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Contributors to this collection, edited by Claire Potter and Renee Romano, consider the wide range of challenges the practice of contemporary history poses. These essays address sources like television and video games, the ethics of writing about living subjects, questions of privacy and copyright law, and the possibilities that new technologies offer for writing history. Doing Recent History offers guidance and insight to any researcher considering tackling the not-so-distant past. Buy the Book
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- Mama Tried: A Queer Mother’s Day Celebration
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Claire Potter's is the first book to look at the structural, legal, and cultural aspects of J. Edgar Hoover's war on crime in the 1930s, a New Deal campaign which forged new links between citizenship, federal policing, and the ideal of centralized government.
War on Crime reminds us of how and why our worship of violent celebrity hero G-men and gangsters came about and how we now are reaping the results.Buy the Book
Category Archives: its always women’s history month
April 13, 2012, 4:26 pm
Last week, as prelude to an evening of poetry, my colleague Peter Harris– a writer and a professor here at Colby College–gave a short reading from Adrienne Rich’s “What Kind of Times Are These.” “She burned through the fog that I lived in like an acetylene torch,” he…
February 26, 2012, 1:33 pm
Jeanne Córdova, When We Were Outlaws: a Memoir of Love and Revolution (Midway, FL: Spinsters, Inc., 2011), 256 pp. $14.95 paper. Citations refer to locations on the ebook version.
“I have always been fascinated by how a noisy swelling called a social movement arrives on the doorsteps of an individual’s life and how she responds to it,” longtime activist, writer and organizer Jeanne Córdova writes in the forward to her memoir When We Were Outlaws. “Most ignore the calling of the unfathomable energies of our times. For the rest of us — how does one recognize a social movement when it comes calling at your door?” (115)
Today, being legible as queer or trans does not necessarily require a political community or a movement. Large numbers of GLBT folks seem quite eager to be politically indistinguishable from the heteronormative mainstream, preferring to participate in activism …
January 15, 2012, 2:29 pm
Last week I was writing a chapter of my new book about radical feminism and decided to begin with the 1968 Miss America Protest organized and executed by New York Radical Women. I may ditch this opening: the more I dig back into the secondary material on women’s liberation, the more I see it turning up as a hook. However, as a result of pursuing this narrative strategy I did something last night that I haven’t done in decades.
I watched the Miss America Pageant.
I didn’t intend to watch it — in fact, it took me by surprise, since for many years the pageant was a summer event. However, the show I really wanted to watch (a complex legal drama called The Firm that seems to have several plots running at once and involves the witness…
September 20, 2011, 3:39 pm
I got out of the salt mines early today, and the first thing I did was read Historiann, who made a great catch on Nora Ephron’s response to the new Mad Men rip-off, The Playboy Club (stay tuned for Pan Am, premiering on ABC September 25.)
The second thing I did was microwave some lunch and settle down in front of the DVR to watch me some Bunnies.
The verdict? It’s bad television, not because it celebrates sexism (which it does) but because it does so in a way that does not permit a transgressive identification, or perhaps any identification, with any character in the show. Now, I would disagree with at least one of the points that Ephron makes about The Playboy Club: “Trust me, no one wanted to be a Bunny.” No one wants to take comprehensive doctoral exams either, but that’s hardly the point. Even though most committees don’t make you wear skin-tight sateen, spike heels and…
August 2, 2011, 9:50 am
For those of you who are new to Tenured Radical, you should know that people send us stuff all the time. Little stuff, big stuff, stuff that goes viral as a featured post and other stuff that we just save and kick out every once in a while with other stuff we like. So without further ado, today’s stuffed shorts are:
Moonlight, Magnolias and Marriage Myths. In today’s Grey Lady, Princeton historian Tera Hunter has a superb op-ed about the ways in which Republican right-wingers are re-writing the history of slavery to suit modern political agendas. The excising of the 3/5th clause in the Constitution during a Republican reading of that document on the House Floor, and the outrageous assertion in a document authored by Michelle Bachmann and Rick Santorum “that ‘a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than…
June 21, 2011, 8:02 pm
|There’s a long history of feminist resistance in England|
Eighteen months ago found your Radical in London. On the trail of radical feminist Leah Fritz, I had also decided to check out what archival material was available on the feminist anti-pornography movement in London. What I found at The Women’s Library at London Metropolitan University changed the shape of my research. I discovered that, just as radical feminists in the United States had become intractably divided over the representation of eroticism, Andrea Dworkin’s ideas had roamed across the pond and found both opposition and fertile ground on the British left. In the UK, where there is no absolute right to free speech, and where skinhead violence had produced legislation against hate speech that would have violated the First Amendment in the United States, the struggle took some similar, but also different forms.
