Historian Elisabeth Griffith, a biographer of suffrage pioneer Elizabeth Cady Stanton, leads a fast-paced series that examines the history of women in America from the colonial period through second-wave feminism. Each session covers approximately a century of American history, tracing the advances, setbacks, accomplishments, and complications of the nation’s diverse women.
Note: Individual lectures are also available for purchase. Click the featured dates below.
APR 11 Colonial Dames, Servants, Slaves, and Free Black and Native Women (1600–1770)
What about a new world benefitted women? Is American history a chronicle of women losing, rather than gaining, rights?
MAY 9 Republican Mothers (1776–1850)
How have we defined appropriate roles for women? And for which women— "ladies," mill girls, slaves, or frontierswomen?
JUN 6 Reforming Women (1850–1920)
Over a dynamic period of dramatic change, the idealized True Woman evolved into the New Woman. The shift ushered in an era of higher hemlines, shorter hair, great migrations, widening sexual freedom, and voting rights.
JUL 18 Eleanor, Rosie, Rosa, and Betty (1920–1970)
Many historians consider that women's rights stalled after suffrage was won, but black women civil-rights leaders, labor organizers, and finally, feminists would slowly advance social change.
For a few decades after the 1776 adoption of New Jersey’s state constitution, women and black people could vote. Smithsonian.com reports on that short-lived enfranchisement, and how these rights were revoked.
Photo Caption (above right): Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, ca. 1891 (Library Of Congress)