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Journal of Women's History 14.2 (2002) 7-8

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Editor's Note

As you read this issue, I shall be relocating to the Women's Studies Program at the University of California at Santa Barbara. Because the Journal of Women's History is scheduled to move to a new home in two years, we have arranged to keep the journal office physically at Ohio State University, where the College of Humanities and Department of History will continue to provide generous support. My colleague in Latin American history, Donna J. Guy, will join me as co-editor, Birgitte Søland will continue to serve as Book Review Editor, and the Associate Editors—Susan Hartmann, Claire Robertson, Stephanie Shaw, and Birgitte—will also remain in place.

By the time this issue appears, the Board of Editors will have met at the Berkshire Conference and discussed the Journal's move to a new home in 2004. The Journal of Women's History is a non-profit corporation, not affiliated with any professional organization, so a committee of Board members will be responsible for evaluating publication proposals and choosing a new editor or editors. Stay tuned for further details. But it is not too soon for interested parties to begin thinking about proposals, which should include a statement of editorial policy, an agenda for the future, an organizational plan, and a commitment of institutional support.

In this issue, we continue with a variety of special features that are part of our ongoing consideration of the past, present, and future of the field of women's history. We kick off with a thought-provoking reflection by Sandi Cooper on the recent prosecution of rape and sexual enslavement of women as war crimes in light of a long history of international activism by women. This essay originated as an inspiring talk for Women in Development at Ohio State, and we are delighted to be able to publish it here.

Moving swiftly back in time and partway around the globe, we offer next a fascinating account of courtesan culture in T'ang China. Ping Yao uses a unique source—epitaphs for courtesans—to make connections between sexuality and public life by showing the role of courtesans in elevating the status of a new elite of literati-officials.

The next two contributions offer multivocal reflections on the field. As Susan Ware explains in her introduction, Pauli Murray emerged as the most sought-after figure in the call for contributors to the forthcoming volume of Notable American Women. One of the volunteers, Jane DeHart, suggested the idea for a symposium on Murray. The essays gathered here show the ways that one (admittedly extraordinary) life opens out to practically every critical historical development in the field of twentieth-century [End Page 7] American women's history. Following naturally from the considerations of Pauli Murray, "Agents of Social Change," introduced and compiled by Kate Weigand, offers some of the highlights of a remarkable conference sponsored by the Sophia Smith Collection at Smith College. Speaking to archivists, activists, and academics, conference keynote speakers Linda Kerber, Linda Gordon, and Barbara Epstein welcomed new archival collections for the insights they give us about the past and both celebrated and challenged the history and present of the women's movement. These addresses are followed, in the tradition of our "Getting to the Source" section, by reflections on the rich possibilities for future research in the newly available papers of major archivists and organizations.

And speaking of the future, we offer an essay by junior-division women's history National History Day prize-winners Elizabeth Mandel and Beryl Sinclair explaining their exhibit on women industrial workers in the Second World War. The issue concludes with book review essays by Leisa Meyer on women and war, Ann Taylor Allen on comparative women's movements, and Judith Baer on marriage and citizenship in U.S. history, as well as a full complement of book and dissertation abstracts.

We shall continue, in forthcoming issues, to reflect on where women's history has been and where it is going, as we at the office and...


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