13th 2009
A Preview of Women’s History Month: “History Matters” by Judith Bennett

Posted under: book reviews, women's history

bennetthistorymattersA few weeks ago, Notorious Ph.D., Girl Scholar invited me to participate in a cross-blog discussion of Judith Bennett’s History Matters:  Patriarchy and the Challenge of Feminism.  We talked it over, and thought, “why keep something this much fun all to ourselves?”  So we invited Tenured Radical and Another Damned Medievalist at Blogenspiel to join in the fun, too.  On each successive Monday one of us will offer a post talking over a few of the many provocative ideas in Bennett’s book, and invite our readers to join in.  (In the 1970s, my parents used to participate in “Progressive Dinners,” which were dinner parties where each course is hosted by a different person or family in the neighborhood.  That way, no one gets totally exhausted preparing a huge meal and cleaning up afterwards, since everyone is responsible for just one course.  Think of this as a Progressive Dinner with feminist food for thought on the menu.)

Judy Chicago, "The Dinner Party," 1979

Judy Chicago, "The Dinner Party," 1979

Our hope is that our readers will follow each conversation and participate, which is why we’re announcing this while it’s still February.  There’s still time to get your copy of the book–either from a book seller, or from your local library.  Please join us! 

Here’s the schedule:

  • Monday, March 2, Notorious, Ph.D. will get us started, since she is one of Bennett’s fellow medieval European historians
  • Historiann will roll the chariot along on Monday, March 9, straight outta the colonial Americas
  • Tenured Radical will weigh in with her perspective as a modern U.S. historian on Monday, March 16
  • Another Damned Medievalist at Blogenspiel will give it up on Monday, March 23
  • And since March has five Mondays, we hope to offer a special guest post on March 30, and invite you all to use that day to post your own thoughts on Bennett’s book, or on the conversation we’ve been having.

We hope you will read the book and join the conversations!


12 Responses to “A Preview of Women’s History Month: “History Matters” by Judith Bennett”

  1. Janice on 13 Feb 2009 at 7:30 am #

    I’m picking up a copy so that I can join in at the finish!

  2. historydoll on 13 Feb 2009 at 7:58 am #

    This is a fabulous idea. It’s a wonderful book (and as a medievalist, and a tremendous admirer of all of Judith Bennett’s work, this idea makes me especially happy.)

  3. Indyanna on 13 Feb 2009 at 9:13 am #

    There goes Spring Break in Mexico, but it’s worth it. I’ll sign on. Will these successive weeks be linked on all of the blogs in question (a technology not available for those 70s dinners) or by migrating from one to the next each Monday? Great picture, Historiann. Is that installation permanently installed somewhere, or in storage, or does it travel around from time to time?

  4. squadratomagico on 13 Feb 2009 at 9:22 am #

    I read the book recently and found the early chapters, on feminist consciousness within history and historical consciousness within feminism, absolutely fascinating.

  5. Historiann on 13 Feb 2009 at 9:24 am #

    I’m so pleased to hear of this early, strong interest in our book club! To answer Indyanna’s question, the three of us who aren’t hosting the discussion on a given Monday will direct readers to the blog that is hosting, so that we keep the conversation happening all on one blog and in one thread. So, you don’t have to bookmark this post if you check in here or at one of the other blogs regularly–we’ll prompt you when a new post is up at another blog.

  6. Belle on 13 Feb 2009 at 10:48 am #

    Like others, I’m going to get/read the book just so I can follow along! Thanks for doing this, all of you!

  7. Lilian Nattel on 13 Feb 2009 at 12:18 pm #

    Very Cool! I hope that you’ll post a reminder of the schedule when it isn’t your turn to blog.

  8. Mamalooper on 13 Feb 2009 at 12:32 pm #

    As an “amateur” academic (i.e. doing on my own time to keep myself sane post motherhood), I will definitely pick this up and follow along the “big kids” in their blogs and comments.

  9. Satsuma on 13 Feb 2009 at 8:16 pm #

    Yum yum yum!! I am so looking forward to this feast of intellectual feminists and historians! You are the answer to my hopes and dreams of late!!! :-)

  10. Vaycay roundup: fun in the sun, yee-haw! edition : Historiann : History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present on 16 Feb 2009 at 6:36 am #

    [...] It might make a good companion volume to Judith Bennett’s History Matters, which will be the subject of our Women’s History Month book club discussion here and at three other top women’s history [...]

  11. Weekend roundup: Oh, for dog’s sake! edition : Historiann : History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present on 28 Feb 2009 at 8:26 am #

    [...] is due Monday, March 2 over at Notorious Ph.D., Girl Scholar, where we’ll begin our discussion of Judith Bennett’s History Matters.  (While you’re over there, give her a little sugar–she just got news [...]

  12. Who indeed is afraid of the distant past (and who says it’s distant, anyway)? A call to arms. : Historiann : History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present on 09 Mar 2009 at 5:31 am #

    [...] Part II of Judith Bennett’s “History Matters” Women’s History Month book clu….  If you haven’t seen it already, go read Part I here. [...]

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