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Women’s History Month 2021

Posted by on Tuesday, March 2, 2021 in Robert Penn Waren Center.

 Rory Dicker is director of the Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center and is a senior lecturer in the Gender and Sexuality Studies Department. 

Buried in the stimulus and COVID-relief bill that passed at the end of 2020 was a piece of legislation of significance to those who care about women’s history. The Smithsonian Women’s History Act provides for the creation of a national museum dedicated to women’s history. It was a fitting way to end a year that marked the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote.WHM2021

The prospect of this museum is exciting to me—I teach and write about the history of feminism in the United States, and I work at Vanderbilt’s Women’s Center. When it opens, this museum will offer another way to recognize the important contributions made by women to American life.

Until the time that this museum materializes on or near the National Mall, we can rely on Women’s History Month as a medium to highlight the stories and experiences of women. This March, Vanderbilt’s celebration includes a variety of events and activities.

This year, some themes and specific events are especially noteworthy. The first are events that were rescheduled from March 2020 when all of JoanJohnsonNEWVanderbilt’s Women’s History Month events were canceled. Here are a few of these events:

  • Joan Marie Johnson, “Race, Rights, and the Woman Suffrage Movement: The Stories of Alva Vanderbilt Belmont, Irene Moorman, and Rose Schneiderman,” Thursday, March 4, 5:30 p.m. CT
  • Blair School of Music’s 19th Amendment Concert, Monday, March 8, 6:00 p.m. CT
  • Brittney Cooper, “Eloquent Rage: The Power of the Angry Black Woman,” Thursday, March 25, 5:30 p.m. CT

Two events during the month relate specifically to the world of women andBrittney Cooper Poster FINAL work. The first is a conversation with Patricia Resnick, the screenwriter for 9 to 5, which celebrated its 40th anniversary in December. This discussion, a collaboration with the Belcourt Theatre, will be on Monday, March 15 at 5:15 p.m. CT. On Monday, March 29 at 12:00 p.m. CT, Elizabeth Gedmark, Vice President of A Better Balance, will give a lecture entitled “Women in the Workforce and COVID-19: Where Do We Go from Here?”

Several events during the month connect to the challenges women have faced entering male-dominated arenas, including careers in the sciences, in sports, and in the academy. These events include:

  • Picture a Scientist Film Discussion, Tuesday, March 9, 4:00 p.m. CT
  • Women and Sports: A Conversation with Candice Lee and Sharon Shields, Tuesday, March 16, 4:00 p.m. CT
  • Women’s Leadership in the Academy (panel discussion), Wednesday, March 24, 12:00 p.m. CT

Please join us for as many of these events as you are able to. All of the events described above will be on Zoom; links can be found here: The Women’s Center’s website lists additional events.

Rory Dicker is director of the Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center and is a senior lecturer in the Gender and Sexuality Studies Department. The author of A History of U.S. Feminisms, Rory teaches classes about women and literature and about the history of American feminisms.