Category Archives: women’s studies

February 22, 2013, 10:59 am

Why The Feminine Mystique? Why Now?

Today and tomorrow we are hosting a symposium at The New School for Public Engagement in honor of the fiftieth anniversary of Betty Friedan’s popular feminist blockbuster, The Feminine Mystique (1963). A gathering of multiple generations of feminists in four panels and a keynote, the event was sparked by undergraduates at Parsons School of Design. These young women, who were over 25 years away from being born when the book first came out, planned an exhibit (which opened today and will be up until March 5) inspired by Friedan’s ideas as a class project. One thing led to another, and suddenly we have An Event, with a keynote delivered by feminist historian Susan Ware, who published a wonderful book on Billie Jean King and Title IX in 2011. See our fancy announcement in The Grey Lady here.

We who…

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May 29, 2011, 5:23 pm

Celebrating The Greatest Generation (Of Women)

In case you didn’t know it, today is Rosie the Riveter’s 68th birthday.  Berkeley Ph.D. candidate Samuel Redman is celebrating on The Berkeley Blog with a piece just published today,  “Norman Rockwell’s Rosie the Riveter and World War II in American Memory.” Okay, Rosie’s probably a bit older than 68, but why would you ask a girl her real age?

Redman’s piece documents Rosie’s national debut on May 29 1943 on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post with a feature announcing her contributions to the war effort.  Look at the muscles on that gal!  She needs them to control that phallic rivet gun that she used to knock out one prefabricated ship after another.  According to About.com‘s Kennedy Hickman, “US shipyards would produce 2,751 Liberty Ships. The majority (1,552) of these came from new yards built on the West Coast and operated by Henry J. Kaiser.”

Operating four yards in Richmond, CA…

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August 3, 2010, 2:01 pm

The Seductions Of Sedan Delivery; Or, Writing Your Own Academic Job Description


It’s difficult to think about it while we still have three to four precious weeks of summer left. But on behalf of all the people who will begin full time teaching in the fall, I ask you to conjure — for a second — a week in mid-semester. Feel the pain as you stay up half the night to grade your papers! Experience the fear as you go into class half prepared! Recall being fatally short of sleep as you sit, dazed, through yet another search committee meeting, having driven yourself unsparingly through 100 applicant files the day before! Conjure the self-righteousness and hypocrisy, as you lecture yet another student that s/he could get hir work in on time if only s/he would get organized!

Yeah, baby. The problem is, there is almost no one I know in academia who has a job description that would give them a reasonable sense of where a professor’s job begins and ends. Couple this …

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April 25, 2009, 12:53 pm

The Little Berks: Day 1

This year The Berkshire Conference of Women Historians, the group that plans the triennial Berkshire Conference, is not meeting in its normal bucolic setting, but in the Big City — Philadelphia, to be precise, home to the University of Pennsylvania and our fabulous new President, Kathleen Brown.

We are all shacked up in the Inn at Penn, along with a zillion or so track and field athletes from all over the world who are here to compete at the Penn Relays. This means that somehow — and no one is quite clear how — we middle-aged historians got bumped to rooms with one King bed, as opposed to the two double bed rooms we had signed up for. This caused some fuss, resulting in free breakfast coupons for the entire group, which my roommate and I plan to go spend. “All you can eat!” said one of us in excitement yesterday.

But of course, the real business of this organization is business….

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February 19, 2009, 1:25 pm

“There You Go Again:” Republicans Condemn Sex, Slash Education Budget

Arguably, it was Ronald Reagan shaking his head in the middle of a presidential debate with Jimmy Carter as he chuckled ruefully, “There you go again,” that created an emotional turning point in the 1980 campaign. It’s what we remember, anyway, that and the explosive, derisive response from the audience as Carter stood there unable to respond. This moment became symbolic of what many voters, not just right-wing voters, had come to think of Democratic governance: that the same old strategies, strategies that had not yet resolved a single social problem, were being presented as if they were new and innovative.

Well, it looks like no one is immune from regurgitating old, tired solutions to economic malaise. Having, for almost three decades, tried to deflect attention from the damage their economic policies have had on the vast majority of Americans, Republicans are once again turning to …

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