Past Conferences on Women’s History

A catalog of previous years subjects and speakers of the Diane and Adam E. Max Conference on Women’s History

2021 Conference
Breaking News, Breaking Barriers: Women in American Journalism

Our virtual 2021 conference features a mix of pre-recorded keynote conversations and live panels held via Zoom beginning in March 2021. Today, as we scrutinize the production, polarization, and power of news, the Center for Women's History explores the complex history of women in journalism from the 19th century to the present day. 

Keynote Discussion: What I Saw at the Revolution: A Conversation with Lesley Stahl and Peggy Noonan
Watch a recording >

Keynote Discussion: She Said, and the World Listened: Breaking News in the #MeToo Era
Megan Twohey
 is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter with theNew York Time sand co-author of the book SHE SAID: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story that Helped Ignite a Movement. She discusses how to report on these topics with sensitivity and fairness withNew York magazine senior correspondent Irin Carmon, whose reporting in theWashington Post on allegations against television host Charlie Rose ended his career. 
Watch a recording >

Panel Discussion: Women in Journalism Since the "Good Girls Revolt"
Lynn Povich
, author of the autobiographical The Good Girls Revolt: How the Women of Newsweek Sued their Bosses and Changed the Workplace, in conversation with columnist Rebecca Traister, author ofGood and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women's Anger, about the dynamic relationship between women’s activism and journalism over the past 50 years.
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Panel Discussion: The Women’s Pages: A Hard Look at "Soft News"
Julie Golia
(moderator) is the Curator of History, Social Science, and Government Information at the New York Public Library (NYPL). Jean M. Lutes is a professor of English at Villanova University. Kathy Feeley is the associate dean of the college of arts and sciences and professor of history at the University of Redlands. Ayelet Brinn is a historian of American Jewish culture at the Katz Center at the University of Pennsylvania.
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Panel Discussion: Writing Great Women for the Public: Intergenerational Storytelling
Michelle Duster
, scholar and author of Ida B. the Queen: The Extraordinary Life and Legacy of Ida B. Wells, and New York magazine’s Irin Carmon, author of Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, join us to discuss the challenges and rewards of translating monumental figures and cultural icons like Wells and Ginsburg to public, intergenerational, audiences.
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2020 Conference
From Suffrage to Power: Reflections on Women’s Citizenship

On the centennial of suffrage, the Center for Women’s History explores the struggles for women’s equality in all their forms and complexity, from the beginnings of the abolitionist and suffrage movements through the present. 

Louise Mirrer, president and CEO, New-York Historical Society
Valerie Paley, director of the Center for Women’s History and senior vice president and chief historian, New-York Historical Society

Special Greetings:
U.S. Representative Carolyn B. Maloney, 12th Congressional District, New York

Introductory Keynote Address:
Adele Logan Alexander, George Washington University and author of Princess of the Hither Isles (2019)
Watch a recording on our Facebook page >

Panel Discussion: Radical Origins: Abolition, Suffrage, and the Civil War
Martha S. Jones, Johns Hopkins University and author of Birthright Citizens: A  History of Race and Rights in Antebellum America (2018)
Manisha Sinha, University of Connecticut and author of The Slave’s Cause: A History of Abolition (2016)
Lisa Tetrault, Carnegie Mellon University and author of The Myth of Seneca Falls: Memory and the Women's Suffrage Movement, 1848-1898 (2014)
Moderator: Stephanie McCurry, Columbia University and author of Women’s War: Fighting and Surviving the American Civil War (2019)

Panel Discussion: Suffrage and Citizenship: The Road to the 19th Amendment
Brenda J. Child, University of Minnesota, former president of the Native American & Indigenous Studies Association, and author of My Grandfather’s Knocking Sticks: Ojibwe Family Life and Labor on the Reservation (2014)
Treva Lindsey, Ohio State University and author of Colored No More: Reinventing Black Womanhood in Washington D.C. (2017)
Lauren Santangelo, Princeton University and New-York Historical Society, and author of Suffrage And The City: New York Women Battle For The Ballot (2019)
Brent Staples, New York Times and 2019 Pulitzer Prize recipient for editorial writing
Moderator:  Linda Greenhouse, Yale Law School and Joseph Goldstein Lecturer in Law, Senior Research Scholar in Law, Knight Distinguished Journalist in Residence and author of Just a Journalist: On the Press, Life, and the Spaces Between (2017)

Afternoon Keynote Address:
Brittney Cooper, Rutgers University and author of Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower (2018)
Watch a recording on our Facebook page >

Panel Discussion: Full Freedom for Women? The 1960s and Beyond
Keisha N. Blain, University of Pittsburgh and author of Set the World on Fire: Black Nationalist Women and the Global Struggle for Freedom (2018)
Blanche Wiesen Cook, John Jay College and the Graduate Center, CUNY and author of the three-volume biography of Eleanor Roosevelt (1992-2016)
Premilla Nadasen, Barnard College and author of Household Workers Unite: The Untold Story of African American Women Who Built a Movement (2015)
Vicki Ruiz, University of California, Irvine and author of From Out of the Shadows: Mexican Women in Twentieth-Century America (10th anniversary edition, 2008)
Moderator: Rebecca Traister, New York magazine and author of Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger (2018)

Panel Discussion: Marching Forward: Reflections on the Past, Present, and Future
Fatima Goss Graves, president and CEO, National Women’s Law Center
Kate Clarke Lemay, historian at the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution and curator and author of Votes for Women: A Portrait Of Persistence (2019)
Mae Ngai, Columbia University and author of The Lucky Ones: One Family and the Extraordinary Invention of Chinese America (2010)
Moderator: Irin CarmonNew York magazine and CNN contributor and co-author of Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg (2015)

2019 Conference
Ninety-Nine Years Since Prohibition

The fourth annual conference focused on the history of Prohibition, 100 years after the ratification of the 18th Amendment, which banned the sale and consumption of alcohol in the United States.

