Kimberly Hamlin is Director of the American Studies Program and Associate Professor of American Studies and History at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She earned her PhD from the University of Texas at Austin and her BA from Georgetown University in Washington, DC. Hamlin’s teaching and research focus on the intersections of science, gender, and culture. She is the author of From Eve to Evolution: Darwin, Science, and Women’s Rights in Gilded Age America (University of Chicago Press, 2014). Her article, “‘The Case of a Bearded Woman’: Hypertrichosis and the Construction of Gender in the Age of Darwin” (American Quarterly, Dec. 2011), earned her the Nineteenth Century Studies Association’s Emerging Scholar Award for 2012 and the 2014 Margaret Rossiter Prize from the History of Science Society. Hamlin has held research fellowships at the Huntington Library, the Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America at Harvard, the Sophia Smith Collection at Smith College, and the Countway Library on the History of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, among other institutions. She is currently working on a book about the life and times of freethinking feminist and suffragist Helen Hamilton Gardener, who, as the highest ranking woman in federal government, donated her brain to science in 1925 to prove women’s intellectual equality. She is past co-chair of the History of Science Society’s Women’s Caucus as well as co-founder and former chair of the American Studies Association’s Science and Technology Caucus. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Race, Racism, and the U.S. Women’s Movement: From Seneca Falls to the 2017 Women’s March
The 19th-century women’s rights movement had close ties with abolitionism, and the women’s movement of the 1960s and 1970s grew out of the Civil Rights movement. Yet, mainstream women’s rights movements have often been critiqued for prioritizing the needs of white women over those of women of color, and white leaders have often been blind to issues of race and racism. These historical debates and fissures came to a head during the planning of the 2017 Women’s March on Washington. Who speaks for American women? What issues unite American women? This presentation provides a historical overview of the role of race and racism in the U.S. women’s rights movement, highlighting key issues, rifts, and cooperative efforts from the 1830s to today.