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Explore Women's History

March is National Women's History Month, and related titles from Kent State University Press are discounted 25% through March 31, 2017. A wide variety of books — covering topics as disparate as women writers of the antebellum era, army flight nurses during World War II, the first women journalists, and the historical importance of women’s pantaloons — are available in both print and ebook formats.

Use code WOMEN2018 when ordering to receive the discounted price throughout the month of March, and learn more about important aspects of our shared history.
 

Women and the American Civil War

and | Filed under: Civil War Era, Explore Women's History, Forthcoming, U.S. History, Women’s Studies
Giesberg Cover

The scholarship on women’s experiences in the U.S. Civil War is rich and deep, but much of it remains regionally specific or subsumed in more general treatments of Northern and Southern peoples during the war. In a series of eight paired essays, scholars examine women’s comparable experiences across the regions, focusing particularly on women’s politics, wartime mobilization, emancipation, wartime relief, women and families, religion, reconstruction, and Civil War memory. In each pairing, historians analyze women’s lives, interests, and engagement in public issues and private concerns and think critically about what stories and questions still need attention. Among their questions are:

 


Lincoln’s Lover

| Filed under: Explore Women's History, Literature & Literary Criticism, Poetry, Recent Releases
Emerson Cover

In his Poetics, Aristotle said a historian and a poet do not differ from each other—one simply writes in verse and the other in prose. In fact, history and poetry have a long connection; much of what we know about ancient history throughout the world came to us through the centuries and millennia as epic poetry purporting to tell the stories of great men and events. The two genres also create a fascinating juxtaposition when each views one through the lens of the other. To consider the life of a historical person through poetry is both to see that person for who they were and to consider who that person could have, or even should have, been in a more poetically perfect world.

 


Her Voice Will Be on the Side of Right

| Filed under: American Abolitionism and Antislavery, Explore Women's History, Literature & Literary Criticism, Recent Releases, Understanding Civil War History, Women’s Studies
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Decades before the Civil War, the free American public was gripped by increasingly acrimonious debates about the nation’s “peculiar institution” of slavery. Ministers considered the morality of slavery from their pulpits, legislators debated it in the halls of government, professors discussed it in their classrooms, and citizens argued about it in their communities. Antislavery women wrote novels and stories designed to convince free Americans about slavery’s evils, to discuss the future of abolitionism, and to debate the proper roles of free and enslaved women in the antislavery struggle. Many antebellum writers and editors believed fiction was an especially genderappropriate medium for women to express their ideas publicly and a decidedly effective medium for reaching female readers. Believing that women were naturally more empathetic and imaginative than men, writers and editors hoped that powerfully told stories about enslaved people’s sufferings would be invaluable in converting free female readers to abolitionism.

 


Sympathy, Madness, and Crime

| Filed under: Explore Women's History, Journalism, Recent Releases, Women’s Studies
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In one of her escapades as a reporter for Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World, the renowned Nellie Bly feigned insanity in 1889 and slipped, undercover, behind the grim walls of Blackwell’s Island mental asylum. She emerged ten days later with a vivid tale about life in a madhouse. Her asylum articles merged sympathy and sensationalism, highlighting a developing professional identity—that of the American newspaperwoman.

 


hover over her

| Filed under: Explore Women's History, Poetry, Recent Releases, Wick First Book
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“In Leah Osowski’s exquisite debut, hover over her, the poet immerses us in geographies of unrealized adolescence, where young women are singular amidst their cacophonous backdrops, whether beside a lake, inside a Dali painting, or stretched out in a flower garden. These spaces are turned inside out for us through Osowski’s linguistic curiosity and unforgettable imagistic palate. Negative possibilities hang around every corner as well, showing us the ways in which we are also complicit in the constructions and obstructions of gender. As the speaker in ‘she as pronoun’ says, ‘she’s I and she’s you every / time you hid beneath your own arms.’ But through the evolution and renaissance of Osowski’s speaker, we find affirmation in these shared connections, transparency in the landscapes of growth and escape, and the freedom that comes from the task of unflinchingly examining our whereabouts inside of them.”
—Adrian Matejka, author of The Big Smoke

 


Lincoln’s Generals’ Wives

| Filed under: Award Winners, Civil War Era, Civil War in the North, Explore Women's History, History, Recent Releases, Understanding Civil War History, Women’s Studies
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The story of the American Civil War is not complete without examining the extraordinary and influential lives of Jessie Frémont, Nelly McClellan, Ellen Sherman, and Julia Grant, the wives of Abraham Lincoln’s top generals. They were their husbands’ closest confidantes and had a profound impact on the generals’ ambitions and actions. Most important, the women’s own attitudes toward and relationships with Lincoln had major historical significance.

 


Informal Ambassadors

| Filed under: Explore Women's History, New Studies in U.S. Foreign Relations
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From 1865 to 1945, a number of prominent marriages united American heiresses and members of the British aristocracy. In Informal Ambassadors, author Dana Cooper examines the lives and marriages of the American-born, British-wed Lady Jennie Jerome Churchill, Mary Endicott Chamberlain, Vicereine Mary Leiter Curzon, Duchess Consuelo Vanderbilt Balsan, and Lady Nancy Astor. This cohort of women surprised their families—both British and American—by exhibiting an extraordinary degree of agency in a period that placed women solidly outside the boundaries of politics and diplomacy.

 



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