Project Title

Feminist Bookstores and Gender and Women’s Studies Activism

Presenters

Academic department under which the project should be listed

WCHHS - Social Work and Human Services

Faculty Sponsor Name

Letizia Guglielmo

Abstract (300 words maximum)

With second wave feminism in the late 20th century in the United States, women moved on from fighting for their right to vote to their right to exist outside of the home and without violence. Women took the streets to fight against wage gaps, anti-racism, domestic violence as well as the right to a safe abortion. Out of this activist wave came the building of another movement. The feminist bookstore movement created more than 100 independent feminist bookstores across the nation, existing to create space not only for women to organize, but also for women to escape abuse, find resources, and see themselves reflected in literature. Along with the feminist bookstore movement came a surge of gender and women’s studies programs across colleges and universities. These programs sought to thoughtfully examine sex and gender beyond the binary and beyond proscriptive gender roles and to galvanize women through history that reflected their experiences. Feminist bookstores continue to provide the context as well as resources that gender and women’s studies programs need to examine intersectionality as more than just a word, but a way to address social issues. This project explores the relationship between the feminist bookstore movement and the emergence of gender and women’s studies programs from the 1970s to present day. Blending peer reviewed research with a local case study of a feminist bookstore, this presentation advocates for internship opportunities in feminist bookstores that bridge the gap between theoretical foundations and experiential learning in gender and women’s studies programs.

Project Type

Oral Presentation (15-min time slots)

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Feminist Bookstores and Gender and Women’s Studies Activism

With second wave feminism in the late 20th century in the United States, women moved on from fighting for their right to vote to their right to exist outside of the home and without violence. Women took the streets to fight against wage gaps, anti-racism, domestic violence as well as the right to a safe abortion. Out of this activist wave came the building of another movement. The feminist bookstore movement created more than 100 independent feminist bookstores across the nation, existing to create space not only for women to organize, but also for women to escape abuse, find resources, and see themselves reflected in literature. Along with the feminist bookstore movement came a surge of gender and women’s studies programs across colleges and universities. These programs sought to thoughtfully examine sex and gender beyond the binary and beyond proscriptive gender roles and to galvanize women through history that reflected their experiences. Feminist bookstores continue to provide the context as well as resources that gender and women’s studies programs need to examine intersectionality as more than just a word, but a way to address social issues. This project explores the relationship between the feminist bookstore movement and the emergence of gender and women’s studies programs from the 1970s to present day. Blending peer reviewed research with a local case study of a feminist bookstore, this presentation advocates for internship opportunities in feminist bookstores that bridge the gap between theoretical foundations and experiential learning in gender and women’s studies programs.