Morning Keynote Address:
Lisa McGirr, Harvard University, author of The War on Alcohol: Prohibition and the Rise of the American State
Watch a recording on our Facebook page >

Educational Initiatives:
Women and the American Story: A Women’s History Curriculum Guide for Grades 6-12
Mia Nagawiecki, Vice President for Education, New-York Historical Society

Women Have Always Worked: A Massive Open Online Course in Women’s History
Alice Kessler-Harris, R. Gordon Hoxie Professor Emerita of American History, Columbia University and Chair of the Scholarly Advisory Board of the Center for Women’s History

Panel Discussion: Women, Temperance and Reform
Richard Chused, New York School of Law, co-author of Gendered Law in American History
Crystal Feimster, Yale University, author of Southern Horrors: Women and the Politics of Rape and Lynching
Lori Ginzberg, Penn State University, author of Women and the Work of Benevolence: Morality, Politics, and Class in the Nineteenth-Century United States
Julie C. Suk, Professor of Sociology and Dean for Master’s Programs at The Graduate Center, CUNY
Moderator: Alice Kessler-Harris, Columbia University and New-York Historical Society
Watch a recording on our Facebook page >

Panel Discussion: Rewriting the Rules
Marni Davis, Georgia State University, author of Jews and Booze: Becoming American in the Age of Prohibition
LaShawn Harris, Michigan State University, author of Sex Workers, Psychics and Numbers Runners: Black Women in New York City's Underground Economy
Daniel Hurewitz, Hunter College, CUNY, author of Stepping Out: Nine Walks Through New York City’s Gay and Lesbian Past
Moderator: Nancy Mirabal, University of Maryland, College Park, author of Suspect Freedoms: The Racial and Sexual Politics of Cubanidad in New York City, 1823-1957
Watch a recording on our Facebook page >

Afternoon Keynote Address:
Senator Liz Krueger, Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, New York State Senate
Watch a recording on our Facebook page >

Panel Discussion: Enforcing the Law
Cheryl Hicks, University of Delaware, author of Talk with You Like a Woman: African American Women, Justice, and Reform in New York, 1890-1935
Linda Gordon, NYU, author of The Second Coming of the KKK: The Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s and the American Political Tradition
Andrea J. Ritchie, attorney and activist, author of Invisible No More: Police Violence Against Black Women and Women of Color
Moderator: Irin Carmon, Journalist, Washington Post, MSNBC, and author of The Notorious RBG
Watch a recording on our Facebook page >

Panel Discussion: Last Call: Reflections on the History of Prohibition
Daniel Okrent, author of Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition
Lisa McGirr, Harvard University, author of The War on Alcohol: Prohibition and the Rise of the American State
Moderator: Nick Juravich, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in Women's History, New-York Historical Society
Watch a recording on our Facebook page >

2018 Conference
Sex and the Constitution

Leading scholars of history and law explore the ways in which the U.S. Constitution has defined, protected, and regulated the rights and freedoms of sexuality, marriage, and reproduction throughout our nation’s history.

Keynote address:
Geoffrey Stone, Edward H. Levi Distinguished Service Professor of Law, University of Chicago,  author of Sex and the Constitution, 2017
Watch a recording on our Facebook page >

Panel Discussion: Governing Bodies: Sex in the Constitution
Akhil Reed Amar, Sterling Professor of Law, Yale Law School
Nadine Strossen, John Marshall Harlan II Professor of Law, New York Law School; Former President, American Civil Liberties Union (1991-2008)
Robert C. Post, Sterling Professor of Law, Yale Law School
Watch a recording on our Facebook page >

Panel Discussion: Changing Precedents: The Law and Sex throughout History
Nancy Cott, Jonathan Trumbull Professor of American History, Harvard University
Estelle Freedman, Edgar E. Robinson Professor in U.S. History, Stanford University
Deborah Gray White, Board of Governors Distinguished Professor of History, Rutgers University
Moderator: Reva Siegel, Nicholas deB. Katzenbach Professor of Law, Yale Law School
Watch a recording on our Facebook page >

Panel Discussion: Sex and Equality in the Age of Trump
Virginia Espino, Oral historian and lecturer, University of California at Los Angeles; Filmmaker, “No Más Bebés
Katherine Franke, Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law, Columbia Law School
Fatima Goss Graves, President and CEO,  National Women’s Law Center
Moderator: Irin Carmon, Journalist (Washington Post, MSNBC) and Author (The Notorious RBG, 2015)
Watch a recording on our Facebook page >

Panel Discussion: Reflecting on "Sex and the Constitution"
Geoffrey Stone, Edward H. Levi Distinguished Service Professor of Law, University of Chicago
Amy Adler, Emily Kempin Professor of Law, New York University
Watch a recording on our Facebook page >

2017 Conference
Reproductive Rights in Historical Context

The second annual Diane and Adam E. Max Conference on Women's History focused on the history of reproductive justice, including the fluctuating legal and cultural status of contraception throughout American history, the evolution of obstetrics and gynecological medicine, and the role of race and class in the birth control movement.

2016 Conference
Sweat Equity: Women in the Garment Industry

The first annual Diane and Adam E. Max Conference on Women's History explored the garment industry and its historical impact on women, and was organized in memory of Jean Dubinsky Appleton, daughter of veteran labor organizer David Dubinsky.