Dr. Sonya Michel to give lecture: “Doing Well by Doing Good: American Women’s Long Tradition of Reform”

University of Maryland history professor, Dr. Sonya Michel, will give a talk exploring American women’s long tradition of reform on Wednesday, May 16 at 4pm at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC. The lecture is part of the National Women’s History Museum’s joint lecture series with the Wilson Center entitled “The Past, Present and Future of US Women’s History.” The event is free and open to the public.

Long before American women had won suffrage or the right to run for public office, they found ways to make their voices heard in the public sphere by engaging in charity and good works. Through identifying problems in their society and creating institutions and policies to address them, women not only gained political power but helped build the foundations of the American welfare state. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, class divided many female reformers from the women and children they sought to help, but by the middle of the twentieth century, women of all classes were beginning to organize on their own behalf.  Sonya Michel will trace the long tradition of American women’s reform by drawing on the rich literature on this subject that several generations of women’s historians have produced, as well as her own research on American social policy.

The lecture will take place on Wednesday, May 16, 2012 from 4 to 5:30 pm on the 6th floor, Flom auditorium at the Wilson Center. It will be followed by a reception from 5:30-6. The Wilson Center is located at 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC 20004. This event is free and open to the public, but RSVPs are requested. Please respond with acceptances only to swinston@nwhm.org.

Directions to the Wilson Center are available at: www.wilsoncenter.org/directions.

Previous lectures in the series are available at http://www.nwhm.org/blog/nwhm-announces-its-lecture-lineup-for-spring-2012/

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