GENDER, THE STATE, AND THE 1977 INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S YEAR CONFERENCE

A National Endowment for the Humanities
Summer Seminar for College & University Faculty

This one-week National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar explores late twentieth century U.S. history through the lens of the National Women’s Conference held in Houston, Texas in 1977. The only federally funded conference of its kind in U.S. history, the National Women’s Conference occurred in conjunction with the United Nations’ International Women’s Year. Approximately 130,000 elected delegates participated in the lead-up state conventions. The final conference convened in Houston to create a National Plan of Action for presentation to President Jimmy Carter. During our first five days together, we will consider the overarching themes related to the work of the conference: political/party realignment, Sunbelt and global politics, democratic representation and state-building, social movement and identity politics, states’ rights and federalism, liberalism and conservatism, deindustrialization and globalization, and Vietnam War and Cold War policy. We will also devote two days to pedagogy, public history, and digital humanities, considering how to introduce the National Women’s Conference in multimedia form to a variety of audiences.

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