Dear Colleagues

Dear Colleagues,
First of all, I want to thank you for inviting me to join you to engage and explore
together the histories of woman suffrage and women in the Progressive Era in the United
States. Our purpose in this workshop is to better equip ourselves as educators in the
important, but all too often marginalized, topics of women and gender in the American
My pedagogical strategy in the classroom is, I believe, somewhat unique—I like to
focus on figures, stories, and sources that fall outside the norm and the status quo. I am
inspired by the words of Pulitzer Prize winning historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich who said,
“Well behaved women seldom make history.” Thus I pay close attention to women of difference
whose lives challenged and often changed the gendered norms and strictures of their time.
In my classrooms, I have found that the sensational and the titillating captivate students’
imagination, and the histories of woman suffrage and women during the Progressive Era
certainly provide wonderful fodder for my style of teaching.
For the first half of our session, I will share with you some of the secondary sources
I have found most helpful in teaching the histories woman suffrage and women during the
Progressive Era. After this, we will look at a collection of primary sources I use in my
history of Women in American Society course I teach at Cal State Fullerton. I will hand you
the “Declaration of Sentiments,” which was issued at the first Women’s Rights Convention
in Seneca Falls, New York in 1848. This document, written by Elizabeth Cady Stanton,
launched the women’s rights movement and the woman suffrage movement, which
culminated in women gaining the vote in 1920. We will also look at a 1900 medical journal
article written by a nationally recognized physician who wrote that women who demanded
the vote were dangerously and unnaturally masculine. I will hand you a couple of early 1920s
selections from the California Federation of Women’s Club archive that deals with
clubwomen’s work for Indian reform in the United States. And coupled with these texts, I
will display a circa 1920 photographic image of my great-grandmother seated with a Hopi
Indian Snake Chief. Taken together, we will explore how the texts and image might be used
to discover deeper meanings of women’s political agency during the pre and post-suffrage
rights eras.
Thank you and I look forward to meeting you all.
Best regards,
Karin Huebner, Ph.D.