Journal of Women's History

Journal of Women's History 14.3, Autumn 2002



Contents

Getting to the Source

    Achebe, Nwando, 1970-
  • Nwando Achebe--Daughter, Wife, and Guest--A Researcher at the Crossroads
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    Subject Headings:
    • Achebe, Nwando, 1970-
    • Women -- Africa -- Research -- United States.
    • Women scholars -- Virginia -- Williamsburg.
    Abstract:
      This article investigates the methods of historical fieldwork—and the problems, contradictions, and dilemmas inherent in it. It addresses questions of ethical research, the process of information-gathering, the relationship between the actual fieldwork experience and the interpretation and evaluation of research findings, how the researcher writes and represents her collaborators' words, and the power dynamics involved in the research process. In addition, this article evaluates personhood and the intersection between the political, intellectual, and cultural nexus of being an insider/outsider researcher. It critically explores the implications of identity creation and negotiation for a more complex understanding of African women's and gendered histories.

Articles

    McGough, Laura.
  • Women, Private Property, and the Limitations of State Authority in Early Modern Venice
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    Subject Headings:
    • Charities -- Italy -- Venice -- Political activity -- History.
    • Women's rights -- Italy -- Venice -- History.
    • Right of property -- Italy -- Venice -- History.
    Abstract:
      This article explores the relationship between middle-class women and the early modern state in Venice by examining the wills of women who entrusted charitable institutions with the oversight of their wills. Women's testamentary practices helped to shape political power in early modern Venice by entrusting charitable institutions rather than the central government with the oversight of wills. Furthermore, women used these charitable institutions to protect their private property against claims by male kin, especially husbands. This article builds on recent reinterpretations of the nature and configuration of state power in early modern Europe, especially Italy, which emphasize how the boundaries between public and private power were contested and redrawn. Women's sizeable gifts to charitable institutions helped sustain these institutions as alternative sites of political power, different from and at least partially autonomous from the centralized state.
    Sen, Satadru.
  • The Savage Family: Colonialism and Female Infanticide in Nineteenth-Century India
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    Subject Headings:
    • Infanticide -- India -- History -- 19th century.
    • Infant girls -- Crimes against -- India -- History -- 19th century.
    • India -- Social life and customs -- 19th century.
    • Savage family -- History -- 19th century.
    Abstract:
      Between 1850 and 1870, British administrators in colonial India concluded that female infanticide was a problem of enormous proportions. They decided that the killing of infant girls was rooted not in individual deviance but in the culture of the zenana, or the women's quarters of the Indian home. These perceptions shaped countermeasures that sought to identify "infanticidal" communities and restructure the power relations within the infanticidal household. The project received cautious support from native elites who, it has been suggested, were typically reluctant to allow British interference in the "Indian" home. This article shows how the colonial understanding of the problem was shaped by ideas of collective criminality, and argues that the campaign against infanticide was inseparable from the British effort to colonize the zenana. It argues also that Indian men accommodated the intervention in order to promote their own moral authority, their national legitimacy, and their patriarchal privileges.
    Sacco, Lynn.
  • Sanitized for Your Protection: Medical Discourse and the Denial of Incest in the United States, 1890-1940
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    Subject Headings:
    • Medical errors -- United States -- History.
    • Gonorrhea -- United States -- Etiology -- History.
    • Teenage girls -- Health and hygiene -- United States -- History.
    • Incest victims -- United States -- Social conditions.
    Abstract:
      This article examines medical discourses from 1890 to 1940, when physicians and reformers uncovered, and then dissembled, evidence that white, middle- and upper-class American men were sexually abusing their daughters. Doctors had long recognized that children could acquire gonorrhea, but they believed that infections were confined primarily to poor and working-class girls who had been sexually assaulted. In the 1890s, doctors began to incorporate new technologies into the diagnostic process and they were shocked to discover that gonorrhea infection was so common among girls that they feared it was epidemic. Doctors claimed that concurrent infections in fathers and daughters from "respectable" white families were particularly vexing. Although they could neither explain nor prove how else these girls became infected, doctors refused to consider the possibility of incest. Persistently ignoring the obvious, health care workers and reformers revised their views about the susceptibility of girls to infection, not incest. By 1940, medical textbooks relied on untested speculation to declare that most girls acquired gonorrhea from nonsexual contacts with other females or contaminated objects: their mothers, other girls, or toilet seats. "Scientific advances," ironically, obscured rather than illuminated the source of girls' infection.
    Paisley, Fiona.
  • Cultivating Modernity: Culture and Internationalism in Australian Feminism's Pacific Age
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    Subject Headings:
    • Pan-Pacific Women's Conference.
    • Feminism -- Australia -- History -- 20th century.
    • Internationalism -- History -- 20th century.
    Abstract:
      In 1928, the first Pan-Pacific Women's Conference was held in Honolulu and attracted women from Australia, the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, China, and elsewhere. This article considers the first three conferences of this Pan-Pacific Women's Association, focusing on Australian delegates and their claim to mediate a dialogue between women of the "East" and "West." Conferences were also to offer "Eastern" women opportunities to practice becoming modern and to "learn" from the world community of modern women. In recognition of the Orientalist politics underpinning the cultural internationalism proclaimed by these conferences as a means for world cooperation, this article situates Australian delegates' account of Pan-Pacific Women's Conferences within transnational histories of empire, nation, and "race," as well as feminism.

