Follow the UNC Press Blog for a celebration of women’s histories and women historians throughout March.
This year we are celebrating the significant contributions of notable women, renown and lesser known, throughout history, as well as women historians past and present that have been published by UNC Press.
During Women’s History Month, save 40% on all UNC Press books with discount code 01DAH40.
American Gold Digger: Marriage, Money, and the Law from the Ziegfeld Follies to Anna Nicole Smith by Brian Donovan
The gold digger can be seen in silent films, vaudeville jokes, hip hop lyrics, and reality television. Whether feared, admired, or desired, the figure of the gold digger appears almost everywhere gender, sexuality, class, and race collide. This fascinating interdisciplinary work reveals the assumptions and disputes around women’s sexual agency in American life, shedding new light on the cultural and legal forces underpinning romantic, sexual, and marital relationships.
Painted Pomegranates and Needlepoint Rabbis:
How Jews Craft Resilience and Create Community
by Jodi Eichler-Levine
Jodi Eichler-Levine takes readers inside a flourishing American Jewish crafting movement. As she traveled across the country to homes, craft conventions, synagogue knitting circles, and craftivist actions, she joined in the making, asked questions, and contemplated her own family stories. Jewish Americans, many of them women, are creating ritual challah covers and prayer shawls, ink, clay, or wood pieces, and other articles for family, friends, or Jewish charities. But they are doing much more: armed with perhaps only a needle and thread, they are reckoning with Jewish identity in a fragile and dangerous world.
Identities of Sexual Restraint in Early America
by Kara M. French
In this richly textured history, Kara French investigates ideas about, and practices of, sexual restraint to better understand the sexual dimensions of American identity in the antebellum United States. French considers three groups of Americans—Shakers, Catholic priests and nuns, and followers of sexual reformer Sylvester Graham—whose sexual abstinence provoked almost as much social, moral, and political concern as the idea of sexual excess. Examining private diaries and letters, visual culture and material artifacts, and a range of published works, French reveals how people practicing sexual restraint became objects of fascination, ridicule, and even violence in nineteenth-century American culture.
The Injustices of Rape:
How Activists Responded to Sexual Violence, 1950–1980
by Catherine O. Jacquet
From 1950 to 1980, activists in the black freedom and women’s liberation movements mounted significant campaigns in response to the injustices of rape. These activists challenged the dominant legal and social discourses of the day and redefined the political agenda on sexual violence for over three decades. How activists framed sexual violence–as either racial injustice, gender injustice, or both–was based in their respective frameworks of oppression. The dominant discourse of the black freedom movement constructed rape primarily as the product of racism and white supremacy, whereas the dominant discourse of women’s liberation constructed rape as the result of sexism and male supremacy. In The Injustices of Rape, Catherine O. Jacquet is the first to examine these two movement responses together, explaining when and why they were in conflict, when and why they converged, and how activists both upheld and challenged them.
Mothers and Strangers:
Essays on Motherhood from the New South
edited by Samia Serageldin & Lee Smith
In this anthology of creative nonfiction, twenty-eight writers set out to discover what they know, and don’t know, about the person they call Mother. Celebrated writers Samia Serageldin and Lee Smith have curated a diverse and insightful collection that challenges stereotypes about mothers and expands our notions of motherhood in the South. The mothers in these essays were shaped, for good and bad, by the economic and political crosswinds of their time. Whether their formative experience was the Great Depression or the upheavals of the 1970s, their lives reflected their era and influenced how they raised their children