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U of M professor and author on campus for Women's History Month
By Samantha Wenwoi
MARCH 2, 2007—In the past century American women have gained the
right to vote and have seen changes in their economic status, community
roles and personal lives. Such drastic social change begs the question,
how have women’s roles as wives and mothers adjusted to fit these
That is the question notable University of Minnesota professor and author
Elaine Tyler May will answer with her presentation during Women’s
History Month, "Mating, Dating and Procreating: A Hundred Years of
Marriage in America," at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls
campus on Tuesday, Mar. 27 at 4:15 p.m. in the University Center’s
Kinnickinnic River Theater. Admission to the event and reception is free
and open to all members of the UWRF campus and greater River Falls community.
The Women's History Month planning committee specifically asked May to
present a talk on marriage because of the debate currently surrounding
civil unions and gay marriage, said Davida Alperin, co-chair of the committee
and associate professor of political science. "We thought that the
topic was contemporary and that people would be interested in it. Some
people have talked about marriage like a static thing, but it's an institution
that's changed and evolved over the years."
Alperin is looking forward to May's talk and the discussions that it could
generate. "I think it will be really interesting. I think she's a
very dynamic, interesting historian and scholar, but she'll speak in a
way that everybody will understand."
May is a professor of American studies and history at the University of
Minnesota. An author, she's published books and articles including “Barren
in the Promised Land: Childless Americans in the Pursuit of Happiness”
and “Great Expectations: Marriage and Divorce in Post-Victorian
America.” Her work focuses on the crossroads of gender, sexuality,
domestic culture and politics in the 20th century.
A former president of the American Studies Association, May is a past
recipient of the Rockefeller Foundation Research Grant, as well as a runner
up for the William J. Goode Book Award for “Barren in the Promised
Land.” "The feminist movement [of the early 1970s] and feminist
scholarship profoundly affected the way I pursue my own research,"
Unlike previous years, May's presentation is the sole on-campus event
being organized by the planning committee for Women’s History Month,
according to Alperin. "In the past, we have had lots and lots of
events but we've decided to focus on one big event and put all of our
energy into that. When we bring somebody in, we want the campus to take
advantage of it so we thought it'd make more sense."
Alperin said Women's History Month is a cause for celebration. "For
a long time, history focused on white men in power. In recent years, we're
studying what women, blacks and other groups' role in history was. It
would be nice if at some point all our history were so comprehensive and
inclusive that we didn't need to have special months to highlight groups
that are left out, but I don't think we're there yet."
Biographical information about the speaker, is at http://www.cla.umn.edu/american/faculty/emay.html.
For more information about the March 27 event, contact Alperin at firstname.lastname@example.org
or UWRF women’s studies coordinator Barbara Werner at email@example.com.
Thursday, 22-Apr-2010 16:08:03 Central Daylight Time