The University of North Carolina Press

Gender and American Culture

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Gender and American Culture

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Searching for Scientific Womanpower

Technocratic Feminism and the Politics of National Security, 1940-1980

Laura Micheletti Puaca

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The Struggle for Equal Adulthood

Gender, Race, Age, and the Fight for Citizenship in Antebellum America

Corinne T. Field

In the fight for equality, early feminists often cited the infantilization of women and men of color as a method used to keep them out of power. Field argues that attaining adulthood--and the associated political rights, economic opportunities, and sexual power that come with it--became a common goal for both white and African American feminists between the American Revolution and the Civil War. The idea that black men and all women were more like children than adult white men proved difficult to overcome, however, and continued to serve as a foundation for racial and sexual inequality for generations.

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Talk with You Like a Woman

African American Women, Justice, and Reform in New York, 1890-1935

Cheryl D. Hicks

In this manuscript, Hicks examines the lives and experiences of working-class black women in early twentieth-century New York. By placing the hopes, concerns, and decisions of these women at the center of an urban narrative, Hicks explores average women's expectations of themselves and their communities as well as their families' and communities' expectations of them. She presents a range of women's ideas about and responses to respectability, domesticity, safety, and sexual desire in the urban North, thereby revealing the complexity of black women's experiences from a vantage point different from that provided by uplift studies. The manuscript focuses on three major themes: urban reform and justice, gender and the criminal justice system, and the dynamics of black families. These themes work to articulate a more full and heretofore-neglected understanding of black working-class women, their relationships with their families, and their interactions with the social welfare and criminal justice systems.

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Telling Histories

Black Women Historians in the Ivory Tower

Edited by Deborah Gray White

The field of black women's history gained recognition as a legitimate field of study only late in the twentieth century. Collecting stories that are both deeply personal and powerfully political, ###Telling Histories# compiles seventeen personal narratives by leading black women historians at various stages in their careers. Their essays illuminate how--first as graduate students and then as professional historians--they entered and navigated the realm of higher education, a world concerned with and dominated by whites and men. In distinct voices and from different vantage points, the personal histories revealed here also tell the story of the struggle to establish a new scholarly field. Black women, alleged by affirmative-action supporters and opponents to be "twofers," recount how they have confronted racism, sexism, and homophobia on college campuses. They explore how the personal and the political intersect in historical research and writing and in the academy. Organized by the years the contributors earned their Ph.D.'s, these essays follow the black women who entered the field of history during and after the civil rights and black power movements, endured the turbulent 1970s, and opened up the field of black women's history in the 1980s. By comparing the experiences of older and younger generations, this collection makes visible the benefits and drawbacks of the institutionalization of African American and African American women's history. ###Telling Histories# captures the voices of these pioneers, intimately and publicly. Contributors: Elsa Barkley Brown, University of Maryland Mia Bay, Rutgers University Leslie Brown, Washington University in St. Louis Crystal N. Feimster, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Sharon Harley, University of Maryland Wanda A. Hendricks, University of South Carolina Darlene Clark Hine, Northwestern University Chana Kai Lee, University of Georgia Jennifer L. Morgan, New York University Nell Irvin Painter, Newark, New Jersey Merline Pitre, Texas Southern University Barbara Ransby, University of Illinois at Chicago Julie Saville, University of Chicago Brenda Elaine Stevenson, University of California, Los Angeles Ula Taylor, University of California, Berkeley Rosalyn Terborg-Penn, Morgan State University Deborah Gray White, Rutgers University This edited collection of 17 original essays plus an introduction by White constitutes the intimate story of the struggle to create the field of black women's history. The contributors are a veritable who's who in the field, ranging from senior scholars like Nell Irvin Painter, Darlene Clark Hine, and White to those with more recently minted Ph.D.’s, such as Crystal Feimster and Barbara Ransby. Their essays tell of the struggle to move from a lack of mentoring, lack of respect for their subject, and lack of support in the profession to the recent burgeoning of the field. The essays are arranged in the order of dates contributors’ PhDs were received. The field of black women's history gained recognition as a legitimate field of study only late in the twentieth century. Collecting stories that are both deeply personal and powerfully political, ###Telling Histories# compiles 17 personal narratives by leading black women historians at various stages in their careers, illuminating how they entered and navigated higher education, a world concerned with--and dominated by--whites and men. In distinct voices and from different vantage points, the personal histories revealed here also tell the story of the struggle to establish the fields of African American and African American women's history. Contributors include Mia Bay, Elsa Barkley Brown, Leslie Brown, Crystal N. Feimster, Darlene Clark Hine, Chana Kai Lee, Jennifer L. Morgan, Nell Irvin Painter, Merline Pitre, Barbara Ransby, Julie Saville, and Ula Taylor. The field of black women's history gained recognition as a legitimate field of study only late in the twentieth century. Collecting stories that are both deeply personal and powerfully political, ###Telling Histories# compiles seventeen personal narratives by leading black women historians at various stages in their careers. Their essays illuminate how--first as graduate students and then as professional historians--they entered and navigated the realm of higher education, a world concerned with and dominated by whites and men. In distinct voices and from different vantage points, the personal histories revealed here also tell the story of the struggle to establish a new scholarly field. Black women, alleged by affirmative-action supporters and opponents to be "twofers," recount how they have confronted racism, sexism, and homophobia on college campuses. They explore how the personal and the political intersect in historical research and writing and in the academy. Organized by the years the contributors earned their Ph.D.'s, these essays follow the black women who entered the field of history during and after the civil rights and black power movements, endured the turbulent 1970s, and opened up the field of black women's history in the 1980s. By comparing the experiences of older and younger generations, this collection makes visible the benefits and drawbacks of the institutionalization of African American and African American women's history. ###Telling Histories# captures the voices of these pioneers, intimately and publicly. Contributors: Elsa Barkley Brown, University of Maryland Mia Bay, Rutgers University Leslie Brown, Washington University in St. Louis Crystal N. Feimster, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Sharon Harley, University of Maryland Wanda A. Hendricks, University of South Carolina Darlene Clark Hine, Northwestern University Chana Kai Lee, University of Georgia Jennifer L. Morgan, New York University Nell Irvin Painter, Newark, New Jersey Merline Pitre, Texas Southern University Barbara Ransby, University of Illinois at Chicago Julie Saville, University of Chicago Brenda Elaine Stevenson, University of California, Los Angeles Ula Taylor, University of California, Berkeley Rosalyn Terborg-Penn, Morgan State University Deborah Gray White, Rutgers University

