Friday, September 2, 2011

Convocation and Street Walking!

Thought this might amuse the masses.  See if you can spot me!  The official start of the school year has begun. Say what you will about "tradition," but sometimes I just like it.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Newberry Library -- check it out!

The Newberry Seminar on Women and Gender
Seminar sessions are held on Fridays from 3:00 PM–5:00 PM
at the Newberry Library, 60 West Walton Street, Chicago, Illinois.
Co-sponsored by the History Departments of Northeastern Illinois University and the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the Karla Scherer Center for the Study of American Culture at the University of Chicago
Coordinated by Joan Johnson, Northeastern Illinois University and Francesca Morgan, Northeastern Illinois University
The Codfish and the Cattle Princess
"The Codfish and the Cattle Princess," Sunset 41(September 1918): 43. Ayer 5A 794

We will pre-circulate papers to those planning to attend. If you cannot attend and want to read a paper, please contact the author directly. E-mail scholl[at], or call (312) 255-3602 to receive a copy of the paper. Papers are available for request two weeks prior to the seminar date. Please include your e-mail address in all correspondence.
The seminar format assumes that all participants have read the essays in advance, and that all those requesting the paper will attend the seminar. Please do not request a paper unless you plan to attend. We encourage faculty members to call the seminar to the attention of graduate students.

September 23, 2011
Indian Women, Agrarian Villages, and Landscapes of Violence
Susan Sleeper- Smith, Michigan State University
Commentator: Brenda Child, University of Minnesota
October 21, 2011
Family and Friendship in Early America
Friends and Lovers Friendship and Romance in Mixed-Sex Friendships in the Early American Republic
Cassandra Good, University of Pennsylvania
This paper examines the lines between mixed-sex friendships and romantic relationships in the early American republic. Given the overwhelming cultural focus on marriage and seduction in this era, it was hard for people then—as it is for historians today—to distinguish between friendship and romance. Without prescriptions for how to conduct a heterosocial friendship, men and women had the opportunity to collectively define the emotional and sexual character of a relationship. Through an examination of literary texts and manuscripts, I argue that men and women adapted the sign system of romance to create new, more flexible possibilities for heterosocial relationships.
Founding Fathers/Founders as Fathers: Raising a Natural Aristocracy in Virginia
Lorri Glover, St. Louis University
Commentator: Thomas Foster, DePaul University
November 18, 2011
Wives on Trial in the Late Nineteenth Century
Who’s Afraid of the Feme Covert?: Gender, Civil Status & Lunacy Law in the 19th-Century U.S.
Kathryn V. Burns-Howard, Northwestern University
No Ordinary Servant: Affect, Dependency, and Wives’ Household Labor, 1870- 1920
Kimberley Reilly, University Of Baltimore
Commentator: Kimberly Neilsen, University Of Wisconsin-Green Bay
January 27, 2012
New Directions in Gender and U.S. Imperialism
The Transnationality of Women’s Movements: The Inter American Commission of Women and Its Caribbean Partners
Neici Zeller, William Paterson University
Commentator: Augusto Espiritu, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
February 24, 2012
Religion, Feminism, and Beauty Culture in Black Chicago
‘Modesty on Her Cheek’: The Moorish Science Temple, African- American Girls and Great Migration Beauty Culture
Marcia Chatelain, Georgetown University
To be Black, Christian and Feminist: Rev. Addie Wyatt, the Women’s Movement and the formation of a Progressive Faith Politic
Marcia Walker, University of Chicago
Commentator: Kevin Mumford, University of Iowa
March 30, 2012
Reimagining the Postwar Wife
Domesticity and Feminism in the Displaced Homemaker Movement in the late 20th Century
Anna Flaming, University of Iowa
“Caution and Discretion”: Pursuing Lesbian Desire Within Marriage, 1945-1969
Lauren Gutterman, New York University
Commentator: Susan Levine, University of Illinois at Chicago

Monday, August 8, 2011

Why I do the work that I do...

THE BIG PICTURE | India, August 7: A young girl listens to instructions from her Taekwondo instructor during a practice session in New Delhi. [AP]

I was wandering on the Jezebel website this evening and I saw this image (the caption is taken from the website).  For some reason, it seemed to sum up exactly why I do the work that I do. I can't explain it so I won't try to.  But it touched me.

Spent the day wandering around Lincoln Park and showing friends from Oneonta around town.  Good food, good company, good cupcakes!  This is truly a wonderful city.  One moment we walked along the water and enjoyed the breeze.  Next looked at multi-million dollar homes.  Finally came back to my little place.  This is a good place.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Esquire Magazine -- Dear Editor Letter

 Dear Editor,

Regarding your “tweet” about Dominique Strauss-Kahn, his alleged sexual assault of Nafissatou Diallo, and oral sex.

You are sorry “if” someone was offended by your connection between forcing a woman into performing oral sex and instructing women to give a blow job to their partners? You know, because sexual assault and pleasing your man are close enough acts, right? That is the link you want your readers to make, right? It is all in good fun, right?

What a real apology looks like:  We linked sexual violence against women to an article on getting head. Our second grade sense of humor meant that we went for a cheap and horrifying joke. We realize that men and women read our magazine to learn all kinds of things, but mostly to be entertained. Thus, the so-called joke, making associations between sexual violence and entertainment, was a failure on two counts.  It was offensive and not funny. We feel deeply ashamed. Dominique Strauss-Kahn has not been tried in a court of law and therefore is innocent until proven guilty. But, at Esquire, we want to be clear: There is nothing funny about sexual assault. Forcing any one to sexually gratify another should never be used for entertainment value; because there is no entertainment value in forcing anyone to suck your dick. So, we are actually sorry we did offend people.

So here is what my actual response looks like:  I want to make sure there is no ambiguity.  No ifs, ands, or buts. I have been a long time subscriber. I have purchased subscriptions as gifts for others. I have loved this magazine for years.  I have not always agreed with everything on your pages, but often I have been better for the journey. Not this time. Cancel my subscription. Sorry if I offended you.

Chicken pot, chicken pot, chicken pot pie!

Saturday, I went from watching Cowboys and Aliens, an amusing summer flick so laden with testosterone that I was tempted to pee standing up afterwards, to a estrogen soaked mani / pedi complete with an unending (and unwelcome) stream of Sex and the City episodes.  What a mind freak!

Life is Beautiful: Reporting from Chicago!

Hi's me, Robin.  Many thousands of years ago, I wrote a blog ( to let you see what it’s like to pick up and move across the country to a place you’ve always dreamed of living. That time, it was Paris.  It wasn't easy.  But it was magical, and maddening, and it changed my life.

Well, I'm doing it again, this time from Chicago! Just like last time, I promise to tell you the good, the bad and the ugly. But my tools for survival are as follows and should be yours as well if you make such a move: 1) you’re gonna make mistakes; it’s unavoidable. So try to have a sense of humor about it. 2) Do something that scares you every day. 3) Find a way to make Paris (now Chicago) yours…