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Women’s History Month 2019

National Women’s History Month is celebrating its 31st anniversary. Since 1988 US presidents have issued annual proclamations designating the month of March a Women’s History Month. But before we Women’s History Month, International Women’s Day paved the way for US women to petition the government to pronounce March as Women’s History Month. 

In the early 1900’s the world saw population growth and the rise of radical ideologies. As ideas began to cultivate people began to stand up to the change in lifestyle and the oppression that followed. In 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights. In accordance with a declaration by the Socialist Party of America, the first “National Woman’s Day” (NWD) was observed across the United States on February 28th, 1909. Two years later, in 1911, “International Women’s Day” was honored for the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on March 19.

1917’s International Women’s Day

“International Women’s Day” was celebrated for the first time by the United Nations in 1975. Then in December 1977, the General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace to be observed on any day of the year by Member States, in accordance with their historical and national traditions.

Several years later in February 1980, President Jimmy Carter issued a presidential proclamation declaring the week of March 8, 1980, as “National Women’s History Week” (in the United States). 

President Jimmy Carter’s original message to the nation, designating March 2-8, 1980 as “National Women’s History Week” was as follows:

From the first settlers who came to our shores, from the first American Indian families who befriended them, men and women have worked together to build this nation. Too often the women were unsung and sometimes their contributions went unnoticed. But the achievements, leadership, courage, strength and love of the women who built America was as vital as that of the men whose names we know so well. As Dr. Gerda Lerner has noted, “Women’s History is Women’s Right.” – It is an essential and indispensable heritage from which we can draw pride, comfort, courage, and long-range vision.”

I ask my fellow Americans to recognize this heritage with appropriate activities during National Women’s History Week, March 2-8, 1980.

I urge libraries, schools, and community organizations to focus their observances on the leaders who struggled for equality – – Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, Lucy Stone, Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Harriet Tubman, and Alice Paul.

Understanding the true history of our country will help us to comprehend the need for full equality under the law for all our people. This goal can be achieved by ratifying the 27th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which states that “Equality of Rights under the Law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.

In 1981, responding to the growing popularity of “Women’s History Week”, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Rep. Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland) co-sponsored the first Joint Congressional Resolution proclaiming a Women’s History Week. That same year, 1981, Congress passed Pub. L. 97-28; this authorized and requested the President to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982 as “Women’s History Week.” Throughout the next five consecutive years, Congress continued to pass joint resolutions designating a week in March as “Women’s History Week.” By 1986, fourteen states had declared March as “Women’s History Month”.

In 1987 after being petitioned by the National Women’s History Project, Congress passed Pub. L. 100-9 which designated the month of March 1987 as “Women’s History Month.” Between 1988 and 1994, Congress passed additional resolutions requesting and authorizing the President to proclaim March, of each year, as “Women’s History Month”. Since 1995, Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama have issued a series of annual proclamations designating the month of March as “Women’s History Month.”

The National Women’s History Theme for 2019
Visionary Women: Champions of Peace & Nonviolence

(Originally Posted on National Women’s History Alliance)

The theme for 2019’s “National Women’s Month” is “Visionary Women: Champions of Peace & Nonviolence.” This year we honor women who have led efforts to end war, violence and injustice, and pioneered the use of nonviolence to change society. These women embraced the fact that the means determine the ends and thus developed nonviolent methods to ensure just and peaceful results.

Suffragists Protest October 1916

For generations, women have resolved conflicts in their homes, schools and communities. They have rejected violence as counterproductive and stressed the need to restore respect, establish justice and reduce the causes of conflict as the surest way to peace. From legal defense and public education to direct action and civil disobedience, women have expanded the American tradition by using inclusive, democratic and active means to reduce violence, achieve peace and promote the common good.

From women’s rights and racial justice to disarmament and gun control, the drive for nonviolent change has been championed by visionary women. These women consciously built supportive, nonviolent alternatives and loving communities as well as advocating change. They have given voice to the unrepresented and hope to victims of violence and those who dream of a peaceful world.

President Jimmy Carter saw the potential of the women’s movement back in 1981 after the rise of popularity with “International Women’s Day”. Presidents who succeeded Carter followed his example and continued to declare March “National Women’s History Month”, acknowledging the importance of women and human rights and promoting the idea equality.

ACLS Humanities E-Book would also like to emphasize the work women have done in the humanities and beyond. Below we have provided a list of suggested titles, available on the topics of “Women Suffrage”, “Peace & Non-Violence”, “House & Home” and “Women’s Studies”. This by no means is a completed list of books categorized under these topics, but a glimpse into these topic. Please feel free to take a look at the suggested Titles or search Fulcrum for more!

