The Nudge and Tie Breaker That Took Women’s Suffrage from Nay to Yea in 1920

The final step toward ratification hinged on the decision of one young man in Tennessee: State Rep. Harry T. Burn. Introduction The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified 100 years ago this week, and it comprises just 39 words: The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied[…]

Suffragists and Hunger Strikes in the Early 20th Century

How suffragists first used hunger strikes as a form of resistance and protest. Introduction Asylum seekers held in detention by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in California have launched a series of hunger strikes to demand personal protective equipment, medical care and provisional release as COVID-19 cases surge among incarcerated populations. In Kentucky, four activists went[…]

Were Women the True Artisans Behind Ancient Greek Ceramics?

A new paper makes the case that scholars have ignored the role of female ceramicists in Greece going back some 3,000 years. By Dr. Max G. Levy Painted over the enormous midsection of the Dipylon amphora—a nearly 2,800-year-old clay vase from Greece—silhouetted figures surround a corpse in a funeral scene. Intricate geometric patterns zig and[…]

The Shoulders of Bella Abzug for Today’s Women in Politics and Government

A warrior for every social justice movement of her day, Abzug stood on the front lines protesting injustices that still roil this nation. Introduction Since winning the vote a century ago, only four American women have captured the major parties’ nominations for president and vice president. Blasting open the road leading them to the top[…]

Suffragist Village: Leaders in the Ballot for Women’s Right to Vote in the United States

After years of struggle, on Aug. 18, 1920, Tennessee became the final state needed to ratify the 19th Amendment. Introduction Through the mid-19th century and early 20th centuries, women from all backgrounds in the United States pushed for social reforms that affected their lives. They formed antislavery organizations, temperance unions and sparked movements for equality[…]

Cleopatra: ‘Queen of the Nile’

As the last Ptolemaic heir of Alexander the Great, she remained committed to his policy of cultural fusion. Introduction Cleopatra VII Philopator (January, 69 B.C.E. – August 12, 30 B.C.E.) was queen of Ancient Egypt, the last member of the Macedonian Ptolemaic dynasty and hence the last Greek ruler of Egypt. Although many other Egyptian[…]

Marie Tharp: The Woman Who Pioneered Mapping the Ocean Six Decades Ago

Geologist and cartographer Tharp changed scientific thinking about what lay at the bottom of the ocean. Introduction Despite all the deep-sea expeditions and samples taken from the seabed over the past 100 years, humans still know very little about the ocean’s deepest reaches. And there are good reasons to learn more. Most tsunamis start with[…]

The Victorian Prostitute Whose ‘Pox’ Inspired Feminists

In Victorian times, syphilis was believed to arise spontaneously in a prostitute’s body, a result of ‘immorality’. But as medical knowledge advanced, early feminists began to challenge the law that detained and punished women for their illness. By Anna Faherty / 07.20.2017 Associate Lecturer University of the Arts London Fitzrovia, 1875. A woman recorded only as “A[…]

The Life of Rosina Bulwer Lytton: Women and Mental Health in the 19th Century

Rosina Bulwer Lytton, from A Blighted Life, 1880 / Wellcome Collection, Creative Commons The life of Rosina Bulwer Lytton provides a fascinating insight into the attitudes towards women and mental health in the 19th century. By Julia Nurse / 09.18.2015 Collections Researcher Wellcome Library Dismissed for years as the mad wife of the novelist and[…]

The Treatment of Women in Prison in the 19th Century

Woking Convict Invalid Prison: a woman prisoner in solitary confinement / Wellcome Collection, Creative Commons Prison officers tried to regulate women’s minds and bodies, and maintain a new disciplinary routine in the second half of the 1800s. Many female inmates resisted.      By (left-to-right) Dr. Rachel Bennett, Dr. Catherine Cox, and Dr. Hilary Marland /[…]

The Ladies of Llangollen: A ‘Romantic Friendship’ in the 18th Century

Two 18th-century women, Sarah Ponsonby and Eleanor Butler, are famous for their romantic friendship, which was then a concept helpful for lesbian couples hoping to avoid a scandal. By Sarah Bentley / 03.12.2018 Visitor Experience Assistant Wellcome Collection In her book, ‘The Ladies of Llangollen: A study in romantic friendship’, author Elizabeth Mavor sends the[…]

Preserving the Legacy of the Los Angeles Woman’s Building

Outside the Woman’s Building, 1975. The Getty Research Institute, 2018.M.16. Photo: Maria Karras. Gift of Maria Karras. © Maria Karras, BFA, RBP, MA Several feminist art archives to be preserved and accessible thanks to new grant. By Andra Darlington / 11.01.2018 Head of Special Collections Management Getty Research Institute In 1973, artist Judy Chicago, designer[…]

