Carol Lasser

Jim Calder

Carol is an Emerita Professor of History at Oberlin College and has focused her work on women, gender and race in American history. She is the author of Antebellum American Women (with Stacey Robertson, 2010); Friends and Sisters:  Letters Between Lucy Stone and Antoinette Brown Blackwell, 1846-1893, (with Marlene Merrill, 1987) and Educating Men and Women Together: Coeducation in a Changing World  (1987).

Bending to the Color Line: The Fight For Women’s Suffrage in Ohio

In the final years of the suffrage struggle, Ohio women’s efforts to gain the vote took place in a national movement that accepted the regional disenfranchisement of African Americans as part of a bargain to overcome Southern resistance.  Yet in Ohio, the opposition from organized liquor interests brought Black and white suffragists together. The story of these complex relationships helps us think about how race, region, and special interests shape alliances and access to the vote.

Transcending Respectability Politics: Lethia Cousins Fleming, the Republican Party, and a Black Woman’s Quest for Power in Early Twentieth-Century Cleveland

Lethia Cousins Fleming, a Cleveland African American suffragist pursued a pioneering political career in the twentieth century, reaching national fame within the Republican Party before turning to a career in social work.  Her story follows her unusual route to power and her reinvention in the wake of scandal.

Temperance, Gender, and the Racialization of Respectability

Carol’s most recent book, Elusive Utopia: The Struggle for Racial Equality in Oberlin, Ohio, jointly written with Gary Kornblith, focuses on a community renown for its antebellum abolitionism.  Yet in the early twentieth century, Oberlin retreated from its commitment to social justice. This talk looks at the role of the Temperance Movement in changing attitudes and supporting the emergence of de facto segregation in Oberlin.  This is a story that raises questions about what happens to social movements over time.


Carol Lasser

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