You can also check out our other book lists under Women’s Studies and Women & Religion on Pinterest.

Sign up for the NFAIS Humanities Roundtable!

Time is Running Out!

Sign Up for the 2019 NFAIS Humanities Roundtable Now!

ACLS Humanities E-Book is excited to be heading to Washington D.C. on March 10 to participate in the NFAIS Humanities Roundtable. This year’s theme, Evaluation of Digital Scholarship in the Humanities and Its Impact, offers the opportunity for scholarly publishers, researchers, and more to engage on the tools and methods of evaluating their output in today’s digital landscape. HEB is proud to have participated in past NFAIS roundtables and can vouch for how great the programming is!


Bonus: Since you will already be in D.C. for the Humanities Roundtable, you can stick around the capital area for a few days for the NHA Annual Meeting and Advocacy Day. Be part of the hundreds of scholars, administrators, publishers, and more taking to the Hill and encourage your elected officials to support the National Humanities Alliance!

Below are a few of the speakers you have the opportunity to see during the NFAIS Humanities Roundtable:

Laura Mandell

Laura Mandell

Professor, English, Director, Center of Digital Humanities Research (CoDHR), Texas A & M

Peer Review, Tenure, and Promotion for Digital Scholarship in the Humanities

John Sherer

John Sherer

Director, UNC Press

In Search of the Sustainable Digital Monographs

Sylvia Miller

Sylvia Miller

Senior Program Manager, Scholarly Publishing and Special Projects, John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute, Duke University

Publishing and Peer Review in a Postdigital Future

The American Civil Rights Movement

The American Civil Rights Movement

The civil rights movement was a struggle for social justice that continues to this day and is still being constantly evaluated by scholars across disciplines. Historically, the era currently known in American history as the Civil Rights movement mostly took place during the 1950s and 1960s. During this time African Americans and others identifying as Black were trying to gain equal rights under United States laws after years suffering under racist policies across the United States.

Little Rock Integration Protest

Following the civil war, Black people were continuously marginalized and kept separate from white Americans. Jim Crow laws gained ground in in 1896 when the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Plessy v. Ferguson, which created the now widely-criticized “separate but equal”  doctrine. Fighting against the idea of “separate but equal” would become a key rallying point for organizers of the Civil Rights moving forward. In 1954, the Supreme Court made segregation illegal in public school in the case of Brown v. Board of Education. On November 14, 1956, the Supreme Courtruled segregated seating was unconstitutional after Rosa Parks help stage a boycott of the Montgomery bus system.

Greensboro Four sitting at a white only counter at Woolworth

Despite these changes within our government, Black Americans were still struggling with being accepted in white society but responded with mass protests. For example, on February 1st, 1960, four black college students took a stand against segregation in Greensboro, North Carolina. They refused to leave a Woolworth’s lunch counter unless they were served (and they were not). For the next several days hundreds of people joined them during their peaceful sit in. Protests similar to the one done by the Greensboro Four encouraged and inspired other students to get involved in the civil rights movement.

Arguably one of the most famous events within the civil rights movements was the March on Washington which took place August 28, 1963. A. Philip Randolph, Bayard Rustin and Martin Luther King Jr. organized and attended this march. More than 200,000 people, white and black, came together to peacefully march with the purpose of forcing civil rights legislation and establishing job equality for everyone. During this march Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his iconic speech “I have a dream…”

Although the Civil Rights Movement brought forth progress there was a lot of resistance. Several peaceful protests were met with physical violence from observers and police. Police sprayed crowds of protesters with fire hoses and tear gas. Leaders and activists alike were sent death threats (bricks in windows, crosses on fire on their property, nooses hanging from trees). Unfortunately some of these threats were followed through and resulted in death. Two civil rights leaders were assassinated in the late 1960’s. Malcom X on February 21, 1965 and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4, 1968; both died from gun shot wounds.

The civil rights movement was an empowering and yet trying time for America. With the effort and hard work of activist and protesters America was able make progress fighting against black voter suppression, segregation and discriminatory employment and housing practices. However, the fight continues to this day.


Below is a list of suggested Titles we have available on the topics of “The Civil Rights Movement” “Jim Crow” “Slavery is Rural Southern United States” “The American Civil War” and “Protesting while being a black student.” This by no means is a completed list of books categorized under these topics, but a glimpse into these topic. Please feel free to take a look at the suggested Titles or search Fulcrum for more!