Gridlock to Victory: The Women’s Suffrage Crusade in Washington, 1848-1920

Women suffragists picketing in front of the White house. The first picket line – College day in the picket line line, 1917 / Wikimedia Commons Washington suffragists supported the national crusade until the 1920 ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. By Dr. Mildred Andrews / 02.26.2004 Social Historian Introduction ashington women won[…]

Meeting of Eleanor Roosevelt and Mary Pos: First Lady and First Female Travel Journalist

   Investigating potential correlations between Roosevelt’s and Pos’ ideas on women’s rights and intercultural understanding. By Dr. Babs Boter Professor of Literature Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam Note: Images not included in original publication. Abstract Mary Pos, self-proclaimed first female travel journalist from the Netherlands, met Eleanor Roosevelt first in 1937 during a women-only press conference at the[…]

The 19th-Century Author Rejected from the Brazilian Academy for Being a Woman

Júlia Lopes de Almeida was a founding member in the creation of the Brazilian Academy of Letters but was left out because she was a woman. | Image: National Library Foundation. Public Archives. She helped create the Brazilian Academy of Letters—only to be excluded by the institution for being a woman. By Fabíola Hauch / 10.12.2018 Júlia[…]

Ancient Greek Women and Art: The Material Evidence

Discussing Ancient Greek women and their relationship to the visual arts solely on the evidence of the extant monuments. By Dr. Brunilde Sismondo Ridgway Professor Emeriti of Archaeology Bryn Mawr College Abstract Ancient Greek women and their relationship to the visual arts are here discussed solely on the evidence of the extant monuments, rather than on[…]

How Women Won the Right to Vote in 19th-Century Colorado

(Left-to-right) Carrie Clyde Holly, Clara Cresshingham and Frances Klock They had to convince a majority of men in the state, not just legislators, that they should share political power with women. By Dr. Jennifer Frost / 10.14.2018 Associate Professor of History University of Auckland “Western Women Wild With Joy Over Colorado’s Election,” journalist and suffragist Caroline[…]

Strong Women Did a Lot of Heavy Lifting in Ancient Farming Societies

Early agrarian women—like these murdered in what is now western France some 6500 years ago—may have been critical manual laborers in their societies. Didier Descouens/Wikimedia Commons Prehistoric women shouldered a major share of the hoeing, digging, and hauling in early agricultural societies. By Michael Price / 11.29.2017 Forget about emotional labor. Women living 7000 years ago[…]

Penitence, Confession, and Submission in Late Medieval Women’s Religious Communities

14th-century theological compendium / University of California Berkeley Special Collections Examining depictions of penance and confession in late medieval “Sisterbooks”. By Dr. Rabi Gregory / 08.06.2012 Associate Professor of Religious Studies University of Missouri Introduction This article argues that depictions of penance and confession in late medieval “Sisterbooks,” which were written by women religious for[…]

Medieval Women: The Arnolfini Portrait and the Expectation of Constant Pregnancy

Jan Van Eyck, The Arnolfini Portrait, 1434, tempera and oil on oak panel, 82.2 x 60 cm (National Gallery, London), photo: Dr. Steven Zucker CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 Women lived and died in a culture that expected near-constant pregnancy. By Lane Eagles / 08.26.2018 PhD Candidate in Art History University of Washington Is She Really Pregnant? Jan[…]

Medieval Women and the Notion of ‘Lost Blood’

Artwork page for ‘The Cholmondeley Ladies’, Unknown artist, Britain, c.1600-10 / Tate Britain In the Middle Ages, the power of blood-images was immediate and valuable. By Dr. Laura Kalas Williams / 01.04.2017 Lecturer in English Literature and Creative Writing Swansea University Images and stories of bloodshed have been ubiquitous of late. Bloodied and wounded children[…]

The First Time Women Marched On Washington

Women suffragists marching on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C., March 3, 1913 Demanding the right to vote under Wilson. By Dr. Kimberly A. Hamlin / 01.18.2017 Associate Professor of History and Global and Intercultural Studies Miami University Ohio On March 3, 1913, the day before President-elect Woodrow Wilson’s inauguration, more than 5,000 women—young and old,[…]

Women and the Russian Revolution

Wikimedia Commons Exploring how women’s lives changed during the Russian Revolution, tracing the history of female revolutionaries in Russia and the different ways women documented and participated in events. By Katie McElvanney AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Candidate Queen Mary University What was life like for women before the Russian Revolution? The life experiences of women in the Russian[…]

Early Modern Books and Moving Images

EPB/35960/A: François Mauriceau, The accomplisht midwife, treating of the diseases of women with child, and in child-bed (London: J. Darby for B. Billingsley, 1673), first folding plate. Wellcome Images L0014457. By Rebecca Whiteley / 08.11.2016 PhD Student in History of Art University College London Looking through copies of ‘The diseases of women with child and[…]