The HSS Women's Caucus site is currently being updated. In the coming months you will see changes and additions to the Syllabus Project and Resources page. If you have syllabi or resources that you would like to see added, or other suggestions, please contact one of the co-chairs or post on our Facebook group. (This news section will be phased out in favor of our longstanding listserv and Facebook page, which are updated more frequently.)
Registration is now open for "Practicing Science, Engaging Publics: A Conference in Honor of Historian Sally Gregory Kohlstedt.” The conference will be held on April 20, 2013 at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus. This public event will feature talks by former students of Prof. Kohlstedt, tributes to her influence in the field, and a celebratory banquet in the evening. In conjunction with the conference, funds are being raised to endow a graduate student research travel fellowship.
For information on registration, the program, and the fellowship, see the conference website at http://www.sgk2013.com/.
Report of the Commission on Women and Gender Studies, (DHST/IUHPS) 2011-2012 by Annette B. Vogt, (MPI-Berlin, President; to be presented at HSS Women’s Caucus Breakfast,11-16-12, San Diego, 7:30am, by Margaret W. Rossiter. (1st Commission President; text adapted by Pnina G. Abir-Am, International Commission Board Member)
The Commission on Women and Gender Studies (The Women's Commission) of the DHST/IUHPS was created in 1981 at the 16th International Congress in Bucharest, with Margaret Rossiter as its first President. This Commission is an unusual one, when compared to the other Commissions for the history of disciplines in the DHST because of its dual mandate: The Women's Commission deals with the history of women in science, technology, and medicine, but also with the acceptance of women colleagues in scientific disciplines. The aim of the Women's Commission is two-fold: (1) to support research on women and gender in science, technology, and medicine, from ancient time until the present day, in all scientific areas and disciplines, and from different perspectives; (2) to promote women scientists and scholars in our discipline; support women as candidates for different positions in the DHST and the IUHPS; and recommend that both its Committees and Program strive to achieve a gender balance. The Commission on Women and Gender Studies also has the responsibility to observe the actual gender balance in the DHST/IUHPS Committees and b ring imbalances to DHST and IUHPS attention.
The current Women’s Commission was elected on July, 30th 2009 during the International Congress for History of Science held in Budapest; Board Members are:
Honorary president : Margaret W. Rossiter
Past-president : Ida H. Stamhuis
President : Annette B. Vogt
Members (alpha.) : Pnina G. Abir-Am, Anne-Sophie Godfroy-Genin, Annette Lykknes, Maria Rentetzi, and Felicitas Seebacher
Conference of the Women's Commission held in Paris, September 14-17, 2011
An international conference on "Women and Gender Studies - Where do we stand" was organized by the Women's Commission as its „in between IUHPS Congresses event“ and held at the Ècole Normale Supérieure in Paris, on September 14-17, 2011. The Program included 9 sessions, one round table discussion, and one interview with Professor Claudine Hermann, a leading engineer and activist in the French Association for Women in Science. 30 speakers from 13 countries presented papers: USA (9), Canada, Czech Republic and Germany (3 each), France, India and Israel (2 each), Netherlands, UK, Spain, Portugal and Trinidad. (1 each)
In the "Call for Papers" for the conference the Commission offered travel grants; 3 out of 6 applicants received such grants. (on the basis of their abstracts and location)
The Women‘s Commission’s Sessions at the 5th ESHS Conference, Athens, November 1-3, 2012
The Commission had also organized special sessions or symposia at each of the Conferences of the European Society for the History of Science (ESHS), in 2006 in Cracow, in 2008 in Vienna, 2010 in Barcelona, and 2012 in Athens.
At the most recent ESHS biennial Meeting in Athens two symposia were organised by members of the Board of the Women's Commission and their co-organizers. Symposium 9 "Gender and the cosmopolitan charachter of science" was organised by Annette B. Vogt and Maria Rentetzi; Symposium 32 "Women in the laboratory from the early modern times to the 20th century" was organised by Annette Lykknes and Brigitte van Tiggelen. Unfortunately not all speakers participated, obviously because of current economic problems. Both symposia were successful. The Women's Commission will support sessions or symposia also on the 6th Conference of the ESHS which will be held in September 2014 in Lisboa (Lisbon, Portugal).
The budget of the Commission, as of November 2012, is: 3.257,00 €; a separate financial report has also been compiled by Annette Vogt.
Website of the Commission
Our Board member and Chair of the local organizing cmte. Anne-Sophie Godfroy (Paris) constructed a website before the Commission symposium held in Paris on September 14-17, 2011, which she expanded afterwards. It has been available since January 2012: www.womenscommission-dhst.net. Because of new developments in IT, the Commission website is in a process of being redesigned. Hopefully this task will be completed by the end of 2012.
