The keeping of journals and diaries became an almost everyday pastime for many Americans in the nineteenth century. Adeline and Julia Graham, two young women from Berrien Springs, Michigan, were both drawn to this activity, writing about the daily events in their lives, as well as their 'grand adventures.' These are fascinating, deeply personal accounts that provide an insight into the thoughts and motivation of two sisters who lived more than a century ago. Adeline began keeping a diary when she was sixteen, from mid-1880 through mid-1884; through it we see a young woman coming of age in this small community in western Michigan. Paired with Adeline's account is her sister Julia's diary, which begins in 1885 when she sets out with three other young women to homestead in Greeley County, Kansas, just east of the Colorado border. It is a vivid and colorful narrative of a young woman's journey into America's western landscape.
Arab Americans in Michigan
Rosina J. Hassoun Michigan State University Press, 2003 Library of Congress F575.A65H37 2005 | Dewey Decimal 977.4004927
The state of Michigan hosts one of the largest and most diverse Arab American populations in the United States. As the third largest ethnic population in the state, Arab Americans are an economically important and politically influential group. It also reflects the diversity of national origins, religions, education levels, socioeconomic levels, and degrees of acculturation. Despite their considerable presence, Arab Americans have always been a misunderstood ethnic population in Michigan, even before September 11, 2001 imposed a cloud of suspicion, fear, and uncertainty over their ethnic enclaves and the larger community. In Arab Americans in Michigan Rosina J. Hassoun outlines the origins, culture, religions, and values of a people whose influence has often exceeded their visibility in the state.
In her evocative ethnographic study, Body Language, Kimberly Lau traces the multiple ways in which the success of an innovative fitness program illuminates what identity means to its Black female clientele and how their group interaction provides a new perspective on feminist theories of identity politics—especially regarding the significance of identity to political activism and social change.
Sisters in Shape, Inc., Fitness Consultants (SIS), a Philadelphia company, promotes balance in physical, mental, and spiritual health. Its program goes beyond workouts, as it educates and motivates women to make health and fitness a priority. Discussing the obstacles at home and the importance of the group's solidarity to their ability to stay focused on their goals, the women speak to the ways in which their commitment to reshaping their bodies is a commitment to an alternative future.
Body Language shows how the group's explorations of black women's identity open new possibilities for identity-based claims to recognition, justice, and social change.
"A definitive study of an extremely important, though curiously neglected, Supreme Court decision, Pierce v. Society of Sisters."
---Robert O'Neil, Professor of Law Emeritus, University of Virginia School of Law
"A careful and captivating examination of a dramatic and instructive clash between nationalism and religious pluralism, and of the ancient but ongoing struggle for control over the education of children and the formation of citizens."
---Richard W. Garnett, Professor of Law and Associate Dean, Notre Dame Law School
"A well-written, well-researched blend of law, politics, and history."
---Joan DelFattore, Professor of English and Legal Studies, University of Delaware
In 1922, the people of Oregon passed legislation requiring all children to attend public schools. For the nativists and progressives who had campaigned for the Oregon School Bill, it marked the first victory in a national campaign to homogenize education---and ultimately the populace. Private schools, both secular and religious, vowed to challenge the law. The Catholic Church, the largest provider of private education in the country and the primary target of the Ku Klux Klan campaign, stepped forward to lead the fight all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
In Pierce v. Society of Sisters (1925), the court declared the Oregon School Bill unconstitutional and ruled that parents have the right to determine how their children should be educated. Since then, Pierce has provided a precedent in many cases pitting parents against the state.
Paula Abrams is Professor of Constitutional Law at Lewis & Clark Law School.
In the 1800s, American women were largely restricted to the private sphere. Most had no choice but to spend their lives in the home, marrying in their teens and living only as wives, mothers, and pillars of domesticity. Even as the women’s movement came along midcentury, it focused more on gaining legal and political rights for women than on expanding their career opportunities. So in that time period, in which the options and expectations for women’s professional lives were so limited, it is remarkable that three sisters born in the 1850s, the Owen daughters of Missouri, all achieved success and appreciation in their careers.
Doris Land Mueller’s Daring to Be Different tells the story of these exceptional sisters, whose contributions to their chosen fields are still noteworthy today. Mary, the oldest, followed a childhood interest in storytelling to become an internationally recognized folklorist, writing about the customs of Missouri’s Native Americans, the traditions of its African American communities, and the history of St. Joseph’s earliest settlers. The middle daughter, Luella, became a geologist, breaking into the “old boys club” of the nineteenth-century scientific community; her book, Cave Regions of the Ozarks and the Black Hills, was for over fifty years the only reference to include Missouri caves and is still a valuable resource on the subject. And the youngest Owen girl, Juliette, was a talented artist who painted images of birds and studied and wrote about ornithology. An ardent conservationist, Juliette was an animal advocate during the early days of the humane movement.
