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Suffrage events

Centennial Celebration of the 19th Amendment

The Centennial Celebration of the 19th Amendment will recognize the significance of woman’s suffrage, which when ratified in 1920, affirmed the citizenship of more than 26 million women and granted them a mechanism to empower themselves, their families and their communities. The suffrage movement also gave birth to the League of Women Voters with the first local League established in Wichita, Kansas, in 1919. Wichita also had the first national President of the League of Women Voters, Mrs. Jane Brooks. The events of the Centennial Celebration will: 
• educate citizenry on the efforts of those who led the movement and how, for so many, the struggle continues
• celebrate the progress made in voting rights for women and all citizens
• emphasize the importance of every citizen’s one vote

Unless otherwise indicated, events are all free and open to the public:

January 2020

English Department logoSuffrage Centennial Essay Contest (deadline 3/20/20)
The University of Kansas English Department announces an essay contest in honor of the Centennial of Women’s Suffrage in the United States. We invite current KU undergraduate students to submit essays on the history of the struggle for women’s voting rights in the U.S., especially the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment. We also welcome treatments of 21st century efforts to protect the right to vote and promote the election of women to public office in the U.S. Only one essay per student, please. One overall winner and one runner-up will receive a cash award. Deadline is Friday, March 20, 2020. Learn how to apply here.

February 2020

Teri Finneman"No Votes for Women"
• Feb. 3, (updated time) noon-12:30 p.m., Clarkson Gallery in Stauffer-Flint Hall
Teri Finneman, assistant professor of journalism at KU, will discuss the strategies used by women in the early 1900s who did not want the right to vote and who fought against the expansion of their own rights.

"Rightfully Yours"
• Feb. 6, 5:30-7 p.m., opening in Haricombe Gallery, Watson Library
Developed in conjunction with KU’s Centennial Celebration of the 19th Amendment, Rightfully Yours will feature faculty, student and community scholarship focusing on U.S. voting rights. Interdisciplinary research from the School of Journalism, the Department of Design, the School of Law, and other departments will be highlighted along with collections and creative work from across the university.
Exhibition dates: Feb. 6-Aug. 31, 2020

Beverley Ann Buller"William Allen White & Suffrage"
• Feb. 10, 12-1 p.m., Clarkson Gallery in Stauffer-Flint Hall
Beverley Olson Buller will discuss the role of William Allen White in the suffrage movement. She is the author of From Emporia: The Story of William Allen White and A Prairie Peter Pan: The Story of Mary White.


Kim Warren“Citizenship before the Women's Suffrage Amendment: African American and Native American, Rights and Resistance”
• Feb. 11, 11 a.m.-noon, Pine Room, Kansas Union
Kim Warren will examine different strategies that African Americans and Native Americans used to think about themselves as citizens of the United States while the woman suffrage campaign waged in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  While voting mattered to both groups, they also engaged in other strategies to expand their rights as citizens.

March 2020

Pat Gaston"Violence Against Women"
• March 2, 12:30-1 p.m., Clarkson Gallery in Stauffer-Flint Hall
Patricia E. Gaston, the Lacy C. Haynes Professor in the School of Journalism and co-editor of the 1994 Pulitzer Prize-winning Dallas Morning News series "Violence Against Women: A Question of Human Rights", will discuss the universality of violence and what the establishment of the Violence Against Women Act has meant for women in this country.

Amanda Burdan"Votes for Women: A Visual History"
• March 4, 5:30 p.m., Kansas Room, Kansas Union, University of Kansas
Amanda Burdan, a
 specialist in American art,  has organized many exhibitions on the fine and decorative arts of the United States. Her current exhibition project is Votes for Women: A Visual History, a major exhibition commemorating the centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment by examining the visual culture of the suffrage movement in the United States. Burdan joined the curatorial staff of the Brandywine River Museum of Art in 2012. She previously worked in the curatorial departments at the Florence Griswold Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art. (Sponsored by Art History)

"2020 Women’s Vote Centennial: A Latin American Perspective"
• March 5, 6:30-8:30 p.m., The Jay Room, Kansas Union, University of Kansas
The Latin American Graduate Organization (LAGO) will hold a panel discussion about how the centennial of women’s right to vote in the United States has impacted Latin America. Alesha Doan, associate professor in the department of Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies and the School of Public Affairs and Administration, along with Araceli Masterson-Algar, associate professor in the department of Spanish and Portuguese, will lead a panel discussion based on the voices of Latin Americans who have shared their experiences and perspectives regarding women’s right to vote. More information about the event is available here.

