We at The Junto are very excited to announce the birth of a new podcast. “The History Carousel” will connect the past with the present, and will feature a rotating cast of Junto members and guests. It’s part of our equally-new podcast network, which is going to allow for all sorts of podcasting shenanigans—many thanks to Michael Hattem for helping to set it up. Today’s episode, “Gender History and Female Academics,” features Sara Damiano, Glenda Goodman, and Rachel Herrmann discussing gender history, how to teach gender in the classroom, and how early career female academics navigate our world.
You can click here to listen to the mp3 in a new window or right-click to download and save for later. You can also subscribe to the podcast in iTunes. We would greatly appreciate it if our listeners could take a moment to rate or, better yet, review the podcast in iTunes. Finally, you can find us on Twitter and Facebook. As always, any and all feedback from our listeners is greatly welcomed and appreciated.
Episode 1 Bibliography
Boydston, Jeanne. Home and Work: Housework, Wages, and the Ideology of Labor in the Early Republic. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990.
Kerber, Linda K. Women of the Republic: Intellect and Ideology in Revolutionary America. New York and London: W.W. Norton & Company, 1986 (1980).
Klepp, Susan E. Revolutionary Conceptions: Women, Fertility, and Family Limitation in America, 1760-1820. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2009.
Norton, Mary Beth. Founding Mothers and Fathers: Gendered Power and the Forming of American Society. New York: Vintage Books, 1997.
Tick, Judith. American Women Composers Before 1870, 2nd Ed. Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 1995.
Twitter users who frequently use #histgender include @amandaeherbert, @amhistcurator, @Ryan_RR_Ross, @EHChalus, @AlexiBaker, and @kleinalexandre
What a great start to the new podcast! I look forward to seeing what topics you cover in the future.
I wanted to raise an issue/question based off the discussion about doing and teaching gender history. Most of the discussion actually seemed to be about women’s history. For example, Rachel said that she made a conscious choice to talk about men and food, since women had been discussed so heavily in previous scholarship on food. But men have gender too! There’s great work out there on how masculinity affects American life and gender history is meant to go beyond what some saw as the limitation of women’s history. So how do we keep “gender history” from being conflated with “women’s history”? I think this is also important to the discussion of female academics, like when you talked about how it can be difficult to get gender balance on conference panels.
Thanks for your excellent comment, Laura. I think you’re right that there is a tendency to conflate women’s history with gender history, a fault that I am guilty of at several points during the podcast. The Junto has a peculiar gender balance in that none of the early career women on the blog have children, whereas many of our male bloggers do. In an effort to more fully discuss the issue of gender and academia, we’re going to try to cover this topic more extensively in a future podcast.
Thanks for listening, Laura, and for raising this important question. I think that part of the present-day conflating of terms occurs because, to a greater extent than several decades ago, many practitioners of women’s history are also engaging in gender history (ie examining changing notions of masculinity and femininity, power relations between men and women, etc). In addition, because gender history sounds more “current” than women’s history, there’s a tendency to label or promote all women’s history as gender history. And I agree, this can be a problem, particularly because it marginalizes work on masculinity.
At the level of syllabus design, I think the issue can be addressed by including both older women’s history scholarship and newer gender history (either focused on women or men, femininity or masculinity). The similarities and differences between these bodies of scholarship have sparked some thoughtful discussions among my students. We can also assign primary sources that raise issues of masculinity. Even when assigning only one secondary source on women or gender, we can briefly situate it within the field when introducing it to our students.
Within academic conversation more broadly, I think it’s important to be clear about what kind of scholarship we’re reading or writing–including by deliberately using label the women’s history, unfashionable as it may be, if that’s truly what a work is doing. Of course, this is easier done in carefully-edited academic prose than in informal conversation, as our difficulties with terms in the podcast suggests.