HEB Titles on the American Civil Rights Era

A nation under our feet: black political struggles in the rural South from slavery to the great migration” by Steven Hahn

Black students in protest: a study of the origins of the Black student movement” by Anthony M. Orum

Civilities and civil rights: Greensboro, North Carolina, and the Black struggle for freedom” by William Henry Chafe


Color-blind justice: Albion Tourgée and the quest for racial equality from the Civil War to Plessy v. Ferguson” by Mark Elliott

Courage to dissent: Atlanta and the long history of the civil rights movement” by Tomiko Brown-Nagin

From Jim Crow to civil rights: the Supreme Court and the struggle for racial equality” by Michael J. Klarman

Growing up in the black belt: Negro youth in the rural South” by Charles Spurgeon Johnson

In struggle: SNCC and the Black awakening of the 1960s” by Clayborne Carson

Inventing the “American way”: the politics of consensus from the New Deal to the civil rights movement” by Wendy Wall

Jim Crow New York: a documentary history of race and citizenship, 1777-1877” by David N. Gellman and David Quigley

Reasoning from race: feminism, law, and the civil rights revolution” by Serena Mayeri

The Black revolution on campus” by Martha Biondi

The crucible of race: Black/White relations in the American South since emancipation” by Joel Williamson

The lost promise of civil rights” by Risa Lauren Goluboff


The politics of race in New York: the struggle for black suffrage in the Civil War era” by Phyllis F Field

The trials of Phillis Wheatley: America’s first Black poet and her encounters with the founding fathers” by Henry Louis Gates

Watching Jim Crow: the struggles over Mississippi TV, 1955-1969” by Classen, Steven D.

What a woman ought to be and to do: Black professional women workers during the Jim Crow era” by Stephanie J.Shaw

National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month

This story originally appeared on The White House Office of the Press Secretary .

– – – – – – –

One hundred and fifty years ago, our Nation codified the fundamental truth that slavery is an affront to human dignity. Still, the bitter fact remains that millions of men, women, and children around the globe, including here at home, are subject to modern-day slavery: the cruel, inhumane practice of human trafficking. This month, we rededicate ourselves to assisting victims of human trafficking and to combating it in all its forms.

Human trafficking occurs in countries throughout the world and in communities across our Nation. Children are forced to fight as soldiers, young people are coerced into prostitution, and migrants are exploited. People from all walks of life are trafficked every day, and the United States is committed to remaining a leader in the global movement to end this abhorrent practice. My Administration has made addressing human trafficking issues in supply chains a priority. Earlier this year, the White House brought together private sector and non-governmental organizations to discuss ways to prevent and eliminate trafficking-related activities in Federal contracts and in private sector supply chains. Our National Convening on Trafficking and Child Welfare helped promote partnership and establish coordinated action plans to end human trafficking. Additionally, my Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons has proposed a robust set of initiatives. Our anti-trafficking efforts are supported by a newly established Federal Office on Trafficking in Persons, under the Department of Health and Human Services, which helps ensure trafficking victims can access the services they need.

As we work to end human trafficking here in the United States, we will continue to lead the effort to root it out around the world. Our intelligence teams have devoted more resources to identifying trafficking networks, law enforcement officers have been working to dismantle those networks, and prosecutors have striven to punish traffickers. We have also enhanced our domestic protections so foreign-born workers better understand their rights. Additionally, my Administration has been working closely with technology companies and law enforcement to better utilize technology to combat human trafficking. And our Nation will continue promoting development and economic growth across the globe to address the underlying conditions that enable human trafficking in the first place.

All nations have a part to play in keeping our world safe for all people — regardless of age, background, or belief. During National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, let us recognize the victims of trafficking, and let us resolve to build a future in which its perpetrators are brought to justice and no people are denied their inherent human rights of freedom and dignity.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 2016 as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, culminating in the annual celebration of National Freedom Day on February 1. I call upon businesses, national and community organizations, families, and all Americans to recognize the vital role we can play in ending all forms of slavery and to observe this month with appropriate programs and activities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of December, in the year of our Lord two thousand fifteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fortieth.


Human trafficking has been in existence for centuries and it wasn’t until the early 1900s that nations have attempted to define and respond to some aspects of human trafficking law. In 2000, the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Publish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (hereafter known as Protocol) was passed. This supplemented the UN connection against Transnational Organized Crime (originally started in and organized in 1914). According to Article 3(a): The Protocol specifically defines trafficking as: 

  (a)…the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboruring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs. 

Not Born a Refugee Woman: Contesting Identities, Rethinking Practices by Maroussia Hajdukowski-Ahmed, Nazilla Khanlou and Helene Moussa (Berghahn Books Inc., 2009 ) gives a brief insight to transnational sex trafficking of woman. Check it out at fulcrum!

