Outsider History

I didn’t realize how much I’ve missed live theater until I was standing in a field on a hot, steamy July night. I was there for Family Dollar, an immersive play about a rapidly changing neighborhood in West Dallas. The play itself was excellent, but it’s the story behind the play that really got meContinue reading “Outsider History”

Finding balance in the archives

I abhor a mess. But for most of the last month, my dining room table has looked like this. As an executive director, I do an enormous amount of writing–grants, emails, newsletter articles, and blogs. But I had almost forgotten how historical writing stretches your brain in entirely different directions. It was almost like myContinue reading “Finding balance in the archives”

My Feminist Winter, Part 2

Strong female character: check. World War I setting: check.  A little bit of romance: check. Suffrage movement: check. Honestly, for historical fiction, this is usually about all I need for a book to be a winner. It’s why I put Crossing Stones by Helen Frost on my to-read list so many years ago. But I deeplyContinue reading “My Feminist Winter, Part 2”

My Feminist Winter, Part 1

In this age of #metoo and constant headlines regarding sexual harassment, feminism isn’t quite the dirty word it used to be. Lately, several books I’ve read have approached feminism in some very different ways–usually successfully, but one not so much. Of course, it isn’t like my reading interests have taken a turn to feminism overContinue reading “My Feminist Winter, Part 1”

On this historic election day. . .

The polls don’t close for another several hours, but I’ve already been teary several times today. We still have a long way to go before we get anywhere near gender equality, and yet, this day still means so much to me as a feminist and a historian. Today is a profound response to: The guyContinue reading “On this historic election day. . .”

Small books about big wars

In the fall of 2011, my family and I made our first trip to Hawaii. In what should be no surprise, we made sure to make time for a visit to Pearl Harbor. My knowledge of World War II is probably deeper that the average bear, but I’m not even close to being an expert.Continue reading “Small books about big wars”

Home Front Girl: A Review

Reading someone’s diary, even when given permission, can be scary business.  Can they write?  Is it just going to be a bunch of gossip about people you don’t know?  Do they ramble too much? There are plenty of published diaries out there, some by famous folk and some by people who happened to live inContinue reading “Home Front Girl: A Review”

Historian Hero

Gerda Lerner, one of my historian heroes, died today.  I first became acquainted with her work during a women’s history class at Hendrix College.  It was a wonderful, wonderful class, where we had thoughtful discussions and read some really great stuff.  During that class, I realized I had always been interested in women’s history, butContinue reading “Historian Hero”

Riding into history

I began to feel that myself plus the bicycle equaled myself plus the world, upon whose spinning wheel we must all learn to ride, or fall into oblivion and despair.  –Frances Willard Election Day is almost upon us.  I think the only thing that everyone can agree on is that it’s all been very interesting.Continue reading “Riding into history”

What if?

Many moons ago (11 years ago, to be exact.  Good lord, how time flies!), I was an intern at the Women’s Museum.  Part of my job was to process the many, many loans–it’s a non-collecting institution so every artifact on display had to come from somewhere else.  I have many, many stories about that summerContinue reading “What if?”