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Women’s History Month Part IV: Women in Science & Medicine

March is Women’s History Month, which means throughout the month HEB will highlight premiere titles in Women’s Studies that can be found in our collection. If you would like a Women’s Studies specific title list from HEB, please email Chris Plattsmier. Also, don’t forget you can recommend a title for inclusion in the HEB collection on our title recommendation page.

For our final entry into the Women’s History Month series, we created a gallery below which displays selections from the HEB collection related to women in science and medicine. These titles serve as strong examples of interdisciplinary, humanities scholarship that shed light on issues in the STEM and public-health world. Don’t forget to explore our Pinterest board for titles in Science & Technology or Medicine & Medical History for a more expansive selection of titles.

The Science Question in Feminism: Industrial Policy in Europe

by Sandra Harding, Cornell University Press (1986)

Women Scientists in America: Before Affirmative Action, 1940-1972

by Margaret W. Rossiter, Johns Hopkins University Press (1995)

Lise Meitner: A Life in Physics

by Ruth Lewine Sime, University of California Press (1997)

Their Day in the Sun: Women of the Manhattan Project

by Ruth H. Howes & Caroline L. Herzenberg, Temple University Press (1999)

Free Extended Trial to HEB for WALDO Members

This is and edited post from a page that originally appeared on Waldo’s website and can be found here

Please note, this offer is only available through the end of May. 

WALDO is excited to announce that ACLS is offering WALDO members extended trial access to their Humanities E-Book collection for the remainder of 2018 at no charge. Due to our success with the same offer in 2017 — ACLS has opted to roll it out again in 2018!

To qualify for this offer your library is required to download the MARC records and load them into your ILS system within two weeks of accepting the offer. Additionally you must sign up for a webinar that will explain the collection, interface, etc.  The webinar is approximately 30 minutes. This offer is available to libraries who currently do not subscribe.

The ACLS Humanities E-Book (HEB) is a digital ebook collection of approximately 5,150 titles that have been reviewed and recommended by scholars from the American Council of Learned Societies. HEB’s carefully curated list provides librarians with an excellent foundation for starting or building a more significant digital collection. Title publication dates range from the 1880s to 2017, includes unlimited access, downloadable MARC records as well as COUNTER-compliant usage statistics

The Humanities E-Book collection is fully indexed in the following Discovery services: EBSCO, Primo, EDS, Summon and Yewno (Coming soon).

If you are interested in participating in this offer, please contact

Email for a title list.


Women’s History Month Part III: Women’s Suffrage

March is Women’s History Month, which means throughout the month HEB will highlight premiere titles in Women’s Studies that can be found in our collection. If you would like a Women’s Studies specific title list from HEB, please email Chris Plattsmier. Also, don’t forget you can recommend a title for inclusion in the HEB collection on our title recommendation page.

Women’s Suffrage

For the third entry in HEB’s series for Women’s History Month, we are highlighting title related to women’s suffrage around the world (see Part I or Part II of the Women’s History Month series).

The history of women’s suffrage is complicated and intertwined with issues of class and race more so than many of us realize, especially for those only exposed to the women’s suffrage movement in the U.S. The list of titles below is by no means intended to represent a complete set of ideas related to women’s suffrage, but we hope to provide a jumping off point for your research or interests on this topic . For a fairly comprehensive timeline of the women’s suffrage movement in the United States, see this timeline provided by Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University¹. For a timeline providing context on women’s suffrage in Canada and internationally, see this timeline provided by the Nellie McClung Foundation.²

Descriptions for each title highlighted are from the original publisher’s website.

1) “Timeline of the Women’s Suffrage Movement in the U.S.”, (Center for American Women and Politics, August 2014). 

2) “Timelines of the Women’s Suffrage Granted”, (Nellie McClung Foundation, 2018). 

Click on the bars below to expand your selection.

Splintered Sisterhood: Gender and Class in the Campaign against Woman Suffrage

Splintered Sisterhood: Gender and Class in the Campaign against Woman Suffrage, by Susan E. Marshall

University of Wisconsin Press, 1997

“When Tennessee became the thirty-sixth and final state needed to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment in August 1920, giving women the right to vote, one group of women expressed bitter disappointment and vowed to fight against “this feminist disease.” Why this fierce and extended opposition? In Splintered Sisterhood, Susan Marshall argues that the women of the antisuffrage movement mobilized not as threatened homemakers but as influential political strategists.

Drawing on surviving records of major antisuffrage organizations, Marshall makes clear that antisuffrage women organized to protect gendered class interests. She shows that many of the most vocal antisuffragists were wealthy, educated women who exercised considerable political influence through their personal ties to men in politics as well as by their own positions as leaders of social service committees. Under the guise of defending an ideal of “true womanhood,” these powerful women sought to keep the vote from lower-class women, fearing it would result in an increase in the “ignorant vote” and in their own displacement from positions of influence. This book reveals the increasingly militant style of antisuffrage protest as the conflict over female voting rights escalated. Splintered Sisterhood  adds a missing piece to the history of women’s rights activism in the United States and illuminates current issues of antifeminism.”

See title on publisher’s site

African-American Women in the Struggle for the Vote, 1850-1920

African-American Women in the Struggle for the Vote, 1850-1920, by Rosalyn Terborg-Penn

University of Indiana Press, 1998

“This comprehensive look at the African American women who fought for the right to vote analyzes the women’s own stories and examines why they joined and how they participated in the U.S. women’s suffrage movement. Terborg-Penn shows how every political and racial effort to keep African American women disfranchised met with their active resistance until black women finally achieved full citizenship.”

See title on publisher’s site

The Right To Vote: The Contested History of Democracy in the United States

The Right To Vote: The Contested History of Democracy in the United States, by Alexander Keyssar

Perseus Books Group, 2000

“Originally published in 2000, The Right to Vote was widely hailed as a magisterial account of the evolution of suffrage from the American Revolution to the end of the twentieth century. In this revised and updated edition, Keyssar carries the story forward, from the disputed presidential contest of 2000 through the 2008 campaign and the election of Barack Obama. The Right to Vote is a sweeping reinterpretation of American political history as well as a meditation on the meaning of democracy in contemporary American life.”

See title on publisher’s site

Sojourner Truth's America

Sojourner Truth’s America, by Margaret Washington

University of Illinois Press, 2009

This fascinating biography tells the story of nineteenth-century America through the life of one of its most charismatic and influential characters: Sojourner Truth. In an in-depth account of this amazing activist, Margaret Washington unravels Sojourner Truth’s world within the broader panorama of African American slavery and the nation’s most significant reform era.

Born into bondage among the Hudson Valley Dutch in Ulster County, New York, Isabella was sold several times, married, and bore five children before fleeing in 1826 with her infant daughter one year before New York slavery was abolished. In 1829, she moved to New York City, where she worked as a domestic, preached, joined a religious commune, and then in 1843 had an epiphany. Changing her name to Sojourner Truth, she began traveling the country as a champion of the downtrodden and a spokeswoman for equality by promoting Christianity, abolitionism, and women’s rights.

Gifted in verbal eloquence, wit, and biblical knowledge, Sojourner Truth possessed an earthy, imaginative, homespun personality that won her many friends and admirers and made her one of the most popular and quoted reformers of her times. Washington’s biography of this remarkable figure considers many facets of Sojourner Truth’s life to explain how she became one of the greatest activists in American history, including her African and Dutch religious heritage; her experiences of slavery within contexts of labor, domesticity, and patriarchy; and her profoundly personal sense of justice and intuitive integrity.

Organized chronologically into three distinct eras of Truth’s life, Sojourner Truth’s America examines the complex dynamics of her times, beginning with the transnational contours of her spirituality and early life as Isabella and her embroilments in legal controversy. Truth’s awakening during nineteenth-century America’s progressive surge then propelled her ascendancy as a rousing preacher and political orator despite her inability to read and write. Throughout the book, Washington explores Truth’s passionate commitment to family and community, including her vision for a beloved community that extended beyond race, gender, and socioeconomic condition and embraced a common humanity. For Sojourner Truth, the significant model for such communalism was a primitive, prophetic Christianity.

Illustrated with dozens of images of Truth and her contemporaries, Sojourner Truth’s America draws a delicate and compelling balance between Sojourner Truth’s personal motivations and the influences of her historical context. Washington provides important insights into the turbulent cultural and political climate of the age while also separating the many myths from the facts concerning this legendary American figure.

See title on publisher’s site

Women, Feminism, and Social Change in Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay, 1890-1940

University of Nebraska Press, 1998

“Feminists in the Southern Cone countries—Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay—between 1910 and 1930 obliged political leaders to consider gender in labor regulation, civil codes, public health programs, and politics. Feminism thus became a factor in the modernization of these geographically linked but diverse societies in Latin America. Although feminists did not present a unified front in the discussion of divorce, reproductive rights, and public-health schemes to regulate sex and marriage, this work identifies feminism as a trigger for such discussion, which generated public and political debate on gender roles and social change. Asunción Lavrin recounts changes in gender relations and the role of women in each of the three countries, thereby contributing an enormous amount of new information and incisive analysis to the histories of Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay.”

See title on publisher’s site


Women's Suffrage and Social Politics in the French Third Republic

Women’s Suffrage and Social Politics in the French Third Republic, by Steven C. Hause & Anne R. Kenne

University of Princeton Press, 1984

From the Preface: “This is a history of the women’s suffrage question in France. It surveys the political rights of French women from the twelfth century to the national elections of I98I, but it studies in detail only the period between the 1890s (when a mass suffrage movement began to develop) and the 1920s (when the French Senate soundly rejected women’s suffrage). The first objective of the book is simply to bring this important subject back to the history of the Third Republic. One need only glance at the standard histories of that regime-such as those by Brogan, Bury, Cobban, Thomson, and Wolf-to see that the subject (inter alia) has been omitted even in traditional political history.”





Women’s History Month Part II: Women & Reproductive Rights

March is Women’s History Month, which means throughout the month HEB will highlight premiere titles in Women’s Studies that can be found in our collection. If you would like a Women’s Studies specific title list from HEB, please email Chris Plattsmier. Also, don’t forget you can recommend a title for inclusion in the HEB collection on our title recommendation page.

Reproductive rights are a topic of intense discussion in the social and political spheres today. In order to truly understand the contemporary issues around reproductive rights, one has to delve into the history of abortion, birth control, and women’s rights in the US and around the world. In an article in The Atlantic from 1997, Katha Pollitt writes,

“Of all the issues roiling the ongoing culture wars, abortion is both the most intimate and the most common.”

Pollitt briefly summarizes the history of abortion in the past few centuries in America and frequently cites a title in the HEB collection, When Abortion Was a Crime: Women, Medicine, and the Law in the United States, 1867-1973, by Leslie J. Reagan (University of California Press, 1997).

For improved dialogue and policy around these issues in the US, t is important to broaden the scope of these issues both in time and place. The featured titles below discuss the history and impact of reproductive rights in Japan, Germany, and England in different time periods. The role reproductive rights have played for women of color in America is also a separate topic in its own right. Browse the titles below to see how scholars have wrestled with this wide-reaching topic. For further study,  browse more titles relating to women, gender issues, and women’s roles in religion from the HEB collection on Pinterest.


  1. See “Abortion in American History” by Katha Pollit (The Atlantic, May 1997) for complete article.

Women’s History Month Part I: Women in Asia

March is Women’s History Month, which means throughout the month HEB will highlight premiere titles in Women’s Studies that can be found in our collection. If you would like a Women’s Studies specific title list from HEB, please email Chris Plattsmier. Also, don’t forget you can recommend a title for inclusion in the HEB collection on our title recommendation page.

HEB’s first spotlight celebrating Women’s History Month is on Women in Asia. HEB proudly works with scholars from the Association for Asian Studies, American Historical Association, and others to curate a list of titles in Asian Studies focusing on an array of subjects and geographic regions. Each title below earned an award or prize for its contribution to its respective field.

Click the link or cover to be taken to the main title page.

Passionate Enlightenment: Women in Tantric Buddhism

by Miranda Shaw, Princeton University Press (1994)

Winner of the James Henry Breasted Prize (AHA)

Included in the ATLA Special Series in the HEB Collection

“A groundbreaking work that calls for a serious rethinking of the scholarly discourse on the role of women and the feminine in Tantric traditions in South Asia”— Excerpt from a review by Dr. Liz Wilson, Miami University. Appeared in History of Religions, Vol 36, No. 1 (Aug., 1996), pp.60-64

