Title

Memoirs from Women in the 1960s‐1970s: Collective Yet Fractured and Ignored

Lead Author Major

Biological Sciences

Format

Oral Presentation

Faculty Mentor Name

Edie Sparks

Faculty Mentor Department

History

Abstract/Artist Statement

The 1960s-1970s were a time of incredible political activity and activism for many people in America, especially women of different races and socioeconomic statuses. Through a close analysis of fourteen memoirs or anthologies of memoirs, I compare and contrast women’s experiences as activists in various movements, including the Black Power, Free Speech, Chicana, Asian American, and Women’s Liberation Movements. I analyze these memoirs as forms of personal biography, history, and political statements. Some points of comparison across different memoirs include common motivators for joining an activist movement, the development of different groups within an overall movement, and sexism within a movement. Within these comparisons, however, the race and class undertones contribute to activist women developing unique political and feminist consciousness. Women from varying backgrounds participated in these movements, and their disparate experiences highlight the privileges of race, class, and time, as these privileges impacted women’s agendas as well of their development of political and feminist consciousness. These memoirs reveal reasons for the lack of women’s collective activism; women developed different agendas as a response to privilege and as a response to exclusion. Some white feminist consciousness developed from these women’s exclusion from different political movements, such as the Left, while feminism from minority women arose as a response to the exclusion from white, middle-class political feminist consciousness. In sum, I assert that understanding exclusion and privilege is essential in understanding the forms of women’s activism in the 1960s and 1970s.

Location

DeRosa University Center, Room 211

Start Date

30-4-2016 3:00 PM

End Date

30-4-2016 5:00 PM

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Apr 30th, 3:00 PM Apr 30th, 5:00 PM

Memoirs from Women in the 1960s‐1970s: Collective Yet Fractured and Ignored

DeRosa University Center, Room 211

The 1960s-1970s were a time of incredible political activity and activism for many people in America, especially women of different races and socioeconomic statuses. Through a close analysis of fourteen memoirs or anthologies of memoirs, I compare and contrast women’s experiences as activists in various movements, including the Black Power, Free Speech, Chicana, Asian American, and Women’s Liberation Movements. I analyze these memoirs as forms of personal biography, history, and political statements. Some points of comparison across different memoirs include common motivators for joining an activist movement, the development of different groups within an overall movement, and sexism within a movement. Within these comparisons, however, the race and class undertones contribute to activist women developing unique political and feminist consciousness. Women from varying backgrounds participated in these movements, and their disparate experiences highlight the privileges of race, class, and time, as these privileges impacted women’s agendas as well of their development of political and feminist consciousness. These memoirs reveal reasons for the lack of women’s collective activism; women developed different agendas as a response to privilege and as a response to exclusion. Some white feminist consciousness developed from these women’s exclusion from different political movements, such as the Left, while feminism from minority women arose as a response to the exclusion from white, middle-class political feminist consciousness. In sum, I assert that understanding exclusion and privilege is essential in understanding the forms of women’s activism in the 1960s and 1970s.