Ellen DuBois

American historian

Ellen Carol DuBois is a historian who is Jewish and has lived in the USA. She has taught at the University at Buffalo and ended her career at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where she retired in 2017. She is known for her pioneering work in women's history and for her history books.

Quotes edit

  • My goal here is to make it clear that the campaign for women's suffrage was part and parcel of every era of American history. It wasn't something happening over here. In the beginning, it was part of the radical changes surrounding the campaign to end slavery. In the middle, in the late 19th century, it was part of a very conservative historical period and in the early 20th century it was an important part of the progressive movement. It can't be told separate from American history.
  • Rose remembered Tom Paine, who was in danger of being forgotten for his radical hopes for the American Revolution. In a similar spirit, we remember Rose, in honor of those aspects of her vision of a free womanhood that have not yet been realized and that continue to inspire. To remember our ancestors is an act on our own behalf as well as theirs.
    • Forward to Mistress of Herself: Speeches and Letters of Ernestine L. Rose, Early Women's Rights Leader (2008)

Interview edit

  • women’s liberation hadn’t really gotten started outside of New York City or Chicago in 1968. Instead I (and other soon-to-be feminists) was involved in anti-war and civil right activism. At Wellesley, although a women’s college, we worked hard on draft resistance and anti-war mobilizations. And, of course, responded to the incredible events of that year: Johnson’s announcement that he would not run again, the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy. Women’s liberation was not on our radar, although I do remember noting to myself that women were basically running the office of the Boston draft resistance group behind the scenes. I was deeply involved because I had a draft resister boyfriend. That’s how most of us were involved...
  • By the middle of my second graduate year, I was committed to writing the history of early woman suffrage, which became my first book Feminism and Suffrage, as my doctoral degree. I had two professors: Christopher Lasch (while recognizing my ability, disparaged the topic) and Robert Wiebe (an historian of American democracy, gave me great support). I soon connected with two senior women doing women’s history, Anne Firor Scott and Gerda Lerner, and with about a dozen other young scholars, all graduate students, following their women’s liberation inclinations into history.
  • My first article, published in 1970 in a movement journal entitled Women: A Journal of Liberation, was focused on the first historical figures that caught my attention: Sarah and Angelica Grimke. From there, I moved on to Seneca Falls and the early women’s rights movement and Elizabeth Stanton and Susan B. Anthony (to whom I have remained attached ever since).
  • Feminism was an entirely political movement then. Those of us in gradate school who began raising these issues in fields (history, anthropology, literature, etc.) did not think of ourselves as entering or even pioneering an academic field but rather producing serious intellectual resources for our movement. At the time, it hardly seemed like a smart academic move: there were no positions, no recognition from our profession. When it came time to get jobs, those of us who found them did so because women students pressed their colleges and universities for a different kind of education and some of those institutions–mostly public ones–reluctantly gave in. That’s how I got my first job at the State University of New York at Buffalo, as part of one of two or three women’s studies programs in the country.
  • The new book – Suffrage: Women’s Long Battle for the Vote – is the first comprehensive, evidence-based history of the American suffrage movement to appear since 1959. That book [Century of Struggle] was written by Eleanor Flexner...Since Flexner wrote her superb book–on which I and virtually every other suffrage historian has relied–there has been tremendous amounts of new research that has enhanced our picture of the suffrage movement, or I might say, suffrage movements, particularly on the activism of African-American women, who were segregated out of the white-dominated movement in the late 19th and early 20th century.

Quotes about edit

External links edit

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