Search Results for "Judith Bennett\'s History Matters"

17th 2009
Tuesday roundup: Pure marshmallow fluff, but we like it! edition

Posted under American history & art & Dolls & European history & fluff & happy endings & students & women's history

The National Museum of the American Peep

The National Museum of the American Peep

Easter is so late this year and we’ve got several more weeks until we can cuddle fluffy baby bunnies and chicks, so check out these shiny, happy news tidbits:

  • Clio Bluestocking has created the Peep show di tutti Peep Shows:  “The National Museum of the American Peep” features her incredible energy, creativity, and artistry on display.  Don’t miss it!  Be sure to click through all of the photos here.
  • Feeling blue?  You won’t after you read this story and watch this video of The Compliment Guys at Purdue University (via Inside Higher Ed.)  Awwwww-don’t you just want to join a big group hug now? 
  • Part III of the conversation about Judith Bennett’s History Matters is just getting started at Tenured Radical–come on over and join the fun.
  • And now, the best news of all:  Notorious, Ph.D., Girl Scholar and Dr. Crazy at Reassigned Time have been awarded tenure and promotion!  Yes, my pretties:  our cowgirlropeMarxist feminist takeover of higher education is nearly complete!  I’ll be giving you your final instructions soon–you’ll know it’s me when I ring twice, hang up, ring twice again, hang up again, and ring a third time because I can’t figure out this damned text messaging business.  IF U CN READ THS U R DAVID HOROWITZ.  C U L8TR, H8TR!
  • Leave your good news in the thread below.  Fellowships?  Scholarships?  Sabbaticals?  Articles and/or books accepted for publication?  Negative medical test results?  Big tax refund?  Etc.  Sing it!


11th 2009
The Van Dykes, and the generation gap among lesbians

Posted under American history & book reviews & Gender & GLBTQ & women's history

The author on her (lesbian) wedding day

The author on her (lesbian) wedding day

Ariel Levy is now a staff writer for The New Yorker.  (When did this happen?  Why wasn’t I told first?)  Let’s face it:  The Atlantic, The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books–they’re still Sausage Parties, but they seem to be even moreso with a vengeance in the past decade or so.  So, it’s big news that the New Yorker has hired a feminist writer to write professionally about feminism and gender issues.  Hooray! 

A few weeks back, Levy had a great article about women’s history and LGBTQ history that is a must-read for women’s history month.  She writes about a band of lesbian separatists who imagined a different kind of life and family for themselves, and lived their dreams (out of a van, so they called themselves the Van Dykes) for a few years in the 1970s on the road in North America.  It’s a familiar story to anyone with any familiarity with American utopian movements–from the Shakers, to the Oneida community, to Battle Creek, and so on:  idealism and a real hope for a different world succeeds for a while, but then fails because they lose the zeal of the founding generation and/or they’re driven apart by sexual jealously.  The charismatic leader of the Van Dykes, Lamar Van Dyke, admits that modern lesbianism seems mystifyingly conformist, while Van Dyke’s determination to live her life on her own terms elicits Levy’s admiration: Continue Reading »


9th 2009
Who indeed is afraid of the distant past (and who says it’s distant, anyway)? A call to arms.

Posted under American history & Berkshire Conference & book reviews & European history & Gender & happy endings & publication & students & women's history

bennetthistorymatters1Part II of Judith Bennett’s “History Matters” Women’s History Month book club.  If you haven’t seen it already, go read Part I here.

When my copy of Judith Bennett’s History Matters:  Patriarchy and the Challenge of Feminism (2006) arrived on the doorstep earlier this winter, I sat down and devoured it.  Yes, it was my constant companion, and even bedtime reading.  At times in the initial chapters, it read like a feminist version of Peter Novick’s That Noble Dream,with bits of gossip dropped here and there (although, frustratingly, I wished that Bennett had dished more than she does–she doesn’t always provide citations when she suggests that people wrote or did something she disapproves of.  However, if you’d like to know what a complete tool Lawrence Stone was, I can direct your attention to p. 14, footnote 36.  The cited condescending book review is available by subscription only on-line, but you can get some of the flava by reading Joan Scott’s angry response here.)  I love Bennett’s passionate, informed conviction that as women’s history has become more institutionalized and thus more distant from the women’s movement, it has lost something vital.

Last week over at Notorious Ph.D., Girl Scholar, several of us got into a discussion about the generational angle of Bennett’s book.  In History Matters, Bennett writes about the excitement of being a graduate student in Toronto in the 1970s at the height of the modern women’s movement, coming out as a lesbian, and helping to invent women’s history all at the same time.  She also writes about her keen disappointment that succeeding generations of women’s historians have lost the founders’ zeal–and although she doesn’t say specifically, my guess is that Generation X women like me are a big part of her disappointment.  Continue Reading »


28th 2009
Weekend roundup: Oh, for dog’s sake! edition

Posted under American history & fluff & Gender & local news & race & women's history

Here, boy!

Here, boy!

It’s sunny and warm here on the Colorado Trail this weekend, so here are a few items to keep you busy while I’m out hikin’, bikin’, fishin’, eatin’, drinkin’, and otherwise droppin’ my Gs!

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16th 2009
Vaycay roundup: fun in the sun, yee-haw! edition

Posted under American history & conferences & fluff & Gender & Intersectionality & race & women's history

cowgirlbikiniI’ve got another day of fun in the sun planned, so I’ll just leave you with a few quick linkies to get your holiday Monday started right:

  • For Presidents’ Day, here are their current rankings, according to this group of historians (via Inside Higher Ed).  The thing I always find really silly about these rankings of presidential greatness is the obvious bias towards more recent presidents.  You’d almost be relieved to have lived in the twentieth century, because of all of the presidential awesomeness then.  Of the top ten on this ranking, only two (#1, Abraham Lincoln, and #7, Thomas Jefferson) are from the nineteenth century.  There’s your obligatory citation of George Washington  (#2?), which just seems like Founding Fathers tokenism, and the chronic overrating of John F. Kennedy (#6–who wants to bet that his stock drops dramatically when people born after 1963 dominate the historians who do these rankings?)  Seriously:  James K. Polk is #12?  Whatever, dudes.  Clearly, starting unnecessary and unprovoked imperial wars isn’t a disqualifying feature in these rankings, with George W. Bush listed at the high rank of #36.  (And bien sur, most of the historians who did the rankings are dudes:  57 men, 10 women by my quick count.) Continue Reading »


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