At the centennial of the passage of women’s suffrage in 1920, there has been a recent burst of activism among American women. Women are running for political office in record numbers. Women are organizing and taking to the streets to demand change. Women are grappling with inclusion and intersectionality.
While some of this activity may have been a response to the 2016 presidential elections, its roots lie deep in 20th-century history — a history richly preservedin Harvard’s Schlesinger Library building on the library’s 75th Anniversary Exhibit.
This course exemplifies the importance of archives in themaking of history. Professors Laurel Ulrich and Jane Kamensky, along with colleagues from across Harvard University and beyond, show how women in the 20th-century United States pushed boundaries, fought for new rights, and challenged contemporary notions of what women could and should do.
Through the exploration of ten iconic objects from the Schlesinger collection, they demonstrate how women created change by embracing education, adopting new technologies, and creating innovative works of art; pushing against discrimination and stepping into new roles in public and in private.
Tangible Things: Discovering History Through Artworks, Artifacts, Scientific Specimens, and the Stuff Around You
Have you ever wondered about how museum, library, and other kinds of historical or scientific collections all come together? Or how and why curators, historians, archivists, and preservationists do what they do?
In Tangible Things , you will discover how material objects have shaped academic disciplines and reinforced or challenged boundaries between people. This course will draw on some of the most fascinating items housed at Harvard University, highlighting several to give you a sense of the power of learning through tangible things.
By “stepping onto” the storied campus, you and your fellow learners can explore Harvard’s astonishing array of tangible things—books and manuscripts, art works, scientific specimens, ethnographic artifacts, and historical relics of all sorts.
In this sample video, Prof. Ulrich and Prof. Carter look at at an eighteenth-century drawing of
Dighton Rock included in the 2017 Harvard Art Museum Exhibit, “The Philosophy Chamber.” Stephen Sewall’s Drawing