of sexuality.  This wide-ranging discussion will explore the relationship between lesbian and gay male histories, literary and historical methods, representation and political mobilization of people and communities. We will explore the following questions: How do such vastly different works advance the ongoing project of queer historicism and/or LGBTQ history and to what end? What scholarly fields and trends have enabled and inspired this new work? Who is the audience for LGBTQ history and queer scholarship, the LGBTQ community or the academy? How do we make theoretical insights legible and relevant to the community? How do we articulate the urgency to make the history of sexuality and LGBTQ communities central part of curricula, graduate training, and our professional organizations?"

Sue Lanser is author of The Sexuality of History: Modernity and the Sapphic, 1565-1830 (Chicago, 2014) which explores the ways in which a historically specific interest in lesbians intersected with and stimulated systemic concerns that would seem to have little to do with sexuality. Departing from the prevailing trend of queer reading whereby scholars ferret out hidden content in “closeted” texts, Lanser situates overtly erotic representations within wider spheres of interest. In so doing, she demonstrates that just as one can understand sexuality by studying the past, so too can one understand the past by studying sexuality. Jim Downs is author of Stand by Me (Basic, 2016) which rewrites the history of gay life in the 1970s, arguing that the decade was about much more than sex and marching in the streets. Drawing on a vast trove of untapped records at LGBT community centers in Los Angeles, New York, and Philadelphia, Downs tells moving, revelatory stories of gay people who stood together—as friends, fellow believers, and colleagues—to create a sense of community among people who felt alienated from mainstream American life.

close
History of Women and Gender Seminar Sadie Alexander, Black Women’s Work, and Economic Citizenship during the New Deal Era Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required. 20 April 2017.Thursday, 5:30PM - 7:30PM Lauren Meyer, Yale University Comment: Martin Summers, Boston College

This essay argues that Sadie Alexander, the first black woman to earn a Ph.D. in economics and a successful practicing lawyer, offered an alternative, black feminist definition of economic citizenship that shifted discourses on the relationship between race, gender, labor, and the meaning of citizenship. Alexander positioned black women’s paid labor as a potential source of strength: for black women themselves, for national economic wellbeing, and for the movement for black first-class citizenship.

close

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