Through a compelling narrative driven by thorough research, Mueller showcases the different personalities of the three sisters who all eschewed marriage to pursue their callings, putting their accomplishments in context with the place and times in which they lived. With family stories, illustrations of early St. Joseph, and images of the Owen family to enrich the story, this book pays tribute to the Owen sisters’ contributions to the Show-Me State. The latest addition to the Missouri Heritage Reader Series, Daring to Be Different will appeal to anyone interested in Missouri history and the early years of the women’s movement.
The Dark Sister
Rebecca Goldstein University of Wisconsin Press, 2004 Library of Congress PS3557.O398D37 2004 | Dewey Decimal 813.54
If you like the fiction of Henry James, the psychology of his brother William, and have a taste for Gothic mysteries you will enjoy The Dark Sister. The novel is a curious mixture of the Victorian repressiveness about sex, intricate stories within stories, and Jewish humor.
Daughters of a British father and a Chinese mother, Edith and Winnifred Eaton pursued wildly different paths. While Edith wrote stories of downtrodden Chinese immigrants under the pen name Sui Sin Far, Winnifred presented herself as Japanese American and published Japanese romance novels in English under the name Onoto Watanna. In this invigorating reappraisal of the vision and accomplishments of the Eaton sisters, Dominika Ferens departs boldly from the dichotomy that has informed most commentary on them: Edith's "authentic" representations of Chinese North Americans versus Winnifred's "phony" portrayals of Japanese characters and settings.
Arguing that Edith as much as Winnifred constructed her persona along with her pen name, Ferens considers the fiction of both Eaton sisters as ethnography. Edith and Winnifred Eaton suggests that both authors wrote through the filter of contemporary ethnographic discourse on the Far East and also wrote for readers hungry for "authentic" insight into the morals, manners, and mentality of an exotic other.
Ferens traces two distinct discursive traditions–-missionary and travel writing–-that shaped the meanings of "China" and "Japan" in the nineteenth century. She shows how these traditions intersected with the unconventional literary careers of the Eaton sisters, informing the sober, moralistic tone of Edith's stories as well as Winnifred's exotic narrative style, plots, settings, and characterizations.
Bringing to the Eatons' writings a contemporary understanding of the racial and textual politics of ethnographic writing, this important account shows how these two very different writers claimed ethnographic authority, how they used that authority to explore ideas of difference, race, class and gender, and how their depictions of nonwhites worked to disrupt the process of whites' self-definition.
The Johnstown Girls
Kathleen George University of Pittsburgh Press, 2014 Library of Congress PS3557.E487J74 2014 | Dewey Decimal 813.54
Ellen Emerson may be the last living survivor of the Johnstown flood. She was only four years old on May 31, 1889, when twenty million tons of water decimated her hometown of Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Thousands perished in what was the worst natural disaster in U.S. history at the time. As we witness in The Johnstown Girls, the flood not only changed the course of history, but also the individual lives of those who survived it.
A century later, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporters Ben Bragdon and Nina Collins set out to interview 103-year-old Ellen for Ben’s feature article on the flood. When asked the secret to her longevity, Ellen simply attributes it to “restlessness.” As we see, that restlessness is fueled by Ellen’s innate belief that her twin sister Mary, who went missing in the flood, is somehow still alive. Her story intrigues Ben, but it haunts Nina, who is determined to help Ellen find her missing half.
Novelist Kathleen George masterfully blends a history of the Johnstown flood into her heartrending tale of twin sisters who have never known the truth about that fateful day in 1889—a day that would send their lives hurtling down different paths. The Johnstown Girls is a remarkable story of perseverance, hard work, and never giving up hope in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. It’s also a tribute to the determination and indomitable spirit of the people of Johnstown through one hundred years, three generations, and three different floods.
Linda Perdido: A Novel
Mac Wellman University of Alabama Press, 2013 Library of Congress PS3573.E468L56 2013 | Dewey Decimal 813.54
Linda Perdido, the story of the antisocial Linda Perdido told by her well-behaved sister Qua, is a memoir like no other.
Set in a vast and unknown region in the Midwest, Mac Wellman’s Linda Perdido chronicles the lives of two sisters: Linda and Qua Perdido. Linda is bad, acting out every antisocial impulse she has and then some; Qua is good but comes to hate her sister, though she chooses to write a memoir about her, thus Linda Perdido.
Their lives are complicated by many figures, among them the Traveler, a lonely man who follows the migration patterns of a strange bird, the Perdido Macaw; the Counter-Terrorist, who gets his facts wrong and cannot decipher the ominous chatter; a FedEx delivery man, Donn Morocco, who loses his mind after his truck is stolen by the rampaging Linda. These and others meet and complicate each other’s lives, often ruinously, culminating at what will become Ground Zero on the day before the attacks.
