Seeking Panelists: College Women and the Cold War, Berks 2011.
We are putting together a panel on college women during the Cold War era for the 2011 Berks Conference. We are seeking a chair, discussant, and if possible, another panel member.
One paper argues that the Seven Sister colleges were able to claim that they were defenders of academic freedom during the Cold War period, in large part because of crackdowns on “deviant” behavior on the campuses. In particular, the work focuses on Vassar College and its attempts to root out lesbian activity during these years.
The second paper examines the anticommunist ideology of white, Greek-letter sororities in the post-World War II era. Greek-letter social organizations, which publicized their efforts to educate their members as good citizens, sought, in the Cold War period, to train their members to champion “all-American” ideals of freedom and democracy. The panelist argues that sororities conflated these principles with the belief that such “freedoms” included the ability to discriminate against individuals of different racial and religious backgrounds and, in effect, used their anticommunist rhetoric to validate their discriminatory membership policies.
If you are interested in joining us on the panel or serving as a chair or discussant, please contact either Margaret Freeman (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Caroline Hasenyager (email@example.com) as soon as possible.
Margaret and Caroline
Ph.D. candidates, College of William and Mary
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