I loved the…
June 12, 2011, 9:03 pm
|Iacovetta presents at an event that makes me want to go to Canada|
The 15th Berkshire Conference is finishing up with a business meeting as I write here at my desk in Shoreline, a meeting where outgoing president Kathleen Brown of the University of Pennsylvania will hand the organization over to Franca Iacovetta of the University of Toronto. Iacovetta will take us to Canada for the very first time, just as Vicki Ruiz took us West for the first time in 2005, and Ruth Mazo Karras took us to the Midwest for the first time in 2008. Thanks to a great program committee, the University of Massachusetts — Amherst, and a hard-working local arrangements (who, it is rumored, started shuttling people to the airport at 4:00 a.m.) the meeting appeared to come off without a hitch.
If you heard a rumor that this year’s festivities included a burlesque show, I won’t say you are wrong — they also…
June 9, 2011, 1:47 am
In the introduction to her classic volume of essays, Disorderly Conduct: Visions of Gender in Victorian America (Oxford: 1986), Carroll Smith-Rosenberg wrote:
The Berkshire Conference of Women Historians has proved one of the pivotal influences in my professional and personal life. Through both formal and informal comments on a succession of papers, Berkshire members have contributed to my development as a woman historian and as a historian of women.
So Sisters, the triennial gathering of the tribe is about to begin. By tonight, participants in the 15th Berkshire Conference on the History of Women will have begun to assemble for this year’s event, “Generations: Exploring Race, Sexuality, and Labor across Time and Space.” The conference begins on Thursday June 9 and ends on Sunday, a day devoted to seminar-style discussions organized around papers submitted in advance…
October 17, 2010, 3:16 pm
Decades ago, feminists really cared about the casual use of images that exploited women’s bodies or that used violence against women as a way to sell a product. A billboard that went up on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles in 1975 was the catalyst for feminists to form Women Against Violence Against Women, the first of numerous groups in the United States, Canada and England that began to link the anti-battering movement to images that articulated violence against women as part of the status quo.
By the 1990′s, the feminist consciousness that promoted swift and effective action in such cases had gone under cover, due in part to profound disagreements about what constituted a radical feminist agenda and what women’s civil liberties meant. I am writing a book about why that was, so I won’t go on at length, but you will be hearing more about this topic at Tenured Radical in the coming months…
October 8, 2010, 8:19 pm
A longer version of this post was written as a talk I gave at a large public university in spring 201 that has a small residential college dedicated to women.
|Gloria Steinem and Dorothy Pitman Hughes
Photo credit: Sophia Smith Collection
Picture this. An intelligent and ambitious young woman leaves her home for a women’s college. Upon arrival, she finds a faculty committed to progressive internationalism, free speech, civil rights, feminism and anti-racism. She finds a campus where women are encouraged to pursue careers in the sciences, the arts and to make a difference in public life during an economic crisis of unprecedented proportions. Encountering the women and men on the faculty over the four years of her education, often in small seminar classes, she comes to understand what it means to dedicate herself to meaningful work. At a women’s college, this student comes to know, as…