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Terror in the Heart of Freedom

Citizenship, Sexual Violence, and the Meaning of Race in the Postemancipation South

Hannah Rosen

The meaning of race in the antebellum southern United States was anchored in the racial exclusivity of slavery (coded as black) and full citizenship (coded as white as well as male). These traditional definitions of race were radically disrupted after emancipation, when citizenship was granted to all persons born in the United States and suffrage was extended to all men. Hannah Rosen persuasively argues that in this critical moment of Reconstruction, contests over the future meaning of race were often fought on the terrain of gender.

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Women's Antiwar Diplomacy during the Vietnam War Era

Jessica M. Frazier

In 1965, fed up with President Lyndon Johnson's refusal to make serious diplomatic efforts to end the Vietnam War, a group of female American peace activists decided to take matters into their own hands by meeting with Vietnamese women to discuss how to end U.S. intervention. While other attempts at women's international cooperation and transnational feminism have led to cultural imperialism or imposition of American ways on others, Jessica M.Frazier reveals an instance when American women crossed geopolitical boundaries to criticize American Cold War culture, not promote it. The American women Frazier studies not only solicited Vietnamese women's opinions and advice on how to end the war but also viewed them as paragons of a new womanhood by which American women could rework their ideas of gender, revolution, and social justice during an era of reinvigorated feminist agitation.

Unlike the many histories of the Vietnam War that end with an explanation of why the memory of the war still divides U.S. society, by focusing on linkages across national boundaries, Frazier illuminates a significant moment in history when women formed effective transnational relationships on genuinely cooperative terms.

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Writing Reconstruction

Race, Gender, and Citizenship in the Postwar South

Sharon D. Kennedy-Nolle

After the Civil War, the South was divided into five military districts occupied by Union forces. Out of these regions, a remarkable group of writers emerged. Experiencing the long-lasting ramifications of Reconstruction firsthand, many of these writers sought to translate the era's promise into practice. In fiction, newspaper journalism, and other forms of literature, authors including George Washington Cable, Albion Tourgee, Constance Fenimore Woolson, and Octave Thanet imagined a new South in which freedpeople could prosper as citizens with agency. Radically re-envisioning the role of women in the home, workforce, and marketplace, these writers also made gender a vital concern of their work. Still, working from the South, the authors were often subject to the whims of a northern literary market. Their visions of citizenship depended on their readership's deference to conventional claims of duty, labor, reputation, and property ownership. The circumstances surrounding the production and circulation of their writing blunted the full impact of the period's literary imagination and fostered a drift into the stereotypical depictions and other strictures that marked the rise of Jim Crow.

Sharon D. Kennedy-Nolle blends literary history with archival research to assess the significance of Reconstruction literature as a genre. Founded on witness and dream, the pathbreaking work of its writers made an enduring, if at times contradictory, contribution to American literature and history.

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