Events Category


Women’s History Month events, March 21-25

The Iowa Women’s Archives will host events on feminist documentary filmmaking and on the Triangle Factory fire of 1911.

Tuesday, March 22nd, 4:00 p.m., Iowa Women’s Archives, UI Main Library
Award-winning filmmaker Marlene Booth will present a talk entitled “Tell Me a Story: Making and Learning From Documentary Films” on Tuesday, March 22nd. Born and raised in Des Moines, Booth looks back – with clips from her films – on 35 years of filmmaking as a woman, a feminist, and a dyed-in-the-wool Hawkeye. The event will be held in the Iowa Women’s Archives. Reception at 4:00 p.m., followed by presentation from 4:30-5:30 p.m. The Iowa Women’s Archives is located on the 3rd floor of the University of Iowa’s Main Library, just off Burlington and Madison in Iowa City.

Booth, a lecturer in film at the University of Hawaii, has worked in film since 1975, both as an independent and for public television station WGBH-TV in Boston. She has produced and directed several major documentary films screened on PBS, at national and international film festivals, and in classrooms nationwide. Her most recent film, Pidgin: the voice of Hawaii (2009), examines the language spoken by over half of Hawai’i’s people, and confronts issues of language and identity, and who gets to decide what language we speak. Marlene Booth’s visit is sponsored by the UI’s Chief Diversity Office, Law School, History Department, Libraries, and Hillel.

Wednesday, March 23rd at 7:00 p.m. at Hillel
Marlene Booth’s 1999 film “Yidl in the Middle: Growing Up Jewish in Iowa” (1999) explores her Iowa-Jewish roots and uses home movies, period photos, her high school reunion, and interviews, to examine the process of negotiating identity, as an American, a Jew, and a woman. “Yidl in the Middle” will be screened at Hillel (122 E. Market St.) on Wednesday, March 23rd at 7:00 p.m., followed by a question and answer with the director.

Friday, March 25th noon to 1:00 p.m, Room 2032, UI Main Library
We will close women’s history month on Friday, March 25th with “In Memoriam: The Triangle Factory Fire 100th Anniversary,” an event to commemorate the 146 young, immigrant garment workers who lost their lives in this tragedy. Remarks by Professor of History Linda K. Kerber will begin at noon. Dramatic readings by Carol Macvey and UI theater students will follow, with comments by playwright Janet Schlapkohl. This event will take place from noon to 1:00 p.m. in the 2nd floor conference room (2032) of the UI Main Library (Burlington and Madison streets).

For further information call 319-335-5068. All events are free and open to the public.


March 2nd lecture: Black Sorority Activism



Disciplining WomenThe Iowa Women’s Archives kicks off Women’s History Month 2011 with a lecture on Wednesday, March 2nd, by Deborah Elizabeth Whaley,  Assistant Professor of American Studies and African American Studies at the University of Iowa.

Whaley is the author of Disciplining Women: Alpha Kappa Alpha, Black Counterpublics, and the Cultural Politics of Black Sororities, which looks at the role of  the Black sorority in women’s everyday lives, public life, and politics.   Based on ethnographic fieldwork, archival research, oral history, and interpretive readings of popular culture and sorority rituals, the study includes sorority members’ stories of community organizing and of cultural practices and rituals such as step dancing, pledging, and hazing.

Many of the African-American women whose papers are in the Iowa Women’s Archives were members of either Alpha Kappa Alpha or Delta Sigma Theta, so we’ve put up a small exhibit in our reading room of programs and memorabilia of these sororities.

Please join us on Wednesday, March 2, for a reception at 4:00 p.m. and Professor Whaley’s talk at 4:30 p.m.

The Iowa Women’s Archives is located on the 3rd floor of the University of Iowa’s Main Library, just off Burlington and Madison in Iowa City.






Top Secret Rosies

Secret Rosies

In 1942 a group of female mathematicians helped win a war and usher in the modern computer age.  Top Secret Rosies shares the little known story of a group of female mathematicians who did secret research for the US Army during WWII, a handful of whom went on to serve as the programmers of ENIAC, one of the first electronic computers.

Please join filmmaker LeAnn Erickson for a reception and a screening of her new documentary Top Secret Rosies: The Female Computers of WWII on Monday, December 6th at 6:30 p.m. in 1505 Seamans Center (College of Engineering—across from Old Capitol Town Center).  The film will begin at 7:00 p.m.  The event is free and open to the public.


Winning the Vote

Iowa Suffrage Memorial Commission records, Iowa Women's Archives.

Celebrate Women’s Suffrage!

August 26th marks the 90th anniversary of women winning the right to vote in the United States.

Here are a couple of ways to honor those courageous and determined women who fought for the vote:

• Learn about Iowa women’s involvement in the suffrage movement through the exhibit Women’s Suffrage in Iowa: A Sneak Peek of a New Digital Collection.

• Read about an overlooked Iowa suffragist, Annie Savery, in the book Leader and Pariah: Annie Savery and the Campaign for Women’s Rights in Iowa, 1868-1891 by Iowa Women’s Archives founder Louise Noun.  You can purchase the book through the Iowa Women’s Archives.


