Ringvorlesung "Literary Concepts Post-2000" - Progressive Era Women Writers
Referentin: Clare Eby (University of Connecticut)
Clare Eby, Professor of English, University of Connecticut, USA A Crucible of the Present: US Progressive Era Women on Justice, Race, Wealth, and Reproductive Freedom The US president was at war with the newspapers. Shockingly public killings of African Americans sparked passionate protests and counter-protests. The Supreme Court extended the rights of citizens to corporations. Income inequality soared to grotesque extremes. Feminism in general, and reproductive rights in particular, were under attack. In 2017, news from the US traffics in those bleak themes. But the twenty-first century did not originate such headlines; rather, the contemporary US inherited them from the Progressive Era (c. 1885-1914). This talk examines how US women conceived of social justice—particularly how justice intersects with reproductive freedom--in an era marked by corporate expansion and racial tension. Figures will likely include: birth control pioneer Margaret Sanger; fiction writers María Amparo Ruiz de Burton; Frances E. W. Harper, Sui Sin Far, Edith Wharton, Willa Cather, and Sarah Orne Jewett; settlement house founder Jane Addams; anti-lynching activist Ida B. Wells-Barnett; muckraking journalist Ida Tarbell; sociologist and anthropologist Elsie Clews Parsons; anarchist Emma Goldman; and the impossible-to-categorize Charlotte Perkins Gilman. As these women occupied different and in some cases incompatible political positions, we will also consider how “progressive” was the Progressive Era.