March 2nd lecture: Black Sorority Activism

“WE STRIVE AND WE DO: 

BLACK SORORITY ACTIVISM AND THE BLACK PUBLIC SPHERE”

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.

 

 

 

 

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.

Online exhibit on LGBTQ life in Iowa City earns honorable mention from OutHistory.org

The Iowa Women’s Archives and University of Iowa Archives Collaborated on the exhibit entitled “LGBTQ Life in Iowa City, Iowa: 1967-2010,” which was entered in the “Since Stonewall Local Histories Contest” hosted by OutHistory.org.

Kären Mason, curator of the Iowa Women’s Archives and David McCartney, University Archivist, curated the exhibit, which was posted along with LGBT histories from across the country on a non-profit website dedicated to uncovering and preserving the history of the modern movement for LGBTQ rights.

The online exhibit begins with the 1967 publication of The Iowa Defender, which included an article about lesbians in Iowa City. Photo from the Iowa Women’s Archives.

Rally in Iowa City to celebrate Iowa Supreme Court ruling upholding gay marriage, April 3, 2009. Photo by Laurie Haag

The Iowa City exhibit begins in 1967 with The Iowa Defender publishing an article on lesbianism in Iowa City and ends in 2010 with The Iowa City Press-Citizen naming a lesbian couple (Dawn and Jen BarbouRoske) as “Persons of the Year” for their role in challenging Iowa’s defense of marriage law and ushering in same sex marriage in Iowa in 2009. According to OutHistory.org, the exhibits are meant to be “works in progress” that continue to chronicle important events.

The curators used collections from individuals in Iowa City, the University of Iowa Archives and the Iowa Women’s Archives to compile a visual timeline of the history of LGBTQ activism in Iowa City.

Some collections used from the IWA include: Ain’t I a Woman? newsletters, Rusty Barceló papers, Tess Catalano papers, Cherry and Lockwood papers, Common Lives/Lesbian Lives records, Jill Jack papers, Jo Rabenold papers and the Women’s Resource and Action Center records. To find more collections that have materials on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender activism, visit: http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/iwa/Topical_holdings_lists/LGBT.html

IWA Display Celebrates 90 Years of Women’s Suffrage

Student processor Annette Bramstedt just helped finalize a new exhibit in honor of the 90th anniversary of women’s suffrage in the United States (and Iowa).

Bramstedt says working on the exhibit broadened her view of women’ s suffrage—she didn’t realize how much the women of Iowa played a role in national events.

Some highlights of the exhibit include quotes from influential women, photos and a 1920-1945 ledger from the League of Women Voters.

Several IWA collections have material relating to women’s suffrage.
Check out the ones used in the new exhibit:
Iowa Suffrage Memorial Commission records
League of Women Voters of Iowa records
Woman’s Christian Temperance Union records
Genevieve Taylor papers
Jennifer Riggs Cosson papers
Carolyn Campbell Pendray papers

To see the exhibit for yourself, visit the 3rd floor of the Main Library—right outside the Iowa Women’s Archives.