Women Making History: Who Gets to Write Which Stories?

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Thu. March 23, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM

UVa Harrison Institute / Small Special Collections

UVa Central Grounds, 160 McCormick Rd, Charlottesville, VA 22904

Hosted by: UVa Department of Politics and the UVa Women, Gender & Sexuality Program


Academic and public historians Catherine Clinton, Claudrena Harold, Dava Sobel, and Susan Southard join in conversation with Corinne Field about pathways available to women writing history.

Why should you attend?

A recent study published in Slate caught our attention: Andrew Kahn and Rebecca Onion examined more than 600 popular history books published in 2015 and found that more than 75 percent of the titles were written by men. We’d like to know more. Who reads history and what stories appeal to them? Who studies history? Who writes history? What stories are available to different authors–to women, to authors from underrepresented backgrounds?

As a publisher for Basic Books asked, in the article linked above, “What is it about the way we educate our children that channels women toward literature departments and men toward history and politics departments? What are our assumptions—and by ‘our’ I mean publishers, booksellers, book reviewers—that lead us to publish history books for Father’s Day and fiction and memoir for Mother’s Day? Are these based on data or merely stereotypes?”