In both my grad class and my undergrad class this week we’re discussing Sharon Block’s Rape and Sexual Power in Early America. This is a book that goes over very well with college students, given their vulnerability to sexual assault as well as Block’s analysis of the racial and class dynamics of rape complaints and prosecutions. I was pushing my students on the question of why more hasn’t changed over the past 300 years, and decided to ask them if they knew someone who had been raped. All of us but ONE person out of 17 or 18 of us in the discussion section raised a hand. Continue reading
I have a new obsession. If it were a man, my husband would be jealous (or so I would hope.) All weekend and much of this week so far, I’ve been listening to the You Must Remember This podcast, which is written and voiced by Karina Longworth. Its tagline is “exploring the secret and/or forgotten histories of 20th Century Hollywood.”
Why do I love it? It’s like eating a bag of potato chips, or a box of candy, but they’re really smart potato chips, and really nutritious candy. I think I’ve shared here before that on the rare occasions I read history books for pleasure, I read twentieth-century U.S. history. Longworth’s research and writing are all that, plus celebrity gossip, and more!
But by far, the best thing about You Must Remember This is the clear feminist through-line of Longworth’s analysis of the careers of women artists. I burned through the entire 12-part series she did last summer on “Charles Manson’s Hollywood” while washing my windows on Sunday afternoon, and this almost made window-washing a pleasure. This series includes a riveting analysis of Manson Family murder victim Sharon Tate’s short acting career along with a consideration of the not-very-revolutionary aspects of the Sexual Revolution for most women, even (or especially) women in the industry. Since then I’ve heard her fascinating reconsiderations of the careers of Marion Davies and Mia Farrow. Continue reading
That’s my life these days! And it’s why you haven’t heard from me very much lately. I suppose it’s true for most of us advanced–not to say superannuated–Associate Professors.
I’m trying to get a grip on this friends, but it seems like already I’m swamped with requests for letters of recommendations, manuscripts to review for presses, articles to review for journals, serving on a postdoctoral fellowship committee, and all kinds of worthy work that I want to do, because 1) it’s only fair, considering that I have been the beneficiary of this kind of work from others, and 2) it’s probably the most direct way I can advance feminism in my field and my profession. By writing letters recommending other feminists for jobs, fellowships, and publication, I’m effectively throwing down the ladder and trying to pull others on board. Continue reading
Miss me, friends? I’m having a great time in the classroom again with my students, but clearly I need to figure out how it was that I was once able to manage my day job and to blog daily. Maybe I was younger? Maybe I felt like I had fresh ideas once upon a time?
Although I didn’t liveblog or Tweet about it, I watched the Republican debate Wednesday night from start to finish. I thought it was both highly entertaining and permitted the candidates to stake out and articulate their positions. There were some very important differences among the Republicans on the main stage–on federalism (good according to Mike “Two Buck” Huckabee when it permits a state to resist marriage equality, and bad according to Chris Christie when it permits Coloradoans to spark up without fear of Johnny Law), on U.S. borders and whether it’s good or bad to speak Spanish, on the previous decade-plus of warfare and other intervention in the Middle East, and on the most important question of the night: whether to honor your wife or your mother by putting her face on a sawbuck. (Srsly?)
I miss Rick Perry, but only because he was the closest thing to a handsome man anywhere near that stage. I’ve also decided that Rand Paul looks like just about every boy I had a crush on in high school in the 1980s, with pretty much the same haircut too. (Don’t judge.)
But this is a blog written by a women’s historian, and there is a woman running for President again on the Republican side, so let’s talk about Carly Fiorina and her interesting offensive on motherhood last night. Amanda Marcotte wonders “What Was Up with Carly Fiorina’s Grisly Abortion Rant?” in the debate last night. I don’t think it’s so difficult to guess–Fiorina is the only person on the stage who didn’t have children of her own. While the male Republican candidates eruped in a patronizing ooze about their wives and families when given the opportunity to introduce themselves to the general public, each of them name-checking their wives and most listing their children by name, Fiorina was at a disadvantage in the DNA-bestowing contest. Continue reading
I love it when history conferences come to the neighborhood, especially when they’re ones that I’m interested in attending. I’ve traveled to other western cities to attend the WAWH before, so of course I’ll be at the Western Association of Women Historians in Denver next May 12-14! The most important date for you to keep in mind is September 18, 2015, which is the deadline for the call for papers. Continue reading
Don’t miss John Fea’s interview of Terri L. Snyder about her brand-new book, The Power to Die: Slavery and Suicide in British North America (University of Chicago Press, 2015)., which I learned of via the ubiquitous and always-in-the-know Liz Covart on Twitter.
In the course of the interview, Snyder outlines how she came about her ideas for her second book in the course of researching her first book, Brabbilng Women: Disorderly Speech and the Law in Early Virginia (Cornell University Press, 2003; Cornell Paperback, 2013): Continue reading
UPDATE, 8/31/15 11:50 a.m. Well, that was fast. The first video was terminated! I’ll let you know if I find another copy somewhere, but if you go to the Who Do You Think You Are schedule, you’ll see the promo with a glimpse of me today. In the meantime, try the link below.
French Protestants! Religious persecution! Siege and starvation! Migration and the bounty of the New World! It’s all posted on YouTube, at least for now: