Viking Men Weren’t the Only Travelers

Mum’s gone to Iceland. Creatista/Shutterstock The traditional picture of Vikings is one of boatloads of hairy men pillaging their way along the coasts of Europe.  True to some extent, they and Norsewomen were also explorers and settlers. By Dr. Daniel Zadik / 12.16.2014 Postdoctoral Research Fellow University of Nottingham The traditional picture of Vikings is one[…]

Women’s Work in Natural History Museums

By Dr. Jenna Tonn / 03.15.2018 Visiting Assistant Professor in Science and Technology Studies Boston College The Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ) at Harvard University hired Elizabeth Hodges Clark as a specimen sorter in 1873. The energetic Swiss naturalist Louis Agassiz founded the MCZ in 1859 as a center for natural history teaching, research, and exhibition in the United[…]

Josephine Baker: Iconic Entertainer, Resistance Spy, and American Hero

Josephine Baker | AP By Chauncey K. Robinson / 03.01.2018 It seems only fitting with Black History Month closing out, and Women’s History Month beginning, to highlight a Black woman who exemplified strength and resilience in the face of discrimination and oppression. Famed entertainer Josephine Baker was not only a pioneer in breaking color barriers[…]

Unsung Female Mathematicians: Celebrating Marion Walter

Searching for role models in the math world. ImageFlow/ By Dr. Jennifer Ruef / 03.12.2018 Assistant Professor of Education Studies University of Oregon When I was teaching mathematics in the 90s, before the internet, I had a book of “women mathematicians.” This was helpful for sharing inspirational stories with my middle school students, but there were[…]

Women and Property Law in Ancient Rome

Cornelia Africana / Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Peter Kruschwitz / 03.08.2018 Professor of Classics Fellow of the Pontifical Academy for Latin (Pontificia Academia Latinitatis) University of Reading In 195 B. C., Rome’s women had had enough. It had been for almost exactly twenty years that, due to a decision taken in 215 B. C., at the height of the Second Punic[…]

In Spite of Horrible Conditions, Susan B. Anthony ‘Stumped Right On’

For 45 years, Susan B. Anthony traveled the U.S. relentlessly, stumping for women’s rights. She endured ridicule, was hanged in effigy and faced many horrid meals on the road. Nevertheless, she persisted. / Corbis via Getty Images By Nina Martyris / 03.08.2018 She was hanged in effigy and mocked in cartoons; laughed at by Congress for demanding[…]

A History of Women Who Ran for President

Brooklyn Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm ran for President in 1972 By Dr. Kimberly A. Hamlin Associate Professor of History and Global and Intercultural Studies Miami University in Oxford, Ohio On June 7, 2016, Hillary Rodham Clinton secured enough delegates to become the Democratic nominee for president of the United States. As everyone knows, this will make Clinton the first[…]

Three Strategies Today’s Activist Women Share with Their Foremothers

Members of the Grand Rapids League of Women Voters organized a city get-out-the-vote parade in 1924. Grand Rapids Herald, Sept. 9, 1924. Image courtesy of the Grand Rapids Public Library By Dr. Liette Gidlow / 01.26.2018 Associate Professor of U.S. Political and Women’s/Gender History Wayne State University The first year of Donald Trump’s presidency has inspired[…]

An ‘Hysterical’ Diagnosis and Its Historic Roots

St Lukes Hospital, London: patients case book 1912-1916. Wellcome Library reference: H64/B06/015. What did it mean for a woman to be diagnosed with hysteria? By Charlotte Whittingham / 01.12.2016 Medical Student, Imperial College London Tour Guide and Volunteer Marketing Assistant, Freud Museum London A 1916 casebook from St Luke’s Hospital (then to be found on Old[…]

Elizabeth Bisland’s Race Around the World

Elizabeth Bisland at the time of her trip, from the frontispiece to In Seven Stages / Author’s own scan. Exploring the life and writings of Elizabeth Bisland, an American journalist propelled into the limelight when she set out in 1889 – head-to-head with fellow journalist Nellie Bly – on a journey to beat Phileas Fogg’s fictitious 80-day circumnavigation[…]

Refugee Women Cope With Trauma and Stress Through Drum Circles

Women and children participate in a drum circle in El Cajon, California. Studies have shown that recreational music-making in general and group drumming in particular can decrease stress and change the genomic stress marker. / Photo by Ari Honarvar How music is helping women from war-torn countries express grief and loss. By Ari Honarvar / 12.05.2017 More than three[…]

Iceland’s Forgotten Fisherwomen

Fisherwomen have played a significant role in Iceland’s history, and yet their contribution has been, for the most part, overlooked. / Michelle Jones, Sapiens Many Icelandic women fished in the 18th and 19th centuries, but their work has been largely unrecognized. Why did these female seafarers fade from the country’s memory? By Roberta Kwok /[…]

Frances Glessner Lee: Life and Death in Dioramas

Frances Glessner Lee working on one of her 19 Nutshells By Hillary Moses Mohaupt / 09.14.2017 When Frances Glessner Lee died in 1962, the New York Times obituary called her “a great-grandmother who became an authority on crime” and “a wealthy widow with a consuming interest in real-life mysteries.” The obituary goes on to note that Glessner Lee[…]

Emma Allison, a ‘Lady Engineer’

Baxter Engine, Souvenir of the Centennial Exhibition (1877), by George D. Curtis. (Google Books | Public Domain) By Robert Davis / 07.20.2017 Professor of History Wallace State College In 1876, the Centennial Exhibition, the first United States world’s fair, opened in Philadelphia to celebrate the nation’s 100 year anniversary. With its mission mandated by Congress to showcase “the nation’s progress in[…]

Maryam Mirzakhani was a Role Model for More than Just Her Mathematics

Maryam Mirzakhani, YouTube Screen Capture By Mehrdokht Poumader / 07.17.2017 Lecturer in Operations Management and Organizational Behavior Macquarie Graduate School of Management On July 14, Maryam Mirzakhani, Stanford professor of mathematics and the only female winner of the prestigious Fields Medal in Mathematics, died at the age of 40. In just a few hours, her[…]

Simone de Beauvoir’s Political Philosophy Resonates Today

Simone de Beauvoir in Paris in 1949. / Photo from Elliot Erwitt, Magnum By Dr. Skye C. Cleary / 03.10.2017 Lecturer Columbia University, City College of New York Simone de Beauvoir is rightly best known for declaring: ‘One is not born, but rather becomes, woman.’ A less well-known facet of her philosophy, particularly relevant today, is[…]

Nevertheless, They Persisted – Women’s Demonstrations in Ancient Rome

The Intervention of the Sabine Women (detail), by Jacques-Louis David, 1799 / Louvre Museum, Paris By Dr. Katherine Huntley / 04.24.2017 Professor of Archaeology and Ancient History Boise State University Protesting was a key part of Roman political life. And protesting was fueled by the fact that the Roman Republic, from its founding in 509BCE[…]

How a Growing Number of Muslim Women Clerics are Challenging Traditional Narratives

Indonesian female Muslim students read books in a library. Dadang Tri/Reuters By Dr. Rachel Rinaldo / 06.06.2017 Assistant Professor of Sociology University of Colorado Recent terrorist attacks such as the one in London inevitably lead to coverage of Islamist ideology, Muslim culture and Muslim women’s rights. What is often missing, however, in my view is[…]

Grace Dalrymple Elliott, Courtesan and Spy

Grace Dalrymple Elliott by Thomas Gainsborough, 1778. © Metropolitan Museum of Art By Joanne Major and Sarah Murden / 09.13.2016 The infamous eighteenth-century courtesan Grace Dalrymple Elliott’s birth has not been recorded, but she was certainly born in Scotland, most likely in Edinburgh around 1754. She was to grow up to achieve a scandalous notoriety[…]

Ana Nzinga Mbande, Fearless African Queen

Queen Nzinga Mbande was a ruthless and powerful 17th century African ruler of the Ndongo and Matamba Kingdoms (modern-day Angola). Nzinga fearlessly and cleverly fought for the freedom and stature of her kingdoms against the Portuguese, who were colonizing the area at the time. By KeriLynn Engel Around the turn of the 17th century, the[…]

Dreams and Thunder – Indigenous Feminism

Photo of Zitkala-Ša by Joseph T. Keiley, 1898. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. By Dory Nason / 06.13.2016 To tell the history of Indigenous feminism, we have to acknowledge that such a history can’t be easily distilled down to a few pages or simply based on the origins we think we know and understand about[…]