Historic sites and archives can grab our imaginations to make the past come alive. They engage us intellectually and emotionally through places, artifacts, photographs, and documents. This Berks-specific program, proposed by NCWHS and co-sponsored by the Coordinating Council on Women’s History (CCWH), explores and advocates the value of historic sites and archives for teaching women’s history.
First, a roundtable discussion chaired by Historian/Professor Nancy Hewitt features four resource-based experts discussing their innovative pedagogies that engage people in programs on women’s rights and leadership, feminism and their roles in political families. Interpreter Kimberly Szewczyk from Women’s Rights National Historic Park employs the village landscape of Seneca Falls, location of the 1848 first women’s rights convention; Director Lucienne Beard at Paulsdale, Alice Paul’s home in Mt. Laurel, NJ, analyzes their experimental educational programming; curator Elizabeth DeMaria explores the Roosevelt women’s influence on Theodore Roosevelt’s policies and practices; and curator/archivist Heather Cole from Harvard’s Houghton Library Archives shares reactions to Theodore Roosevelt’s senior thesis endorsing women’s rights.
Then, the NCWHS-National Park Service host a special event at Sagamore Hill National Historic Site, a 30-minute bus ride away. After a private tour of the Roosevelt home with NPS curator Laura Dabrowski and Alice Roosevelt Longworth’s biographer, Stacey Cordery, participants visit their 2017 exhibit, “Redefining Roosevelt Women.”
These elements mix presentations, explorations and conversations, demonstrating how greater collaboration between academic and public historians (in historic sites and archives) enlivens and complicates U.S. women’s history and its pedagogy (in schools, universities, and senior learning programs).
Visit the Berks website for more information about the 2017 Conference.