The Boston Seminar on the History of Women, Gender, & Sexuality is a collaboration of the Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America and the Massachusetts Historical Society.

 

This series, whose five meetings in 2017-2018 will alternate between the Radcliffe Institute and the MHS, aims to seed fresh conversations on the history of women, gender, and sexuality in America without chronological limitations. Some sessions will offer the opportunity to discuss new scholarship presented in pre-circulated essays. These sessions begin with remarks from the essayist and an assigned commentator, after which the discussion is opened to the floor. Other meetings will feature panel discussions and “state of the field” conversations. At the end of each program, the organizers will offer light refreshments and time for informal networking. Download the calendar of this year's sessions here!

 

Attendance is free and open to everyone. Subscribers who remit $20 for the year will receive online access to any pre-circulated materials via a password-protected interface. Subscriptions also underwrite the cost of the series. Pre-circulated materials will be available to non-subscribers who have RSVP’d for a session on the Monday prior to the program.

 

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

 

Are you a graduate student or faculty member? Then join us on Sept. 28th for the eighth annual Graduate Student Reception, where you can meet scholars in your fields, enjoy food and drinks, and explore the MHS!

October

History of Women and Gender Seminar Panel Discussion: Gender, Sexuality, and the New Labor History 17 October 2017.Tuesday, 5:30PM - 7:45PM RSVP required Location: Fay House, Radcliffe Institute Anne G. Balay, Haverford College; Aimee Loiselle, University of Connecticut; Traci L. Parker, UMass-Amherst Moderator: Seth Rockman, Brown University The “New Labor History” is highly gendered, global, and often situated in spaces that ...

The “New Labor History” is highly gendered, global, and often situated in spaces that are transitory or obscured. This session will consider the new directions that the path-breaking work of these three scholars indicates: on female, trans, and intersex truck drivers and state surveillance (Balay), on Puerto Rican needleworkers and the global working class (Loiselle), and on African American women workers in the post-Civil Rights Era (Parker). Note: There are no pre-circulated essays for this session.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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December
History of Women and Gender Seminar Miss America’s Politics: Beauty and the Development of the New Right since 1968 19 December 2017.Tuesday, 5:30PM - 7:45PM RSVP required Location: Massachusetts Historical Society Micki McElya, University of Connecticut Comment: Genevieve A. Clutario, Harvard University Drawn from McElya’s larger book project, this essay examines the centrality of the Miss ...

Drawn from McElya’s larger book project, this essay examines the centrality of the Miss America pageant, its local networks, and individual contestants to the rise of activist conservative women and the New Right in the 1960s and 1970s. It analyzes the celebration, power, and political effects of normative beauty, steeped in heterosexual gender norms and white supremacy, and argues for the transformative effect of putting diverse women’s voices at the center of political history and inquiry.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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January
History of Women and Gender Seminar The ‘Woman Inventor’ as a Political Tool of Female Suffragists: Patents, Invention, and Civil Rights in the Nineteenth-Century United States 23 January 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:45PM RSVP required Location: Massachusetts Historical Society Kara Swanson, Northeastern University School of Law Comment: Rebecca Herzig, Bates College After the Patent Act of 1790, patents played an important social and political role in the ...

After the Patent Act of 1790, patents played an important social and political role in the formation of American nationhood and citizenship. Part of a larger book project, this paper demonstrates how nineteenth-century American women mobilized patents granted to women as justification for civil rights claims. It identifies the creation of the “woman inventor” as a cultural trope and political weapon of resistance.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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March
History of Women and Gender Seminar On Fantasy 20 March 2018.Tuesday, 5:30PM - 7:45PM RSVP required Location: Fay House, Radcliffe Institute Rhae Lynn Barnes, Princeton University, and Emily Owens, Brown University Comment: Jasmine Johnson, Brown University This paper argues that fantasies of racial and gendered mastery—seen in law, racial ...

This paper argues that fantasies of racial and gendered mastery—seen in law, racial performance, and sexual violence—were important world-making tools in the nineteenth century. It looks at how white supremacist fantasies took shape in the courtroom and in blackface dramas, what their impact was, and how historians might begin to find and examine these fantasies in the archives.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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April
History of Women and Gender Seminar Women, Gender, and Sexuality in the High School U.S. History Curriculum: A Conversation 17 April 2018.Tuesday, 5:30PM - 7:45PM RSVP required Location: Fay House, Radcliffe Institute Wendy Bergeron, Winnacunnet High School; Marlin Kann, Cambridge Rindge and Latin School; Miriam Morgenstern, History UnErased; Susan Zeiger, Primary Source Moderator: Victoria Cain, Northeastern University All high school students in the United States study American history, and many of them seek mastery ...