This report can also be downloaded as a .pdf HERE.
As you know, the History of Science Society has awarded the Margaret W. Rossiter History of Women in Science Prize annually (since 1987) to the author of an outstanding contribution to the history of women in science published in the past four years. The prize alternates between books and scholarly articles. Last year, the prize was awarded to Yi-Li Wu for Reproducing Women: Medicine, Metaphor, and Childbirth in Later Imperial China (University of California Press, 2010).
This year HSS is seeking nominations for an article published in the four years prior to this calendar year (2008 to 2011). Included in the topic "women in science" are discussions of women's activities in science, analyses of past scientific practices that deal explicitly with gender, and investigations regarding women as viewed by scientists. Papers may relate to medicine, technology, and the social sciences as well as the natural sciences.
HSS relies upon thoughtful nominations to bring outstanding work to the attention of the prize committees. This means us! Please use this online form to submit nominations: http://www.hssweb.org/nominations/.
The nomination deadline is April 1, 2012.
I have found a number of archival sources/exhibits online useful for infusing HSTM content into my undergraduate courses. The history of eugenics in America is always fascinating to students since it touches on so many enduring questions about reproductive rights, scientific authority, and the proper limits of state and federal authority. In my Women in the U.S. course, the struggle to secure women's bodily autonomy is a central theme. As such, I spend considerable time on eugenics and 'race suicide' rhetoric, the birth control movement, and the complicated class and racial politics of involuntary and voluntary sterilization throughout the 20th century.
The Eugenics Archive is a good site for students to explore to get background information and exposure to images from the time period, as is this site devoted to the Buck v. Bell case. When we get to the 1970s in the course, I have found this site on the sterilization program in North Carolina to be useful. The Winston-Salem Journal has done some excellent reporting to highlight the voices of women who were sterilized and to advocate for the compensation of the surviving victims. Discussing the coercive sterilizations of poor women, and especially women of color, helps to get students thinking about how the right to have children and the right to not have children were fused under the framework of reproductive freedom in this time period through the work of feminist coalitions like CARASA (Committee for Abortion Rights and Against Sterilization Abuse). Heuristically, this is important because it helps students understand the difference between late 20th century policies rooted in population control versus approaches based on reproductive justice. The Population and Development Program at Hampshire College has an excellent digital archive available for download on population control imagery that helps to drive this point home.
Assistant Professor of History & Women's Studies
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
As some of you know, I host a women in science digital collection: http://womeninscience.history.msu.edu/.
The collection includes biographies of women in science accompanied by primary sources, for example Judith Zinsser’s work on Marquise Du Chatelet and a biography of Ellen H. Richards written by Helen Veit. In addition to featuring the research of historians of science, the collection incorporates biographies written by talented undergraduates.
Working in a college with STEM and HPS faculty, I have been struck by how many opportunities exist for undergraduates to publish and present their STEM research while there are little or no opportunities for undergraduates to take their history of science research beyond the classroom. In response to this, I began seeking undergraduate contributions to my women in science digital collection. Danielle Peck, for example, was a student of mine who wrote a wonderful biography of Eliza Burt Gamble. Peck found several primary sources to accompany her biography in Lansing and Ann Arbor, Michigan. Her research is now being developed into a museum exhibit by Michigan State University museum and Lyman Briggs College. Another former student, Theresa Koenigsknecht, wrote an essay placing the works of Esther Emerson Sweeney in the context of 1940s and 1950s courtship manuals.
If you have a student doing a biography of a woman in science that significantly engages with primary sources, and their final paper is of a high quality, please encourage them to contact me about publishing their work as part of the digital collection.
Online publication would involve the student gaining permission from archives to feature some primary sources along with their essay. These permissions tend to be free, with the archive being credited on the digital collection. If any costs are involved, Michigan State University has pockets of money for undergraduate research and I suspect other universities have something similar. I should also add that I have ensured students retain all copyright to their work so they can always publish it elsewhere in the future.
Please contact me if you have any questions and/or you have students who would be good candidates for the digital collection. Please also feel free to announce this opportunity in your classes.
Georgina M. Montgomery
Lyman Briggs College
and the Department of History
This webpage (and blog) is intended to be a community space where we can share and discuss resources for teaching and research. Let me begin by thanking you all for sending me suggestions for the "Resources" page -- as a result of your efforts it is far more comprehensive and helpful than it would have been otherwise.
We are excited to kick off this blog with a few posts from members of the Women's Caucus. If you would like to submit a post, please email Erika Milam (firstname.lastname@example.org). We are aiming for short (200-300 word) discussions or announcements.
Thank you for stopping by and we look forward to your contributions!
This bulletin board is a place for the Women's Caucus community to share/discuss resources for teaching or research. If you would like to submit a post, please email one of the current Caucus co-chairs.