University Presses are Thriving, Not Broken

This story originally appeared on Inside Higher Ed and has been republished with permission from the author.

By Derek Krissoff

There are more university presses than ever before, and sales are up.

A casual observer might reasonably assume that university presses are in crisis, or deserve to be. Mainstream outlets routinely proclaim that “academic publishing is broken,” and the new documentary Paywall, currently making the rounds on college campuses, argues that “academic publishers are burdening the higher education market, contributing to the rising tuition fees at all universities . . . and, ultimately, limiting science and progress.”

Whether they say it or not (and Paywall, to its credit, does), these criticisms are directed at commercial publishers of expensive STEM journals rather than not-for-profit university presses, which specialize primarily in books in humanities and social science fields. Think Elsevier vs. the University of Massachusetts Press. The big critiques that make headlines and generate documentaries don’t generally mention university presses at all, leaving many to assume that they’re part of what’s depicted as the problem of rapacious scholarly publishers.

Image via Wikipedia Commons, by Takashi Hososhima

When observers do turn to university presses, the story’s often more grim than angry. Much attention is paid to threatened press closures; less to the opening of new presses or the frequent decisions to keep open presses previously slated to shut down. (How many people know that the University of Akron Press, noisily slated for closure in 2015, not only stayed open but had a finalist for the National Book Award last year?) “Several presses have closed and almost all are struggling,” intoned Richard W. Clement in 2011, distilling a gloomy timbre that persists in many assessments of the industry.

Variously erased, posited as a problem to be solved, and assumed to be dinosaurs on their way out, university presses are in fact, in their low-key fashion, thriving. There are more of them than ever before, and they’re doing better: sales in the industry were up 5 percent last year. That growth isn’t, moreover, coming from cash-strapped libraries. Only 20 to 25 percent of university press sales are to libraries (down from 70 percent forty years ago), and at the University of California, to pick one example, only 7 percent of library budget goes to books of any kind.

As anger spreads over libraries being squeezed by STEM journals from large for-profits, university presses are growing in part by looking beyond a narrow focus on library markets and publishing for new audiences, branching out into crossover titles, supplemental texts, regional books, popular reference works, manifestos, graphic novels, and the like. It’s an entrepreneurial flourishing that engages new readers, creates new communities, and extends the reputation of those universities fortunate enough to have presses.

At the same time, widespread predictions that university presses might abandon less profitable fields and undermine the career prospects of junior scholars seem not to have panned out: 83 percent of scholarly monographs find a publisher. Presses may be publishing new sorts of books, but not at the expense of traditional ones.

Technology, meanwhile, hasn’t changed things the way its most confident champions (some of whom predicted a shift to primarily online publishing) believed to be inevitable. At most university presses 85 to 90 percent of sales continue to come from print. While ebooks aren’t the gamechanger some technophiles expected, a different shift—the ability to print books digitally—has made a huge difference, enabling presses to do small print runs responsibly. When I started in publishing twenty years ago I was told a new book required an initial print run of at least 2,000 copies to be viable. Now we can do just a few books at a time, if necessary, making it easier to continue the mission-driven publishing at our core, even when audiences are specialized.

The growth of virtual spaces for publicizing books and building communities around publishing programs has been the other seismic change made possible by the digital turn. But the results of online marketing often show up in print sales and IRL interactions (think: nicely publicized bookstore events) rather than digital downloads.

So what about open access for books? The approach has promise, particularly for some specialized titles that don’t reward the high-investment model of conventional publishing. But OA publishing costs money, just like conventional publishing—money that comes from somewhere even if it isn’t the customer. Simply changing who pays for publishing isn’t necessarily progressive and can exacerbate or re-inscribe inequalities. For example, plans to have authors’ universities cover the costs of publication ($35,000 per book, according to a study from Ithaka) may limit the pool of potential authors to those employed by wealthier institutions. Limitations like these may help account for the fact that only 1 percent of new scholarly books in English are published open access.

Saying that university presses are resilient, and that their recent history is characterized by continuity more than disruption, isn’t meant to suggest they’re static. University presses have always experimented, and they’ll continue to do so; they face challenges and, like the rest of the university, respond creatively. But university presses are best positioned to make the most of current prospects if they’re seen as valuable, not broken—if proposed changes are understood as having the potential to ensure a range of complementary publishing options, including the surprisingly durable model of traditional publishing.

Derek Krissoff

Derek Krissoff (@DerekKrissoff) is director at West Virginia University Press, the only university press, and largest book publisher of any kind, in West Virginia.

Don’t forget to check on selections from West Virginia University Press in the HEB collection on Fulcrum.