More than a delightful girls’ book, this richly annotated and illustrated edition of Little Women will instruct new and returning readers, young and old. Alcott scholar Daniel Shealy illuminates the novel’s engagement with social equality, reform movements, the Civil War, friendship, love, loss, and the central question: How does one grow up well?
The Orchid House
Allfrey, Phyllis Shand Rutgers University Press, 1996 Library of Congress PR9250.9.A44O74 1997 | Dewey Decimal 813
Lally helps to raise three white sisters in the Orchid House on the Island of Dominica and observes as each flees to the cold northern lands of England and America only to return to their magical past and the man they love.
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen Harvard University Press, 2010 Library of Congress PR4034.P7 2010 | Dewey Decimal 823.7
Along with the plays of William Shakespeare and the works of Charles Dickens, Jane Austen’s novels are among the most beloved books of Western literature. Pride and Prejudice (1813) was in Austen’s lifetime her most popular novel, and it was the author’s personal favorite. Adapted many times to the screen and stage, and the inspiration for numerous imitations, it remains today her most widely read book. Now, in this beautifully illustrated and annotated edition, distinguished scholar Patricia Meyer Spacks instructs the reader in a larger appreciation of the novel’s enduring pleasures and provides analysis of Darcy, Elizabeth Bennet, Lady Catherine, and all the characters who inhabit the world of Pride and Prejudice.
The 1950s and 1960s were years of shifting values and social changes that did not sit well with many citizens of Richmond, Virginia, and in particular with one conservative family, a staunchly southern mother and father and their two daughters. A powerful evocation of time and place, this memoir—a gifted poet's first book of prose—is the story of an inquisitive and sensitive young woman's coming of age and a deeply moving recounting of her reconciliation later in life with the family she left behind.
Returning us to a Cold War world marked by divisions of race, gender, wealth, and class, The Prodigal Daughter is an exploration of difference, the powerful wedge that separates individuals within a social milieu and within a family. Echoing the biblical Prodigal Son, Margaret Gibson's memoir is less concerned with the years of excess away from home than with the seeds of division sown in this family's early years. Hers is the story of a mother proud to be a Lady, a Southerner, and a Christian; of two daughters trapped by their mother's power; and of their father's breakdown under social and family expectations.
Slow to rebel, young Margaret finally flees the world of manners and custom—which she deems poor substitutes for right thought and right action in the face of the Civil Rights movement and the Vietnam War—and abandons her fundamentalist upbringing. In a defiant gesture that proves prophetic, she once signed a postcard home "The Prodigal." After years of being the distant, absent daughter, she finds herself returning home to meet the needs of her stroke-crippled younger sister and her incapacitated parents.
In this tale of homecoming and forgiveness, death and dying, Gibson recounts how she overcame her long indifference to a sister she had thought different from herself, recognizing the strengths of the bonds that both hold us and set us free. Interweaving astute social observations on social pressures, race relations, sibling rivalry, adolescent angst, and more, The Prodigal Daughter is a startlingly honest portrayal of one family in one southern city and the story of all too many families across America.
Patricia Meyer Spacks guides readers to a deeper appreciation of Elinor and Marianne Dashwood as they experience love, romance, and heartbreak. Sense and Sensibility: An Annotated Edition includes numerous color reproductions that vividly recreate Jane Austen's world. This will be an especially welcome addition to the library of any Janeite.
Sisters and Workers in the Middle Ages
Edited by Judith M. Bennett, Elizabeth A. Clark, Jean F. O'Barr, B. Anne Vilen, University of Chicago Press, 1989 Library of Congress HQ1143.S55 1989 | Dewey Decimal 305.40902
Focusing on medieval women with a wide range of occupations and life-styles, the interdisciplinary essays in this collection examine women's activities within the patriarchal structures of the time. Individual essays explore women's challenges to a sexual ideology that confined them strictly to the roles of wives, mothers, and servants. Also included are sections on women and work, cultural production and literacy, and religious life.
These essays provide a greater understanding of the ways in which gender has played a part in determining relations of power in Western cultures. This volume makes a vital contribution to the current scholarship about women in the Middle Ages.
In this pioneering study, historian Andreana Prichard presents an intimate history of a single mission organization, the Universities’ Mission to Central Africa (UMCA), told through the rich personal stories of a group of female African lay evangelists. Founded by British Anglican missionaries in the 1860s, the UMCA worked among refugees from the Indian Ocean slave trade on Zanzibar and among disparate communities on the adjacent Tanzanian mainland. Prichard illustrates how the mission’s unique theology and the demographics of its adherents produced cohorts of African Christian women who, in the face of linguistic and cultural dissimilarity, used the daily performance of a certain set of “civilized” Christian values and affective relationships to evangelize to new inquirers. The UMCA’s “sisters in spirit” ultimately forged a united spiritual community that spanned discontiguous mission stations across Tanzania and Zanzibar, incorporated diverse ethnolinguistic communities, and transcended generations. Focusing on the emotional and personal dimensions of their lives and on the relationships of affective spirituality that grew up among them, Prichard tells stories that are vital to our understanding of Tanzanian history, the history of religion and Christian missions in Africa, the development of cultural nationalisms, and the intellectual histories of African women.
