Our panel in Salt Lake City Oct. 6, 2018, was another milestone on the road to the 2020 Women’s Suffrage Centennial from the team that not only produced the database
but is now in final edits for the special “Suffrage and the Media” issue of American Journalism: A Journal of Media History, to be published in Spring 2019.
Our panelists were: as moderator, Carolyn Kitch (Temple), guiding panelists, Linda Lumsden (Arizona), Teri Finneman (Kansas), Amy Easton-Flake (Brigham Young), Nancy Unger (Santa Clara) and Brooke Kroeger (NYU).
Here’s how we looked, feeling fine, as we finished:
“American Journalism‘s Special Issue: Suffrage and the Media” was the title of our presentation, described in the program as follows:
This panel will feature authors and editors of a special issue of American Journalism on “Women’s Suffrage and the Media,” planned for publication in 2019, a year in advance of centennial of that achievement. Its purpose is to offer fresh research perspectives on both familiar and lesser-known aspects of the role of journalism, publicity, visual communication and other mediation of the suffrage campaign. The panel also will showcase the project’s companion website, suffrageandthemedia.org, which already is live and which offers primary-source materials, links to essays and other new historical work, and information about the centennial.
And here is a little more about what each of us presented, starting with the topics of three of the six articles in the forthcoming special issue.
Linda Lumsden: “A Historiographic Perspective on Suffrage Media Scholarship.”
Teri Finneman: “Framing a Countermovement on the Verge of Defeat: The Press and the 1917 Anti-Suffrage Movement.”
Amy Easton-Flake: “Literary Works in the Revolution and the Woman’s Journal: Clarifying History.
Nancy Unger: “Essentialism vs. Feminism: Legacies of Belle La Follette’s Big Tent Campaigns for Women’s Suffrage.”
My presentation came last, “Creating suffrageandthemedia.org: Reaching a Broader Audience Online.”
I traced our journey to this point, starting in March 2017, when we launched the project at AJHA’s Joint Journalism and Communications Historians Conference, held annually at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University. (Actually, the idea initially started with The Suffragents, which I first made public as a Research-in-Progress paper at the AJHA conference in Oklahoma City in 2014 but had started a year before that.) It slides through the steps in the process, from editor Ford Risley’s instant agreement to publish the special issue (he had been guest editor for the journal’s Abraham Lincoln special issue in 2009), to the selection of our team of suffrage and media scholars, whom you see here:
In alphabetical order, they are: Maurine Beasley (Maryland), Jinx Broussard (LSU), Kathy Roberts Ford UMass), Carolyn Kitch (Temple), Brooke Kroeger (NYU), Linda Lumsden (Arizona), Jane Marcellus (Middle Tennessee, Vanessa Murphree (Southern Miss), Jane Rhodes (U of I-Chicago), and Linda Steiner (Maryland.)
We met in March 2017 in New York City, in August 2017 in Chicago, and again in March of 2018 in New York. During that year, we issued the Call for Papers, received 25 five-page proposals, selected the five for which we had page allotment, added an historiography, broke into teams of two to review each submission, raised funds from NYU and Humanities NY to create the database, SuffrageandtheMedia.org (HT Katy Dwyer Design and NYU Journalism’s own web developer Garrett Gardner), which went live June 10,2017, only three months after that first March meeting. The model could be applied to any subject matter, really. All it takes is a committed team.
I also previewed a clip from the first of the author videos being created for the launch of AJ‘s Suffrage and the Media special issue with new research from (in addition to the AJHA presenters, Professors Lumsden, Unger, and Easton-Flake,) Linda Grasso (York/CUNY) on The Crisis and the Masses and their 1915 special suffrage issues and Tiffany Lewis (Baruch/CUNY) on the suffrage hikers.
Not much longer to wait for it all, and how we will be featuring this fine new work at suffrageandthemedia.org, which has the Tennessee state centennial on the home page this month. Have a look.
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For National History Day contestants. Upcoming — January 30: Iona College. February 4: Sagamore Hill. March 27: Ephemera Society of America. March 30: TBA April 4: Avon-on-Sea Public Library, Avon CT June 4-6: “Métiers et professions des médias (XVIIIe-XXIe siècles),” Université de Lausanne. Link to past appearances.
Coming March 2020: Front Pages, Front Lines: Media and the Fight for Women’s Suffrage, Linda Steiner, Carolyn Kitch, Brooke Kroeger, eds.