Queering Suffrage: Toward an Intersectional History of Women’s Suffrage

AHA Session 157
Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History 10
Coordinating Council for Women in History 7
Sunday, January 5, 2020: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
Gramercy West (New York Hilton, Second Floor)
Pippa Holloway, Middle Tennessee State University
The Audience

Session Abstract

The year 2020 marks the one-hundredth anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment granting women’s suffrage. Although scholars have extensively documented suffrage history, much work remains in creating a more inclusive and accurate history of the movement. The narrow focus on the period from Seneca Falls in 1848 to the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920 in the United States, fails to address the longer history of the suffrage movement, the formation of transnational alliances, and the disenfranchisement of women of color especially in the decades after 1920. Centennial celebrations plan to include discussions of the need to refocus the history of the suffrage movement away from an exclusive emphasis on prominent upper class heterosexual white women to a broader examination of the role of women of color, working-class, and queer women in the movement. This panel explicitly explores the role of queer suffragists in the long struggle for the 19th Amendment not only through their activist roles in the suffrage movement but through their challenge to existing gender and heterosexual norms. Panelists explore how the public lives and private relationships of queer suffragists have been constructed and reconstructed in the popular retelling of suffrage history to the present day.
See more of: AHA Sessions