This book of essays about Mormon women, all written and edited by scholars who are themselves Mormon women, is a brave and important work. Readers will fully appreciate just how brave and important it really is, however, if they can see how this work of historical theology fits into the history of historical writing about Mormon women, as well as how it fits into Mormon history itself.
"The women who contributed to this book are among the best of the Mormon literati . . . [they] hold that there is hope within the church for change, for reform, for expansion of the place of women." -- Women's Review of Books
"Historians of women in America have a great deal to learn from the history of Mormon women. This fine set of essays provides an excellent introduction to a subject about which we should all know more." -- Anne Firor Scott, author of Making the Invisible Woman Visible.
From experimental shorts and web series to Hollywood blockbusters and feminist porn, the work of African American lesbian filmmakers has made a powerful contribution to film history. But despite its importance, this work has gone largely unacknowledged by cinema historians and cultural critics. Assembling a range of interviews, essays, and conversations, Sisters in the Life tells a full story of African American lesbian media-making spanning three decades. In essays on filmmakers including Angela Robinson, Tina Mabry and Dee Rees; on the making of Cheryl Dunye's The Watermelon Woman (1996); and in interviews with Coquie Hughes, Pamela Jennings, and others, the contributors center the voices of black lesbian media makers while underscoring their artistic influence and reach as well as the communities that support them. Sisters in the Life marks a crucial first step in narrating the history and importance of these compelling yet unsung artists.
Contributors. Jennifer DeVere Brody, Jennifer DeClue, Raul Ferrera-Balanquet, Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Thomas Allen Harris, Devorah Heitner, Pamela L. Jennings, Alexandra Juhasz, Kara Keeling, Candace Moore, Marlon Moore, Michelle Parkerson, Roya Rastegar, L. H. Stallings, Yvonne Welbon, Patricia White, Karin D. Wimbley
Sisters on a Journey is a moving collection of twenty-seven profiles-interviews and photographs-of contemporary American midwives. These extraordinary women speak with unusual frankness about what brought them to midwifery, what they see as their greatest challenges and rewards, their recollections of their fist home births, and their thoughts about the place of midwives in the American health care system.
This book celebrates midwives from very different ethnic, religious, and ideological backgrounds-in all of their richness and diversity. Chester presents a community of voices of women who share a commitment to other women and who strive together to ensure for a practice with such a long history a successful and vibrant future.
Sisters On Screen
Eva Rueschmann Temple University Press, 2000 Library of Congress PN1995.9.S55R84 2000 | Dewey Decimal 791.43652045
Perhaps the most vital, emotionally complex, and lasting attachments between women occur between sisters. Whether as best friends or antagonists, "sisters remain entangled in a common tapestry of mutual experience and remembrance, family and history," according to author Eva Ruschmann. Although many of the women-centered films in the last three decades depict the relationship between sisters as a pivotal aspect of a character's psychological development, the now substantial body of feminist film criticism has not taken up this theme in any sustained way.
In Sisters on Screen, Eva Rueschmann explores the sister bond in a wide range of modernist feature films that depart from the conventional cinematic rendering of women's lives. Drawing on the psychoanalytic concept of intersubjectivity, this book emphasizes the role of a woman's relationship and inner world in her continual quest for self-knowledge.
Offering an original and absorbing perspective on women's filmic images, Sisters on Screen reveals how post-1960s cinema has articulated the way sin which biological sisters negotiate mutuality and difference, co-author family histories, and profoundly shape each other's political and personal identities. The films in focus question standards of femininity as they probe in to memory, fantasy, and desire, bringing women's realities into view in the process.
Structuring her discussion in terms of life-cycle stages -- adolescence and adulthood -- Rueschmann offers an in-depth discussion of such films as An Angel at my Table, Double Happiness, Eve's Bayou, Gas Food Lodging, Heavenly Creatures, Little Women, Marianne and Juliane, Paura e amore, Peppermint Soda, The Silence, Sweetie, and Welcome to the Dollhouse. Rueschmann draws upon the works of filmmakers from the 1970s to the 1990s. Some of the directors included in her study are Allison Anders, Gillian Armstrong, Ingmar Bergman, Jane Campion, Peter Jackson, Mina Shum, Diane Kurys, Kasi Lemmons, Todd Solondz, and Margarethe von Trotta.
Sisters on Screen will appeal to anyone interested in women's studies, film studies, psychoanalytic readings of cinema, women directors, and international modern film.