Dialogue: Paradigm Shift Books: A Midwife's Tale by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

    Dunn, Mary Maples.
  • Dialogue: Paradigm Shift Books: A Midwife's Tale by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
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    Subject Headings:
    • Ulrich, Laurel. Midwife's tale: the life of Martha Ballard, based on her diary, 1785-1812.
    • Midwives -- Maine -- Hallowell -- Diaries.
    Cohen, Patricia Cline.
  • Dialogue
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    Subject Headings:
    • Ulrich, Laurel. Midwife's tale: the life of Martha Ballard, based on her diary, 1785-1812.
    • Women -- Maine -- Hallowell -- History.
    • Midwives -- Maine -- Hallowell -- Diaries.
    Miller, Marla R.
  • Dialogue
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    Subject Headings:
    • Ulrich, Laurel. Midwife's tale: the life of Martha Ballard, based on her diary, 1785-1812.
    • Midwives -- Maine -- Hallowell -- Diaries.
    • Women -- Maine -- Hallowell -- History.
    Ulrich, Laurel.
  • Dialogue
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    Subject Headings:
    • Dunn, Mary Maples. Dialogue: paradigm shift books: A midwife's tale by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich.
    • Cohen, Patricia Cline. Dialogue.
    • Miller, Marla R. Dialogue.
    • Women -- Maine -- Hallowell -- History.
    • Midwives -- Maine -- Hallowell -- Diaries.

Book Reviews

    Bell, Susan G.
  • The Trauma of an Arranged Marriage
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    Subject Headings:
    • Rozmberka, Perchta z, 15th cent. Letters of the Rozmberk sisters: noblewomen in fifteenth-century Bohemia.
    • Klassen, John M., tr.
    • Dolezalová, Eva, tr.
    • Szabo, Lynn, tr.
    • Rozmberka, Perchta z, 15th cent. -- Correspondence.
    Smidt, Andrea.
  • Power, Religiosity, and Sexuality in Medieval Spain
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    Subject Headings:
    • Lagunas, Cecilia. Abadesas y clérigos: poder, religiosidad y sexualidad en el monacato español, siglo x-xv.
    • Monasticism and religious orders for women -- Spain -- History.
    Hyman, Colette A., 1958-
  • The Civil Rights Movement, From the Outside and the Inside
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    Subject Headings:
    • Richards, Yevette. Maida Springer: Pan-Africanist and international labor leader.
    • Schultz, Debra L. Going South: Jewish women in the civil rights movement.
    • Springer, Maida.
    • African Americans -- Civil rights -- Southern States -- History -- 20th century.
    Enstad, Nan.
  • Partners in Crime? Writing the Social History of Women and the Poststructural History of Gender
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    Subject Headings:
    • Søland, Birgitte, 1959- Becoming modern: young women and the reconstruction of womanhood in the 1920s.
    • Duggan, Lisa, 1954- Sapphic slashers: sex, violence, and American modernity.
    • Women -- Denmark -- History -- 20th century.
    • Mitchell, Alice, 19th cent.



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