All high school students in the United States study American history, and many of them seek mastery in the subject, which is the second most popular at the Advanced Placement level. Yet relatively few female actors appear in high school textbooks, and graduates arrive on college campuses with widely varying levels of exposure to the history of women, gender, and sexuality in America, especially prior to the 1990s. This panel discussion, featuring university faculty, secondary educators, and activist curriculum specialists, aims to seed an ongoing discussion between high school and post-secondary instructors of American history about gendering the U.S. History curriculum. What topics in women’s and gender history and in the history of sexuality get covered when, where, and how? How can college- and university-based scholars do more to connect their work with high school classrooms? How are secondary educators—and their students—advancing and reshaping the field?

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

More
More events
History of Women and Gender Seminar Panel Discussion: Gender, Sexuality, and the New Labor History Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required. 17 October 2017.Tuesday, 5:30PM - 7:45PM Location: Fay House, Radcliffe Institute Anne G. Balay, Haverford College; Aimee Loiselle, University of Connecticut; Traci L. Parker, UMass-Amherst Moderator: Seth Rockman, Brown University

The “New Labor History” is highly gendered, global, and often situated in spaces that are transitory or obscured. This session will consider the new directions that the path-breaking work of these three scholars indicates: on female, trans, and intersex truck drivers and state surveillance (Balay), on Puerto Rican needleworkers and the global working class (Loiselle), and on African American women workers in the post-Civil Rights Era (Parker). Note: There are no pre-circulated essays for this session.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

close
History of Women and Gender Seminar Miss America’s Politics: Beauty and the Development of the New Right since 1968 Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required. 19 December 2017.Tuesday, 5:30PM - 7:45PM Location: Massachusetts Historical Society Micki McElya, University of Connecticut Comment: Genevieve A. Clutario, Harvard University

Drawn from McElya’s larger book project, this essay examines the centrality of the Miss America pageant, its local networks, and individual contestants to the rise of activist conservative women and the New Right in the 1960s and 1970s. It analyzes the celebration, power, and political effects of normative beauty, steeped in heterosexual gender norms and white supremacy, and argues for the transformative effect of putting diverse women’s voices at the center of political history and inquiry.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

close
History of Women and Gender Seminar The ‘Woman Inventor’ as a Political Tool of Female Suffragists: Patents, Invention, and Civil Rights in the Nineteenth-Century United States Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required. 23 January 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:45PM Location: Massachusetts Historical Society Kara Swanson, Northeastern University School of Law Comment: Rebecca Herzig, Bates College

After the Patent Act of 1790, patents played an important social and political role in the formation of American nationhood and citizenship. Part of a larger book project, this paper demonstrates how nineteenth-century American women mobilized patents granted to women as justification for civil rights claims. It identifies the creation of the “woman inventor” as a cultural trope and political weapon of resistance.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

close
History of Women and Gender Seminar On Fantasy Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required. 20 March 2018.Tuesday, 5:30PM - 7:45PM Location: Fay House, Radcliffe Institute Rhae Lynn Barnes, Princeton University, and Emily Owens, Brown University Comment: Jasmine Johnson, Brown University

This paper argues that fantasies of racial and gendered mastery—seen in law, racial performance, and sexual violence—were important world-making tools in the nineteenth century. It looks at how white supremacist fantasies took shape in the courtroom and in blackface dramas, what their impact was, and how historians might begin to find and examine these fantasies in the archives.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

close
History of Women and Gender Seminar Women, Gender, and Sexuality in the High School U.S. History Curriculum: A Conversation Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required. 17 April 2018.Tuesday, 5:30PM - 7:45PM Location: Fay House, Radcliffe Institute Wendy Bergeron, Winnacunnet High School; Marlin Kann, Cambridge Rindge and Latin School; Miriam Morgenstern, History UnErased; Susan Zeiger, Primary Source Moderator: Victoria Cain, Northeastern University

All high school students in the United States study American history, and many of them seek mastery in the subject, which is the second most popular at the Advanced Placement level. Yet relatively few female actors appear in high school textbooks, and graduates arrive on college campuses with widely varying levels of exposure to the history of women, gender, and sexuality in America, especially prior to the 1990s. This panel discussion, featuring university faculty, secondary educators, and activist curriculum specialists, aims to seed an ongoing discussion between high school and post-secondary instructors of American history about gendering the U.S. History curriculum. What topics in women’s and gender history and in the history of sexuality get covered when, where, and how? How can college- and university-based scholars do more to connect their work with high school classrooms? How are secondary educators—and their students—advancing and reshaping the field?

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

close