Remembering Women’s Activism examines the intersections between gender politics and acts of remembrance by tracing the cultural memories of women who are known for their actions.
Memories are constantly being reinterpreted and are profoundly shaped by gender. This book explores the gendered dimensions of history and memory through nation-based and transnational case studies from the Asia-Pacific region and Anglophone world. Chapters consider how different forms of women’s activism have been remembered: the efforts of suffragists in Britain, the USA and Australia to document their own histories and preserve their memory; Constance Markievicz and Qiu Jin, two early twentieth-century political activists in Ireland and China respectively; the struggles of women workers; and the movement for redress of those who have suffered militarized sexual abuse. The book concludes by reflecting on the mobilization of memories of activism in the present.
Transnational in scope and with reference to both state-centred and organic acts of remembering, including memorial practices, physical sites of memory, popular culture and social media, Remembering Women’s Activism is an ideal volume for all students of gender and history, the history of feminism, and the relationship between memory and history.
Table of Contents
List of figures
Series editors’ foreword
Introduction: Gendered memories and histories
1 Suffragists and suffragettes
2 Revolutionary nationalists
5 Marching on
Sharon Crozier-De Rosa is Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Wollongong. Her research examines the intersections between gender, nationalism, imperialism, emotions, and violent activisms. She recently published Shame and the Anti-Feminist Backlash: Britain, Ireland and Australia, 1890–1920 (Routledge 2018).
Vera Mackie is Senior Professor of Asian Studies in the Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts and Director of the Centre for Critical Human Rights Research at the University of Wollongong. Recent publications include The Routledge Handbook of Sexuality Studies in East Asia (Routledge 2015, co-edited with Mark McLelland).
'This richly illustrated and documented volume is an important work of history, memory and museum and cultural studies. Determinedly transnational and cross-cultural it explores the ways in which women’s historical activism has been and is being memorialized, ignored, contested, reframed and re-interpreted. Its fresh new approach makes it an indispensable work, particularly for historians of gender, and for public historians and curators.'
Margaret Allen, Professor Emerita, Gender Studies, University of Adelaide, Australia
'Tracing the embodiment of memory in monuments, marches, money, media, and history itself, Crozier-De Rosa and Mackie illuminate powerful themes in transnational women's and gender history: struggles for suffrage and revolution and against exploitative working conditions and wartime sexual violence. Grounded in case studies from the Anglophone world and East and Southeast Asia, Remembering Women's Activism complicates gendered constructions of the past. It shows how stories of victims, survivors and shapers serve national as well as feminist ends.'
Eileen Boris, Hull Professor and Distinguished Professor of Feminist Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara and President, International Federation for Research in Women's History (2015-2020)
'An illuminating and landmark book that explores the cultural memories of women activists in a range of fields and different countries. Timely , informative and highly readable, this book will be enjoyed by all seeking to understand gendered dimensions of our past.'
June Purvis, Emeritus Professor of Women’s and Gender History, University of Portsmouth
'...pervasive in the conclusion and the rest of Remembering Women's Activism are not only interesting insights into how women have worked to improve society and the ways that work has been remembered, but also the implied question of how such figures and those now stepping to the forefront will be remembered and misremembered in years to come.'
Bethan Johnson, LSE Review of Books
'Remembering Women’s Activism is a stellar addition to international women’s history and an important contribution to our understanding of the complex relationship between memory, history and politics.'
Marilyn Lake, Australian Historical Studies
'[T]he authors show how putting the history of women’s activism on record can provide resources for future political campaigns. This is the kind of history and memory-making we need.'
Karen Hunt, Social History
'This book is an innovative exploration of [the memorialisation of women's activism], or lack of it, and what shapes it... This book demonstrates above all how remembering past activists keeps contemporary activism alive and visible and how the memories, positive and negative, are shaped by contemporary preoccupations.'
Pat Thane, Cercles
'This is a fascinating book on the gendered nature of memory, of museums, exhibitions, statues and archives, indeed anyone interested in the public impact of these spaces in terms of what is and isn’t remembered, and how and why it is or is not remembered in certain ways, should read this work. The underlying message is the need to combine our academic work with activism; women scholars who work on women need to make sure memorials are created for and to women. As the authors note ‘putting the history of women’s activism on record can provide resources for future political campaigns’.'
Mary McAuliffe, Women's History Review