University Theatre logo(CANCELED) KU Theatre & Dance: Indecent
• March 20-22, 25-29. Performances at 7:30 p.m. with 2:30 p.m. Sunday matinees, Inge Theatre
Indecent, the latest play by Pulitzer Prize winner Paula Vogel, will be directed by Henry Bial, professor and author of the book “Acting Jewish.” Short synopsis: A troupe of Jewish actors tells the story of Sholem Asch’s legendary play “God of Vengeance” (Got fun nekome) from its first reading in Warsaw in 1906 to its controversial Broadway debut in 1923 to its legacy in the aftermath of the Holocaust. By turns comic and tragic, musical and literary, the play offers a rich meditation on language, culture, identity, and representation. Find ticket information here.

(CANCELED) "Women Voted Here Before Columbus: The Haudenosaunee Influence on the Women’s Suffrage Movement"Louise Herne
• March 31, 7-9 p.m., Alderson Auditorium, KU Memorial Union 
Sally Roesch Wagner (left), author of the intersectional anthology The Women’s Suffrage Movement (2019), and Louise Herne, (right) a Bear Clan Matron of the Mohawk Nation and Haudenosaunee Knowledge Guardian, will discuss the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) influence on early American feminists by placing the beginning of women’s rights a thousand years ago at the founding of the Iroquois Confederacy in present-day upstate New York.  Women of the Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy possessed decisive political power, control of their bodies, control of their own property, custody of the children they bore, the power to initiate divorce, satisfying work, and a society generally free of rape and domestic violence. Wagner and Herne will explore the ways Haudenosaunee women fired the revolutionary vision of early feminists, including Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Matilda Joslyn Gage, by providing them with model of freedom for women at a time when they experienced few rights. (Sponsored by the Emily Taylor Center)

April 2020

(CANCELED) "Women and Leadership"
• April 6, 12:30-1 p.m., Clarkson Gallery in Stauffer-Flint Hall
Angela Hendershot, professor of the practice in journalism who teaches Integrated Marketing Communications at the KU Edwards Campus, will discuss how suffrage helped remove some critical obstacles to realizing fuller leadership opportunities for women and the related benefits to society. Barriers continue to exist, but recent evidence shows the connection to the overall success of organizations when they bring gender diversity to the executive suite and the boardroom.

(CANCELED) "Performance Changing the Tides"
• April 6, 6-7:30 p.m.
Spencer Museum of Art, Sam and Connie Perkins Central Court
In celebration of National Poetry Month and the Women’s Vote Centennial, and presented in conversation with the exhibition Audubon in the Anthropocene, vocal ensemble The Meadowlark Project performs music by women composers, poets, and lyricists exploring ideas of womanhood, mortality, and progress. The recital features the premiere of "There Will Come Soft Rains,” a composition based on Sara Teasdale’s 1918 poem of the same name by KU doctoral student Allison McIntosh and commissioned by the Spencer Museum. This event is free and open to all. Seating is first come, first served. Funding provided by KU Student Senate.

Last year's events

September 2019

Teri Finneman"Press Portrayals of Women Politicians, 1870s-2000s" 
• Sept. 8, 2-3 p.m., Red Rocks State Historic Site, Emporia, Kansas
Teri Finneman, assistant professor of journalism at KU, will discuss her book of the same name examining how the press has covered women politicians dating back to the first woman to run for president in 1872 to those running today. She will also discuss the changes needed in society to have fairer elections.


Hong Vu"You Oughta be Delicate and Durable!”: How Vietnamese Female Leaders Are Portrayed in the News
• Sept. 9, 12:30-1 p.m., Watson 3 West, Watson Library
Hong Vu, assistant professor of journalism at KU, will discuss how the news media reinforce the double burden norm, which sets the expectations Vietnamese society has for women. Although Vietnam has committed to the quota policy for female representation in leadership for years, the policy doesn’t seem to work.

Brittney CooperHall Center for the Humanities Lecture Series: "Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower"
• Sept. 12, 7:30 p.m., Liberty Hall, Lawrence, Kansas
Brittney Cooper is a writer, teacher, public speaker, and the author of "Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower" (2018). An associate professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and Africana Studies at Rutgers University, Dr. Cooper has published several book chapters and articles on representations of Black women in popular culture, including a piece on the representation of the "baby-mama" figure in Hip-Hop music and film, the feminist implications of Janet Jackson's 2004 Super Bowl mishap, and the importance of Michelle Obama in the tradition of Black female leadership. Cooper’s scholarly research interrogates the manner in which public Black women have theorized racial identity and gender politics, and the methods they used to operationalize those theories for the uplift of Black communities. 
Free tickets available here.

