Monthly Archives: January 2017


“#BlackScienceMatters is a series of eight short films produced by University of Illinois students under the leadership of journalism professor Charles “Stretch” Ledford, and brought to a wider audience by Illinois Public Media. ”

Read more about the project here.

Women’s Power | Women’s Justice


On this Theme Thursday we celebrate award winning children’s author Judy Blume and her coming of age book Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. Margaret Simon, almost twelve, has just moved from New York City to the suburbs, and she’s anxious to fit in with her new friends. When she’s asked to join a secret club she jumps at the chance. But when the girls start talking about boys, bras, and getting their first periods, Margaret starts to wonder if

she’s normal. There are some things about growing up that are hard for her to talk about, even with her friends. Lucky for Margaret, she’s got someone else to confide in . . . someone who always listens.51whzvoauml

Women’s Power | Women’s Justice


On this Theme Thursday, we move into the life of Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood. “A moving story of action — direct, forceful, and plain-spoken.…It would be difficult to overestimate the importance of this autobiography.” — Saturday Review of Literature.

51uyblbrttlWhile working as a nurse amid the squalor of New York’s Lower East Side in the early twentieth century, Margaret Sanger witnessed the devastating effects of unwanted pregnancies. Women already overwhelmed by the burdens of poverty had no recourse; their doctors were either ignorant of effective methods of birth control or were unwilling to risk defying the law.

Sanger resolved to dedicate her life to establishing birth control as a basic human right. Her battles brought a world of troubles — arrest, indictment, and exile among them — but ultimately she triumphed, opening the first American birth control clinic in 1916 and serving as the first president of the International Planned Parenthood Federation in 1953.

The Autobiography of Margaret Sanger is a “fascinating firsthand account of an early crusade for women’s healthcare, this autobiography is a classic of women’s studies and social reform (Amazon).”


Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at IWU

View of Fieldhouse crowd from behind Dr. King
View of Fieldhouse crowd from behind Dr. King

Dr. King at IWU February 10, 1966

This image shows the kind of crowd drawn to Dr. King on his second visit to our campus. Visit the University Archives’ blog to learn more about these events, including the role IWU students played in bringing him here.

Women’s Power | Women’s Justice


On this Theme Thursday we move into one of the most remembered and influential women in science: Marie Curie’s.  “In many ways, Marie Curie represents modern science. Her considerable lifetime achievements—the first woman to be awarded a Nobel Prize, the only woman to be awarded the Prize in two fields, and the only person to be awarded Nobel Prizes in multiple sciences—are studied by schoolchildren across the world. When, in 2009, the New Scientist carried out a poll for the “Most Inspirational Female Scientist of All Time,” the result was a foregone conclusion: Marie Curie trounced her closest runner-up, Rosalind Franklin, winning double the number of Franklin’s votes. She is a role model to women embarking on a career in science, the pride of two nations—Poland and France—and, not least of all, a European Union brand for excellence in science.

9780226422503Making Marie Curie explores what went into the creation of this icon of science. It is not a traditional biography, or one that attempts to uncover the “real” Marie Curie. Rather, Eva Hemmungs Wirtén, by tracing a career that spans two centuries and a world war, provides an innovative and historically grounded account of how modern science emerges in tandem with celebrity culture under the influence of intellectual property in a dawning age of infor
mation. She explores the emergence of the Curie persona, the information culture of the period that shaped its development, and the strategies Curie used to manage and exploit her intellectual property. How did one create and maintain for oneself the persona of scientist at the beginning of the twentieth century? What special conditions bore upon scientific
women, and on married women in particular? How was French identity claimed, established, and subverted? How, and with what consequences, was a scientific reputation secured?

“In its exploration of these questions and many more, Making Marie Curie provides a composite picture not only of the making of Marie Curie, but the making of modern science itself.”

MLK, Jr. Teach-In

Women’s power and social justice will be the theme of Illinois Wesleyan University’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Teach-In on Jan. 16 from 1 to 4 p.m.

Keynote speaker at 1 p.m. is author, activist and independent scholar Barbara Smith, who has played a groundbreaking role in opening a national cultural and political dialogue on the intersections of race, class, sexuality and gender. Smith was among the first to define an African American women’s literary tradition and to advance Black women’s studies and Black feminism in the United States.

Read some of Smith’s past writings available to you through I-Share and The Ames Library.

415imowbidl-_sx326_bo1204203200_The Truth that Never Hurts: Writings on Race, Gender, and Freedom

From Amazon: “The Truth That Never Hurts: Writings on Race, Gender, and Freedom brings together more than two decades of literary criticism and political thought about gender, race, sexuality, power, and social change. As one of the first writers in the United States to claim black feminism for black women, Barbara Smith has done groundbreaking work in defining black women’s literary traditions and in making connections between race, class, sexuality, and gender.”