June 17-19: Women’s & Gender History Conference in Dubuque

The fourth biennial conference of Women and Gender Historians of the Midwest (WGHOM) will be held on June 17, 18 and 19, 2010, at the Town Clock Center for Professional Development of Northeast Iowa Community College in Dubuque, Iowa. 

This conference will bring together scholars, educators, students and the public to explore current issues in women’s and gender history to showcase the academic work of Midwestern and other scholars who focus on women or gender. 

Honoring the conference location in the historic river community of Dubuque, Iowa, the 2010 theme highlights the convergence of scholarship and contemporary pedagogy in all areas of women’s history and related disciplines. 

Dr. Pat Cohen, Department of History, University of California, Santa Barbara will be the keynote speaker. Her address is titled, “An 1850’s Challenge to Traditional Marriage: Mary Gove Nichols and the American ‘Free Love’ Movement.”

Program and further information can be found at:


There’s this thing called Lamaze. . .

On Wednesday, March 10th, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. we’ll be talking Lamaze in the Iowa Women’s Archives.

We’ve joined forces with the UI History of Medicine Society and the Council on the Status of Women’s Herstory Committee to bring you some entertainment and enlightenment.  Join us from 4:30 to 5:15 for cookies and conversation with old friends and new.

At 5:15 p.m., Theatre Arts graduate student Janet Schlapkohl will entertain with “There’s This Thing Called Lamaze,” a brief monologue and song about natural childbirth in the 1970s.  We’ll be entering uncharted territory in the IWA with live music  (if we can pull it off).  Some of you will have seen Janet perform at the Riverside Theater as part of Walking the Wire.

At 5:30 p.m. Professor Paula Michaels of the UI History Department will present a lecture “Comrades in the Labor Room: The International Story of the Lamaze Method, 1950-80.”  Most of us are familiar with the Lamaze method’s patterned breathing and conscious relaxation that became popular in the 1960s and 70s along with the natural childbirth movement (be sure to check out the very seventies attire pictured on the Lamaze books in the IWA reading room display).  But who knew about the Soviet origins of Lamaze and its association with the French Communist Party?   Paula Michaels will talk about the origins of the Lamaze method and the efforts to obscure these leftist ties during the Cold War in order to make Lamaze palatable to Americans. 

Hope to see you here on Wednesday afternoon. 

(3rd floor, south side, University of Iowa Main Library at the corner of Burlington and Madison in Iowa City).


All About Eve

Our first women’s history month event features the work of Eve Drewelowe, who in 1924 became the first person to earn a master’s degree in fine arts from the University of Iowa. 

The painting “Summertime with Sis and Soot” evokes Drewelowe’s Iowa childhood and on a day like today, with the sun shining and snow melting, I can almost believe that summer–or at least spring–is on the way.  I’m lucky to have this painting hanging in my windowless office, providing a glimpse of Iowa fields and sky on a summer day.

On Wednesday, March 3rd, from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. in the North Exhibition Hall of the University’s Main Library, we’ll unveil the Eve Drewelowe Digital Collection that was recently completed by the University of Iowa Libraries with the assistance of Lindsay Shannon, a graduate student in the School of Art and Art History.  Upon her death, Drewelowe bequeathed her artworks and personal papers to the School of Art and Art History. When the Iowa Women’s Archives was established in 1992, the papers were placed in the Archives on permanent loan. These materials have now been digitized in their entirety for the online collection, which features more than 700 items, including paintings, sketchbooks, scrapbooks, and correspondence. 

Professor Joni Kinsey, Curator of the Drewelowe art collection, will speak about the artist’s work and the significance of the collection at 4:30 p.m.  Please join us on Wednesday to celebrate the remarkable Eve Drewelowe.


Winners All: The Experiences of Women in Iowa Sports

April 13, 2009

Iowa Women’s Archives curator Kären Mason will moderate a panel discussion concerning the role of sports in girls’ and women’s lives and the impact of changing opportunities for participation in organized sport. Panelists will include former director of UI Women’s Athletics Christine Grant, UI volleyball coach Sharon Dingman, sports reporter Susan Harman, assistant UI women’s basketball coach Jan Jensen, and visiting assistant professor in Health and Sport Studies Christina Johnson. Monday, April 13, 7:00 p.m. at the UI Athletics Hall of Fame and Museum on the corner of Mormon Trek Blvd. and Melrose Avenue. The forum is free and open to the public. Admission to the Hall of Fame and Museum will also be free from 6:00-7:00 p.m. on April 13th. 


Making Women’s History: An Iowa Perspective

Mar 28, 2009 

Iowa Women’s Archives curator Kären Mason will discuss how the Archives gathers the history of Iowa women and will tell the stories of some of the remarkable Iowa women represented there, many of whom were leaders in their communities and beyond. Saturday, March 28, 1:00 PM, at the Fort Des Moines Museum & Education Center, 75 East Army Post Road, Des Moines, Iowa 50315, 1-888-828-FORT (515) 282-8060. Free.