A Digital History of the Sister/Outsiders of US Women’s Activism

Sunday, January 7, 2018: 11:00 AM
Blue Room Prefunction (Omni Shoreham)
Michelle Moravec, Rosemont College
Michelle Moravec blends text mining and network analysis, with qualitative readings of archival materials in order to balance the positivist impulses of some digital history and the clear utility of digital methodologies. This approach provides a less static view of race and racism in women’s activism of the past by drawing out a deeper understanding of both the participation of black women in woman suffrage and 1970s feminist activism and the processes by which their historical contributions have been marginalized. This research draws on original archival research into 1970s feminist conferences, as well as digitized corpora of woman suffrage histories. The juxtaposition of several of these datasets reveals otherwise hidden black figures, a discovery that highlights the need for a combination of methods, both digital and qualitative, in order to tell histories that both acknowledge racism in past social movements, and recenter the contributions of black women in these movements.
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