All university-sponsored, non-Athletics events and gatherings are suspended through April 30 due to COVID-19.
Women’s History Month at Vanderbilt will begin with a kickoff event hosted by the Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center on Monday, March 9, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Sarratt Promenade. The event is open to the entire Vanderbilt community and will include food, music, prizes and trivia.
This year’s celebration of Women’s History Month at Vanderbilt also will include several events commemorating the centennial anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which is being recognized at the university and across the nation. Related events and programming can be found on the 19th Amendment Centennial website.
The Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center website has a calendar of Women’s History Month events, which includes educational programs and workshops, film screenings, lectures and more happening across campus during March.
Among the Women’s History Month events included on the calendar:
- Feminism and Disability, March 11: The event will expand on the basics of feminism and how disability advocacy, specifically, is a feminist issue. Women with disabilities, including Next Steps students, will share their perspectives on intersecting identities as well as their experiences navigating Vanderbilt’s campus. The event will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. at Sarratt 363.
- Harry C. Howard Jr. Lecture, March 12: Jaquira Díaz will be the featured speaker for the 2020 Harry C. Howard Jr. Lecture. Titled, “Ordinary Girls: Tacit Borders, Racialized and Gendered Violence, and the Corporal Policing of Black and Brown Girls,” the lecture will be at 4:10 p.m. in the Central Library Community Room.
- Inclusive Book Group, March 13: The Women’s Center, in partnership with the Jean and Alexander Heard Libraries, will host an “Inclusive Book Group” on Friday, March 13. The discussion will center on A Well-Behaved Woman: A Novel of the Vanderbilts by New York Times best-selling author Therese Anne Fowler. The novel shares the story of Alva Smith, who becomes Alva Vanderbilt and later Alva Belmont. Belmont funded the National Woman’s Party, which fought for women’s suffrage at the federal level. The book group will take place from noon to 1 p.m. at Central Library in the Vanderbilt Poetry Room, 612A. The program is free and open to the public; tea and cookies will be provided.
- A Woman’s Right to Vote, March 17: The film A Woman’s Right to Vote will be screened March 17 at 4 p.m. at Garland 101. The film covers the history of woman’s suffrage in the United States and the many difficult struggles that women faced changing the Constitution with the 19th Amendment to win the right to vote. The screening will be followed by a discussion of the film.
- Women of Peabody Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon, March 18: Community members are invited to an edit-a-thon to edit Wikipedia entries featuring the women staff, faculty and students who helped to shape Peabody College of education and human development. During the edit-a-thon, Catherine Gavin Loss, associate dean for academic affairs and professional education at Peabody and associate professor of the practice in education and policy, will speak about the issues of Southern women’s political activism on suffrage, women’s access to education, and Peabody activists. The event is from noon to 3 p.m. at the Peabody Library Learning Lab, Room 304. Lunch will be provided and DYV and GME credit is available.
- “Race, Rights and the Woman Suffrage Movement: The Stories of Alva Vanderbilt Belmont, Irene Moorman, and Rose Schneiderman” presented by Joan Marie Johnson, March 19: The Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center in partnership with the Chancellor’s Lecture Series and the Division of Government and Community Relations will host a lecture with author Joan Marie Johnson, who serves as director of faculty in the Office of the Provost at Northwestern University. The event, which starts at 5 p.m. in Alumni Hall, Room 202, is free and open to the public.
- Is the Future Female? The Continuing Relevance of Feminism, March 23: Amy Richards and Jennifer Baumgardner, co-authors of Manifesta, a book detailing women’s history and Third Wave feminism, will join in a conversation with Daisy Hernandez, visiting writer in the English department, author of the memoir A Cup of Water Under My Bed, and Colonize This!, which shares the narratives of young women of color on what feminism means to them in the current political context. The event if free and will be held on March 23 at 7 p.m. in the E. Bronson Ingram College Multipurpose Room.
- Art + Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon, March 25: Vanderbilt University Libraries will host a session to edit the Wikipedia pages of women artists, architects, designers, video artists, musicians, philosophers and critics. During the event, Assistant Professor of History of Art Rebecca VanDiver will give a talk, “The Torture of Mothers: Black Reproductive Justice in Elizabeth Catlett’s Prints.” The edit-a-thon will take place in Room 134 of Cohen Memorial Hall from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Lunch and snacks will be provided.
- Cuninggim Lecture, March 31: The 2020 Cuninggim Lecture will feature Brittney Cooper, associate professor of women’s, gender and sexuality studies and Africana studies at Rutgers University. Additionally, she is the author of Beyond Respectability: The Intellectual Thought of Race Women and Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower. She is also co-founder of the Crunk Feminist Collective, a feminist-of-color scholar-activist group that conducts workshops, runs a highly successful blog and engages in activist causes related to women’s issues. The event begins at 5 p.m. at the Student Life Center Board of Trust Room.
A nationally recognized celebration throughout March, Women’s History Month originated in 1981 when Congress authorized and requested President Ronald Reagan to proclaim a Women’s History Week. The week selected in March for Women’s History Week coincided with the anniversary of an 1857 strike for better pay and working conditions held by women working in a garment factory in New York City. In 1987, the National Women’s History Project successfully petitioned for Congress to designate the month of March to be Women’s History Month.
To learn more about Women’s History Month at Vanderbilt, visit the Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center website. The Women’s Center is part of the Provost’s Office for Inclusive Excellence, which works to ensure that a broad array of faculty, students and postdoctoral fellows are able to fully avail themselves of the potential offered by Vanderbilt University. Visit the Office for Inclusive Excellence website to learn more.