“Readers within Buddhist studies will find a wealth of previously untranslated verses written by female Tantric adepts, along with the Tibetan originals printed in the endnotes, as well as valuable reinterpretation of the place of women in the Tantric tradition. Although specialists may find suspect the unambiguously positive portrayal of women in Tantric Buddhism, Shaw’s argument should stimulate more fruitful discussion about the position of women throughout Buddhist history, as well as discussion about our own academic representation of this position. For those readers outside of Buddhist studies, Passionate Enlightenment is a lively, accessible study of an often confusing and forbidding tradition, a study that should spur further cross-disciplinary discussion about the representation and role of women in religion.”— Excerpt from a review by Dr. Jacob N. Kinnard, Iliff School of Theology. Appeared in The Journal of Religion, Vol. 75, No. 3 (Jul., 1995), pp.455-457




Reproducing Women: Medicine, Metaphor, and Childbirth in Late Imperial China

by Yi-Li Wu, University of California Press (2010)

Winner of the Margaret W. Rossiter History of Women in Science Prize (HSS)

“In this well-written and extensively researched work on traditional medicine in late imperial China, Wu examines how medical literature in the Ming and Qing dynasties considered fertility, pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period, collectively referred to as juke, or medicine for women. Wu presents important findings that contradict earlier interpretations of traditional Chinese medicine.” — Excerpt from a review by Dr. Tina Phillips Johnson, Saint Vincent College. Appeared in The Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Vol. 42, No. 2 (Autumn 2011), pp.330-331

“In this wonderfully rich and sophisticated study, vividly illustrated with case histories, Yi-Li Wu explains how and in what context theories and practices of “medicine for women” [fuke] evolved between about 1600 and 1900. Wu draws a fascinating and convincingly complex picture of how late imperial medical specialists thought and reasoned about reproductive processes as well as individual cases.”  — Excerpt from a review by Dr. Francesca Bray, University of Edinburgh. Appeared in Eighteenth-Century Studies, Vol. 46, No. 1, (Fall 2012), pp.155-157



The Gender of Memory: Rural Women and China’s Collective Past

by Gail Hershatter, University of California Press (2011)

Winner of the John Kelly Memorial Prize (AHA)

“Reading this book is an eye-opening experience even for a Chinese Reader. As Hershatter notes, her research group is a doubly marginalised group that has been invisible and unheard for a long time.” — Excerpt from a review by Dr. Wu Weiyi. Appeared in China Perspectives, No. 4 (96), (2013), pp.78-79

“The Gender of Memory is a work of outstanding scholarship and significance. Hershatter examines life in rural Shaanxi through the memories of elderly women regarding the years immediately preceding and following the formation of the People’s Republic of China. e transformations that took place in rural China during the 1940s and 1950s affected women’s lives in startling and dramatic ways. We read of the women’s experience of the tumult of war, their negotiations of old and new marriage customs, their pride and anxiety in assuming public positions of community authority, their hope and despair in land reform and collectivization and their desperation in times of famine, loss and poverty. Hershatter’s research narrates the rich diversity of individual women’s lives with sensitivity and respect, within a fully contextualized, rigorously documented scholarly history.”— Excerpt from a review by Dr. Louise Edwards, The University of Hong Kong. Appeared in The China Journal, No. 69 (January 2013), pp.227-229


The Talented Women of the Zhang Family

by Susan Mann, University of California Press (2007)

Winner of the John K. Fairbank Prize (AHA)

“If Mann’s were purely a work of creative historical recreation, this might be more of a problem, but it is much more than that. For, while the heart of the book is indeed the recreation of the intimate lives of these women, Mann by no means abandons her role as historian. Again taking her inspiration from Sima Qian, each of her “scenes” is followed by a section entitled “The historian says…” in which she stands apart from the portrait or scene just depicted, and carefully contextualizes it. These sections, and especially the chapter-long epilogue also entitled “The historian says,” are packed with information and insights of a rather different kind, insights that will no doubt inspire further discussion among scholars and students alike.” — Excerpt from a review by Dr. Beata Grant, Washington University in St. Louis. Appeared in T’oung Pao, Vol. 95, Fasc. 4/5 (2009), pp.440-444

“Serious scholars will enjoy this book both for the story and for the manner of its telling. The more casual the reader the more she may want to focus on the most fictionalized sections. She can rest assured that they are well within the realm of what might have been. At the same time specialists in both women’s history and in late imperial China will learn new ways of understanding traditional Chinese women in the era before modernization took hold.” — Excerpt from a review by Dr. Ellen Widmer, Wellesley College. Appeared in The Women’s Review of Books, Vol. 25, No. 5 (Sep. – Oct., 2008), pp.23-24