Interview: Blain Roberts on the Intersection of Beauty and Race in the South

The image of the beautiful southern belle/lady was, by definition, racially exclusive, and many black women would have keenly felt its discriminatory power. There were occasions, however, when individuals and institutions attempted to claim the image for black women, to challenge its underlying racial assumptions and reframe its meaning. An interesting example is a photo spread that ran in Ebony magazine in 1971 entitled “Belles of the South” that featured young women from southern historically black colleges. The magazine said very explicitly that it wanted to prove that not all southern beauties were white—that black women were belles of the South, too.

2014 Women’s History Month Reading List

UNC Press has a long history on publishing outstanding work in the field of Women’s Studies. In honor of Women’s History Month, we’d like to highlight some of the great work we’ve been proud to publish in the past year. Click on an image below to start the slideshow. During our American history sale you …

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Anne Balay: The Consequences of Marriage Inequality

For my narrators—the forty transgender, lesbian, and gay steelworkers I interviewed—marriage is complicated. Insurance and survival benefits are not just theoretical issues for them.

Anne Balay: As GLBT freedoms expand, who benefits–and who doesn’t

Queer rights becomes the paradigmatic symbol of the west – in Russia, gay liberation had gained some momentum until Putin linked gay rights with Western values, which then led to the systematic, legal oppression of gays in Russia today. The government is literally going into homes of gay people and taking their children away. And these Russian gays can’t hide, because during the period of comparative freedom, they had come out, and now have public personas. There’s no such thing as going back into the closet – once you’re out, that’s that. Their little window of freedom now targets them for state-sponsored abuse as the freedom and progress queers experience in the USA is used to punish queers globally.

Rebekah E. Pite: A Televised Cooking Segment as Historical Source: Dona Petrona’s Pan Dulce de Navidad

No one was more successful in encouraging women’s domestic dedication and home cooking than Doña Petrona C. de Gandulfo, Argentina’s leading culinary celebrity during most of the twentieth century. And, indeed, Pan Dulce de Navidad was her most famous recipe. As the holiday season drew close, she would show her fans how to make this sweet bread step by step on television, as we can see in these two videos from the mid 1960s (watch Part 1 and Part 2 on YouTube). Such footage may not at first glance appear to be a valuable historical source, but it provides us rare insight into how changing gender expectations, economic dynamics, and food-related practices were shaping Argentines’ daily lives.

Video: Rebecca Sharpless on Cooking in Other Women’s Kitchens

A video of Rebecca Sharpless’s talk on the history of African American women cooks in white households in the South, given at the 16th annual Southern Foodways Symposium, October 2013. Video produced by the Southern Foodways Alliance.

Susan Ware: The Ongoing Battle of the Sexes

The footage shows not a player who was intentionally tanking a match, but one who was consistently and masterfully outplayed by a superior opponent, which Riggs admitted at the time and maintained right up until his death in 1995. The unsupported ESPN allegations have no place in sporting history.

Excerpt: Creating a Common Table in Twentieth-Century Argentina, by Rebekah E. Pite

Therefore, even as Petrona included some explicitly nationalistic recipes, such as a cake with an Argentine national flag, along with some typical criollo cuisine, like empanadas, she presented French, Spanish, and Italian dishes as equally important for Argentine amas de casa to master.

Excerpt: The Strange History of the American Quadroon, by Emily Clark

Abolitionists, fed on the fictional fare of the tragic mulatto, expected New Orleans to be filled with “white” slaves catering to the sexual appetites of immoral men. Other visitors to the city, informed by sensationalized travelers’ accounts, hoped for a glimpse of one of its renowned kept women of color, and perhaps contemplated engaging one for themselves.

New Enhanced E-book: Cooking in Other Women’s Kitchens

Produced with the cooperation of libraries and archives, the enhanced e-book features twenty letters, photographs, first-person narratives, and other documents, each embedded in the text where it will be most meaningful.

Lisa Materson: African American Women, the Great Migration, and the Obama Presidency

The political influence of black Chicago emerged decades before Obama announced his first candidacy for president, during the years of the Great Migration when tens of thousands of southern blacks relocated to northern cities.

Laura Browder: Women’s Gun Culture in America

The image of the armed woman as white, suburban-looking, and thoroughly domesticated is but one aspect of women’s gun culture, and women’s relationship to guns, in the United States.

Marc Stein: Five Myths about Roe v. Wade

On 22 January 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court announced its decision in Roe v. Wade, the abortion rights case that culminated in one of the most controversial legal rulings in the country’s history. Forty years later, numerous myths continue to circulate about the contents and meanings of Roe. Here are five of the most significant.

Join us on Twitter for a #FreetoBe40 event with Lori Rotskoff

It’s a Twitter event! This Wednesday, December 12, from 9-10 pm EST join @LoriRotskoff, @uncpressblog, and @MamaDramaNY for a Twitter celebration and discussion of the 40th anniversary of Free to Be…You and Me, the popular nonsexist children’s album/book/TV special that has helped shape the childhoods and parenting practices of generations.

Barbara Sicherman: The Persistence of Little Women, or Still Timely after All These Years

Today is the 180th anniversary of Louisa May Alcott’s birth. Barbara Sicherman describes the lasting influence of her most famous work, “Little Women.”

Interview: Lori Rotskoff and Laura L. Lovett, editors of When We Were Free to Be

Lori Rotskoff and Laura L. Lovett, editors of When We Were Free to Be: Looking Back at a Children’s Classic and the Difference It Made discuss the legacy of Free to Be…You and Me after 40 years.

Fall sale wrap-up: new categories 50% off, sale ends soon!

Announcing our last four sale subjects, all at 50% off, with free shipping for orders over $75 for the next two weeks.

UNC Press Fall Sale: New categories

New Fall sale categories: business history and southern history. Throughout the fall, we’re offering 50% off selected titles in the disciplines listed below. Enter 01SALE12 at checkout. Spend $75.00 and the shipping is free.

Anne M. Butler: Nuns and the Road to Academic Recognition

In nineteenth-century America, Catholic sisters, despite disapproval, increasingly pursued opportunities for higher education. They did so to satisfy their personal intellectual interests and to meet new requirements for certification by government agencies.

The UNC Press fall sale is underway! Save up to 50% on select titles

Throughout the fall, we’re offering 50% off selected titles in the disciplines listed below. Enter 01SALE12 at checkout. Spend $75.00 and the shipping is free.