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Autobiographies/Memoirs by Women Activists and Leaders

The following suggestions for enjoyable memoirs and autobiographies by
women activists and leaders appeared on WMST-L in October and December,
2001.  For additional WMST-L files available on the Web, see the
WMST-L File Collection.
Date: Tue, 23 Oct 2001 09:59:36 -0400
From: Susan Comerford <scomerfo @ ZOO.UVM.EDU>
Subject: Activist Memoirs/Autobiographies
Greetings Colleagues,

A learning colleague who is participating in the VISTA program and I are
entering into an independant study agreement. She was a social work
undergrad and will get a masters in social work over the next few years. We
would appreciate your assistance in identifying books and articles YOU HAVE
LOVED on the following topics:

1) The lives of women activists: their reflections on their lives and
learning (biographies, articles, autobiographies, memoirs)

2) Narrative accounts of the processes of social change - particularly but
not exclusively women.

3) The lives of women leaders: again biographies, articles,
autobiographies, and memoirs.  We are particularly interested in women of

Thank you so much for your kind assistance.

Suzy Comerford

Susan A. Comerford, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Social Work
College of Education and Social Services
The University of Vermont
(802) 656-2487 Office
(802) 656-8565 FAX
Date: Tue, 23 Oct 2001 07:53:16 -0600
From: benay blend <blend @ NM.NET>
Subject: Re: Activist Memoirs/Autobiographies
I would suggest anything by Marjorie Agosin or the autobiographies of
Rigoberta Menchu. Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb's book about feminist and Judaism
describes her trials as one of the first women to be ordained as a Rabbi
many years ago.
Benay Blend
blend  @  nm.net
U of New Mexico
Date: Tue, 23 Oct 2001 10:45:50 -0400
From: Kirsten Lindquist <klindquist @ CFPA.ORG>
Subject: Re: Activist Memoirs/Autobiographies
I would suggest Urvashi Vaid's book, Virtual Equality, an excellent and
insightful look at the GLBT movement's struggle to create social change AND
integrate the social movements of civil rights for people of color, feminism
and class struggle.
Date: Wed, 24 Oct 2001 08:49:31 -0500
From: Linda Coleman <cflsc @ EIU.EDU>
Subject: Re: Activist Memoirs/Autobiographies
Two writers/activists who come to mind are Barbara Deming and Dorothy Day.
Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2001 15:00:26 -0400
From: "Bernhard, Linda" <lbernhar @ CON.OHIO-STATE.EDU>
Subject: Activist Memoirs/Autobiographies
I LOVED the book True to ourselves : a celebration of women making a
difference / edited by Nancy M. Neuman, 1998. It's a collection of
autobiographical essays of women who did all sorts of things, although
most of them are about politics. Linda
Linda A. Bernhard, PhD, RN            Tel. 614-292-8336
Associate Professor, Nursing & Women's Studies   Fax. 614-292-7976
The Ohio State University, 1585 Neil Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210
Bernhard.3  @  osu.edu***************************************
Date: Fri, 26 Oct 2001 12:16:28 -0400
From: Joan Korenman <korenman @ GL.UMBC.EDU>
Subject: The Women's Rights Movement: Where It's Been, Where It's At
Hi, again.  I've just added to the WMST-L File Collection. a recent
talk by Sonia Pressman Fuentes entitled "The Women's Rights Movement:
Where It's Been, Where It's At."  In her talk Fuentes, one of the
founders of NOW, WEAL, and FEW, deals with the second wave of the
women's movement: its history, her role in it, and where it is today.
The specific URL for the talk is
http://www.umbc.edu/wmst/womens_rights.html (there's an underscore
between "womens" and "rights").

This talk and Fuentes' writing in general are also relevant to the
recent thread on Activist Memoirs/Autobiographies.  Indeed, Fuentes
has written an autobiography entitled _Eat First--You Don't Know What
They'll Give You, The Adventures of an Immigrant Family and Their
Feminist Daughter_.  More information is available at
http://www.erraticimpact.com/fuentes .


Joan Korenman                korenman  @  GL.umbc.edu
U. of Md., Baltimore County  http://www.umbc.edu/cwit/
Baltimore, MD 21250          http://www.umbc.edu/wmst/

The only person to have everything done by Friday was Robinson Crusoe
Date: Fri, 26 Oct 2001 12:28:48 -0600
From: Mary Carruth <mcarruth @ ARCHES.UGA.EDU>
Subject: Cross-generational Autobiographies by Second and Third Wave
I am preparing a conference paper on cross-generational autobiographies
by second and third wave feminists. I will focus less on the historical
events in these works than on the writers' articulations of public,
collective identities.

I am interested in autobiographies that speak across generations, like
Brownmiller's "In Our Time," Phyllis Chesler's "Letters to a Young
Feminist," and Audre Lorde's "Zami." I am also examining how third wave
feminists, the biological and/or ideological daughters of the second
wave,, define their politics and selves in reaction against and in
relation to their "mothers." I'm familiar with Rebecca Walker's new
autobiography and third wave collections of essays.

My question: Please suggest autobiographies for my study, especially
those by women of color and international feminists.

Please reply to:mcarruth  @  uga.edu

Mary Carruth

Dr. Mary Carruth, Assistant Director
University of Georgia
Women's Studies Program
1200 S. Lumpkin Street   Benson Building
Athens, GA  30602-3647
Phone: 706-542-2846 Fax: 542-0049
mcarruth  @  arches.uga.edu
Date: Fri, 26 Oct 2001 11:19:16 -0700
From: Phillipa Kafka <pkafka @ LVCM.COM>
Subject: Re: Activist Memoirs/Autobiographies
My own memoirs might be of interest to the student as one of the first of
the activists of the second-wave movement to gain entry into the male
stronghold of academia in the late 1960's, my struggles to  receive tenure
and, finally, promotion, as well as to destabilize and transform the
traditional canon of the World and American literature curriculum as a
pioneer ethnic studies specialist (although traditionally trained as a
specialist in Victorian lit.).

1.  "From Department Pariah to Professor Emerita," Lost on the Map of the
World: Jewish American Women Writers' Quest for Home in Essays and Memoirs,
NY: Peter Lang Publishing, forthcoming in November, 2001.

2.  "Afterthoughts," tentatively included in a collection of essays on
retirement in a book edited by Nan Bauer-Maglin and Alice Radosh, to be
published by Rutgers UP, 2003.  [I would be willing to send a copy of this
essay to the interested student.]

Dr. Phillipa Kafka
Professor Emerita
Kean University
pkafka  @  lvcm.com
Date: Thu, 13 Dec 2001 20:12:22 -0500
From: hagolem <hagolem @ C4.NET>
Subject: memoir
Just to let people know my memoir SLEEPING WITH CATS will be out January
4th, in bookstores by December 24th.  It about my life, what
else.  Published by Morrow/Harper Collins.

marge piercy hagolem  @  c4.net

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