A comprehensive social history, Transforming the Public Sphere describes the planning and construction of the Exhibition of Women’s Labor and the event itself—the sights, the sounds, and the smells—as well as the role of exhibitions in late-nineteenth-century public culture. The authors discuss how the 1898 exhibition displayed the range and variety of women’s economic, intellectual, and artistic roles in Dutch culture, including their participation in such traditionally male professions as engineering, diamond-cutting, and printing and publishing. They examine how people and goods from the Dutch colonies were represented, most notably in an extensive open-air replica of a “Javanese village.” Grever and Waaldijk reveal the tensions the exhibition highlighted: between women of different economic classes; between the goal of equal rights for women and the display of imperial subjects and spoils; and between socialists and feminists, who competed fiercely with one another for working women’s support. Transforming the Public Sphere explores an event that served as the dress rehearsal for advances in women’s public participation during the twentieth century.
Maria Grever is Professor of History and Theory at Erasmus University Rotterdam and a participant in the research program of the Nijmegen Center for Women’s Studies, both in the Netherlands.
Berteke Waaldijk is Associate Professor of Women’s Studies at Utrecht University in the Netherlands.
In More Than Medicine, Jennifer Nelson reveals how feminists of the ‘60s and ‘70s applied the lessons of the new left and civil rights movements to generate a women’s health movement. The new movement shifted from the struggle to revolutionize health care to the focus of ending sex discrimination and gender stereotypes perpetuated in mainstream medical contexts. Moving from the campaign for legal abortion to the creation of community clinics and feminist health centers, Nelson illustrates how these activists revolutionized health care by associating it with the changing social landscape in which women had power to control their own life choices.
More Than Medicine poignantly reveals how social justice activists in the United States gradually transformed the meaning of health care, pairing traditional notions of medicine with less conventional ideas of “healthy” social and political environments.
When and Where I Enter reveals the immense moral power black women possessed and sought to wield throughout their history--the same power that prompted Anna Julia Cooper in 1892 to tell a group of black clergymen, "Only the black woman can say 'when and where I enter, in the quiet, undisputed dignity of my womanhood, without violence and without suing or special patronage, then and there the whole . . . race enters with me.'"