Jinx BroussardCandi Carter OlsonKU Suffrage Anniversary Launch Event
• Sept. 24, 7 p.m., Dole Institute of Politics, University of Kansas 
Suffrage historians Jinx Broussard (left), Teri Finneman and Candi Carter Olson (right) will discuss the history of the suffrage movement and voting issues that remain today to set the stage for a year of discussions related to the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment.


October 2019

Sarah DeerHall Center for the Humanities Lecture Series: "Sovereignty of the Soul: Centering the Voices of Native Women"
• Oct. 1, 7:30 p.m., The Commons, Spooner Hall, University of Kansas
Sarah Deer holds a joint appointment with the School of Public Affairs and Administration and the Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. A member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma and a long-time activist for the rights of indigenous women, Deer was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2014 and is a 2019 inductee to the National Women’s Hall of Fame. Her scholarship focuses on the intersection of federal Indian law and victims' rights. Professor Deer is the co-author of four textbooks on tribal law, and author of The Beginning and End of Rape: Confronting Sexual Violence in Native America (2015)

Genelle Belmas"Women Making (And Breaking) the Law"
• Oct. 7, 12:30-1 p.m., Watson 3 West, Watson Library
Genelle Belmas, associate professor of journalism at KU, will discuss the importance of women in and to the law — from Myra Bradwell, who was denied admission to the legal profession by the Supreme Court in 1873, to Mildred Jeter, who with her husband helped to overturn laws banning interracial marriage in 1967, and beyond.


Hall Center, Haunted Humanities: “The Ghosts of Lawrence Suffragists”
• Oct. 23, 5:30-9 p.m., Abe and Jake’s Landing, 8 E. Sixth St., Lawrence, Kansas
Jeanne Klein and Sarah Bell will present Lawrence suffragists’ voices at various times. A booklet of “Woman Suffrage in Lawrence, 1854-1920” by Jeanne Klein will also be on sale at the Watkins Museum table.


Sarah BellSuffrage Mini-Symposium
• Oct. 24 – Oct. 25, Watkins Museum of History
This two-day event begins at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24 with historian Sarah Bell (left) discussing “Politics On The Platform: Woman Suffrage At The Chautauqua.  Author Diane Eickhoff (right) will discuss her book, Clarina Nichols: Frontier Crusader for Women's Rights, at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25.


KU Theatre & Dance: "In the Blood"
• Oct. 25-27, 29-30, Nov. 1. Performances at 7:30 p.m. with 2:30 p.m. Sunday matinees. Inge Theatre.
"In the Blood" by Suzan-Lori Parks will be directed by Timmia Hearn, graduate student in the department. Short synopsis: Hester lives in destitute poverty beneath a bridge with five children and struggles to “get a leg up.” Hester is faced with institutional racism, sexism, and the impossibility of the “American Dream” in this tale loosely inspired by Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter.” Find ticket information here.

November 2019

Lisa McLendon"It Didn't End with the Vote"
• Nov. 4, 12:30-1 p.m., Watson 3 West, Watson Library
Lisa McLendon, director of the Bremner Editing Center and news and information track chair at the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications, will discuss how American women didn't gain rights in some other areas -- such as finances, the workplace and education -- until decades after suffrage.


"From Suffragettes to Soccer Moms: Women Voters since Suffrage in Rhetoric and Reality"
• Nov. 14, 6 p.m. Centennial Room in Kansas Union
Christina Wolbrecht is professor of political science, director of the Rooney Center for the Study of American Democracy, and Mr. and Mrs. C. Robert Hanley Director of the Washington Program at the University of Notre Dame. Much of her work focuses on women voters since suffrage. Her recent book with J. Kevin Corder, Counting Women’s Ballots: Female Voters from Suffrage Through the New Deal, provides insight into whether, how, and with what consequences women cast their ballots in the first five presidential elections following suffrage. Their next book, A Century of Votes for Women: American Elections Since Suffrage, describes and explains women voters in the first century since the Nineteenth Amendment. (This talk is part of the Clifford P. Ketzel Speaker Series for the Expression of Minority Opinions and Political Science Lecture Series)

December 2019

KU Theatre & Dance: "The Wolves"
• Dec. 5, 6, 8, 9, 11, 12. Performances at 7:30 p.m. with 2:30 p.m. Sunday matinees. Inge Theatre.
The Wolves, a new play by Sarah DeLappe, will be directed by guest director Susan Kerner, a longtime professor of theatre at Montclair State University. Short synopsis: A slice of life play focuses on a girls’ soccer team and each team member’s struggle to negotiate her individuality while being part of a group. Through practices they get to know each other personally; through trauma they form an even closer bond. Find ticket information here.

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