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The Pleasures of Age: Old Women and Political Power in the Women’s Suffrage Movement
August 12, 2020 @ 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM EDTCost: Free
On her seventieth birthday in 1885, suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton delivered a speech on “The Pleasures of Age”. She declared that “fifty not fifteen is the heyday of woman’s life.” While touring the country in the 1870s, Sojourner Truth turned her embodied performance of old age into a political claim for financial reparations owed formerly enslaved people. By the 1890s, white suffragists hailed Susan B. Anthony as the “grand old woman of America” and compared her favorably to presidents Lincoln and Washington. In the nineteenth century, women suffragists demanded respect and security for older women as an essential dimension of political empowerment. Corrine Field, an Associate Professor of Women, Gender & Sexuality at the University of Virginia, will tell you why. She’ll also tell you why these hopes remain largely unrealized over a century later.
Corinne Field is currently completing a monograph entitled “Grand Old Women and Modern Girls: Age, Race, and Power in the US Women’s Rights Movement, 1870 to 1920” and co-editing with an interdisciplinary anthology on the global history of black girlhood with LaKisha Simmons. In 2018-2019, she was the Mellon-Schlesinger Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University.