REPLAY: BENZONIA ACADEMY LECTURE SERIES / May 2021: “Celebrating the Centennial:  The New Suffrage Scholarship” presented by Dr. Trisha Franzen

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“Celebrating the Centennial: The New Suffrage Scholarship” presented by Dr. Trisha Franzen  

Scholars, writers and the media have continually debated and revised both the facts and meanings of women’s struggle for the elective franchise. Today, the celebration of the centennial of suffrage is extended.   Our culture as a whole is reconsidering who should be designated as heroes and included in our history. The earliest histories of the movement ignored issues of race, class and sexuality.  They created a narrative that recognized the issues and activism of middle-class, white women.  As a result, many feminist historians have begun another major reexamination of woman suffrage. 

Anna Howard Shaw and other women are now being recognized for their contributions to the ongoing movement.

Anna Howard Shaw received significant credit for her leadership in the movement; however, scholars ignored her identity as a gender-transgressing, self-supporting woman. Many other women were left out entirely – women of color, working women, local activists and queer women especially.

Dr. Franzen’s lecture will create a timeline that traces the shifting popular and scholarly views of women’s rights activism from the early triumphs and through the emergence of the field of feminist history.  She will also include the on-going demands for a more critical and inclusive women’s history. We will critically examine and discuss several of the recent publications and media presentations on women’s suffrage.  

Dr. Franzen is a professor of Women’s & Gender Studies/Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Albion College, Albion, Michigan  She previously served as director of the Anna Howard Shaw Center for Women’s Studies and Programs.  Dr. Franzen earned her bachelor of arts degree in Psychology, SUNY at Buffalo.  She has a master of arts degree in educational foundations and her doctorate degree in American Studies from the University of New Mexico.  Her publications include Anna Howard Shaw: The Work of Woman Suffrage (2014)  University of Illinois Press and Spinsters and Lesbians: Independent Womanhood in the United States (1996).

The Benzonia Academy Lecture Series is offered on the second Thursday of each month. Visit the Historical Society’s Facebook page or call the Benzie Area Historical Museum at (231) 882-5539 for more information about our lectures, programs and research services.

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