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Women's History Month
Interesting information on women's history, here at the library and out on the web.
Here you will find some books, ebooks, journal articles, and internet resources on the wide and varied subject of women's role in history, as well as information about some of the women of Stevens Institute.
During WWII, the US Army recruited six women to program the first stored-program computer, the ENIAC. This biography by one of those extraordinary women, Jean Jennings Bartik, exposes the myths about the computer's origin and properly credits those behind computing innovations that shape our daily lives.
From the novels of Toni Morrison to the music of Beyoncé Knowles, the cultural prevalence of a transnational black identity, as created by African American women, is more than a product of geographic mobility. Rather, as author Simone C. Drake shows, these constructions illuminate our understanding of a chronically marginalized demographic. In Critical Appropriations, Drake contends that these fluid and hetero-geneous characterizations of black females arise from multiple creative outlets -- literature, film, and music videos -- and reflect African Ameri-can women's evolving concept of home, community, gender, and family.Through a close examination of Toni Morrison's Paradise, Danzy Senna's Caucasia, Gayl Jones's Corregidora, Erna Brodber's Louisiana, and Kasi Lemmons's film Eve's Bayou, as well as Beyoncé Knowles's B-Day album and music-video collaboration with Shakira,'Beautiful Liar,'Drake reveals how concepts of hybridity -- whether positioned as créolité, Candomblé, négritude, Latinidad, or Brasilidade -- are appropriated in each work of art as a way of challenging the homogeneous paradigm of black cultural studies. This redefined notion of identity enables African American women to embrace a more complex, transnational blackness that is not only more liberating but also more pertinent to their experiences. Drawing from this borderless exchange of ideas and a richer concept of self, Critical Appropriations offers a rewarding reconsideration of the creative implications for African American women, mapping new directions in black women's studies.
The Fourteenth Amendment, ratified on July 9, 1868, identified all legitimate voters as'male.'In so doing, it added gender-specific language to the U.S. Constitution for the first time. Suffrage Reconstructed is the first book to consider how and why the amendment's authors made this decision. Vividly detailing congressional floor bickering and activist campaigning, Laura E. Free takes readers into the pre- and postwar fights over precisely who should have the right to vote. Free demonstrates that all men, black and white, were the ultimate victors of these fights, as gender became the single most important marker of voting rights during Reconstruction. Free argues that the Fourteenth Amendment's language was shaped by three key groups: African American activists who used ideas about manhood to claim black men's right to the ballot, postwar congressmen who sought to justify enfranchising southern black men, and women's rights advocates who began to petition Congress for the ballot for the first time as the Amendment was being drafted. To prevent women's inadvertent enfranchisement, and to incorporate formerly disfranchised black men into the voting polity, the Fourteenth Amendment's congressional authors turned to gender to define the new American voter. Faced with this exclusion some woman suffragists, most notably Elizabeth Cady Stanton, turned to rhetorical racism in order to mount a campaign against sex as a determinant of one's capacity to vote. Stanton's actions caused a rift with Frederick Douglass and a schism in the fledgling woman suffrage movement. By integrating gender analysis and political history, Suffrage Reconstructed offers a new interpretation of the Civil War–era remaking of American democracy, placing African American activists and women's rights advocates at the heart of nineteenth-century American conversations about public policy, civil rights, and the franchise.
Engineering education in the United States was long regarded as masculine territory. For decades, women who studied or worked in engineering were popularly perceived as oddities, outcasts, unfeminine (or inappropriately feminine in a male world). In Girls Coming to Tech!, Amy Bix tells the story of how women gained entrance to the traditionally male field of engineering in American higher education. As Bix explains, a few women breached the gender-reinforced boundaries of engineering education before World War II. During World War II, government, employers, and colleges actively recruited women to train as engineering aides, channeling them directly into defense work. These wartime training programs set the stage for more engineering schools to open their doors to women. Bix offers three detailed case studies of postwar engineering coeducation. Georgia Tech admitted women in 1952 to avoid a court case, over objections by traditionalists. In 1968, Caltech male students argued that nerds needed a civilizing female presence. At MIT, which had admitted women since the 1870s but treated them as a minor afterthought, feminist-era activists pushed the school to welcome more women and take their talent seriously.In the 1950s, women made up less than one percent of students in American engineering programs; in 2010 and 2011, women earned 18.4% of bachelor's degrees, 22.6% of master's degrees, and 21.8% of doctorates in engineering. Bix's account shows why these gains were hard won.
If women's interest and participation in the advancement of science has a long history, the academic study of their contributions is a far more recent phenomenon, to be placed in the wake of “second wave” feminism in the 1970s and the advent of women's studies which have, since then, given impetus to research on female figures in specific fields or, more generally speaking, on women's battles to gain access to knowledge, education and recognition in the scientific world. These studies—while providing a useful insight into the contributions of a few more or less well-known figures—have mostly focused, however, on the obstacles that women have had to overcome in the field of education and employment or in their quest for acknowledgement by their male peers. The aim of this volume is to try and approach the issue from a different and more comprehensive point of view, taking into account not only the position of women in science, but also the link between women and science through the analysis of various kinds of discourse and representation such as the press, poetry, fiction, biographies and autobiographies or professional journals—including that of women themselves. The questions of the presentation or re(-)presentation of science by women are thus at the core of this study, as well as that of the portrayal and self-portrayal of women in the sciences (whether in the educational, or the professional field). A final part examines how women are represented in science fiction which, like science itself, has traditionally been a field dominated by men.