Friday, February 20, 2009, 3:00–5:00 p.m.
When Women’s Rights Activists Embraced Darwin: the Evolutionary Feminism of Antoinette Brown Blackwell and Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Kimberly Hamlin, Miami University of Ohio
Commentator: Genevieve McBride, University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee
“What would be the tragedy in the garden of Eden to a generation of scientific women?” pondered Elizabeth Cady Stanton in 1891. Rather than debate the significance of Adam and Eve, “scientific women” would “relegate the allegory to the same class of literature as Aesop's fables.” Like Stanton, several nineteenth-century feminists embraced evolution because they thought it provided a better forum than religion for understanding gender. This essay tells the story of these evolutionary feminists and suggests that evolutionary theory altered the trajectory of the women’s rights movement by prompting activists to reassess the place of religion within it.
All papers are pre-circulated electronically to those who plan to attend the seminar in person. For a copy of the paper, e-mail Jenny Butler at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call312-255-3524. Please do not request a paper unless you plan to attend.
*Please note that requests for the paper made after 5:00pm on Thursday, February 19, are unlikely to be read before the seminar begins on Friday afternoon. If you plan to attend the session, please request the paper early.*
The Newberry Library Seminar on Women and Gender is co-sponsored by the History Departments of Northeastern Illinois University and the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the Karla Scherer Center for the Study of American Culture at the University of Chicago
The Newberry Library
Dr. William M. Scholl Center for
American History and Culture
60 W. Walton St.
Chicago, Illinois 60610
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