FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Jan. 29, 2009
EDITORIAL CONTACT: Gina Logue, 615-898-5081
EARLY 1900s RACISM SUBJECT OF WOMEN’S STUDIES LECTURE
MTSU History Professor Looks at Race, Gender Activism of Ida Vera Simonton
(MURFREESBORO) - Dr. Jeremy Rich, associate professor of history at MTSU, will explain how a New York socialite at the turn of the 20th century challenged gender conventions while furthering racist ones in the next Women’s Studies Research Series lecture at MTSU at 3 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 12, in the SunTrust Room (BAS127) of the Business and Aerospace Building.
Rich will examine Ida Vera Simonton’s visits to Gabon and a number of West African countries in 1906 and 1907 in a talk entitled “American Masquerades of African Empire: Race, Sexuality, and Colonialism in the Gabonese Travel Narratives of Richard Garner and Ida Simonton, 1906-1914.” Simonton “boasted of her knowledge and bravery, and even formed a women’s militia in New York City during World War I,” says Rich. “At the same time, her vision of armed white women also supported racist ideas regarding Africans and people of African descent. Even as she claimed to be a critic of European colonialism, she celebrated white supremacy and the opportunities white women could find in Africa to remake themselves.”
“The MTSU Women's Studies Research Series has something for everyone interested in women's experience,” says Dr. Jane Marcellus, professor of mass communication. “By bringing together scholars from across campus, we touch on a wide variety of feminist viewpoints in an informal monthly gathering.”
All lectures are free and open to the public. For more information on the Women’s Studies Research Series, contact Marcellus at 615-898-5282 or email@example.com.