This month, we’re celebrating the women nerds and the amazing scholarship about them on JSTOR. It’s available for easy, free download through these stories.
The Total Bookworms
Rosa Hernández Acosta on the Cuban Literacy Campaign
February 6, 2021
Armed with just some textbooks and a kerosene lantern, Rosa Hernández Acosta taught literacy in rural Cuba without electricity, running water, or paved roads.
The Patron Saint of Bookstores
October 5, 2019
100 years ago, Sylvia Beach, the first publisher of James Joyce’s Ulysses, opened the doors to her legendary bookstore, Shakespeare & Co.
What Dorothy Porter’s Life Meant for Black Studies
August 22, 2018
Dorothy Porter, a Black woman pioneer in library and information science, created an archive that structured a new field.
Ione Quinby, Chicago’s Underappreciated “Girl Reporter”
December 13, 2020
She started off as a "stunt" journalist and moved into covering stories about women and crime in the Roaring Twenties.
How Reading Got Farm Women Through the Depression
May 4, 2020
They worked over sixty hours a week but were also insatiable readers.
The Woman Teacher Documents a Feminist Labor Union’s Victory
October 31, 2020
The UK’s National Union of Women Teachers went from splinter group to union in its own right, winning on equal pay—as The Woman Teacher shows first-hand.
When Science Fiction Becomes Real: Octavia E. Butler’s Legacy
October 3, 2016
Ten years after her death, the writing of Octavia E. Butler has a persistent influence—one that spans well outside of the science fiction genre.
When Reading Inspired Women to Change History
May 10, 2018
The "Friday Night" group was a cohort of prominent nineteenth century Baltimore women who met each week to read, write, and debate social issues.
The Physical Pleasures of Jane Austen’s Persuasion
February 15, 2019
Smoldering glances? Romantic letters? Forbidden love? Why Persuasion may be the most seductive of Jane Austen's novels.
The Chic Geeks of STEM
Before Vaccines, Variolation Was Seriously Trendy
July 22, 2020
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu is credited with popularizing variolation among the aristocracy in England.
The Chemist Whose Work Was Stolen from Her
February 26, 2020
The Black scientist Alice Ball helped develop a treatment for leprosy in the early twentieth century. But someone else took the credit.
The Unsung Heroine of Lichenology
September 26, 2020
Elke Mackenzie’s moments of self-citation illuminate the hopes of someone who, against ease and tradition, did not wish to separate her identity from her research.
Margaret S. Collins, Pioneering Black Entomologist
February 19, 2020
She was the first African American woman to earn a PhD in entomology as well as an activist for freedom in the Civil Rights Movement.
Florence Nightingale, Data Visualization Visionary
August 30, 2020
The woman who revolutionized nursing was also a mathematician who knew the power of a visible representation of information.
The Black Nurse Who Drove Integration of the U.S. Nurse Corps
May 9, 2020
In World War II, Mabel Keaton Staupers tirelessly fought for the integration of the Army and Navy Nurse Corps—and eventually won.
More Hidden Figures of NASA History
January 30, 2017
Katherine G. Johnson, Charles F. Bolden, Jeanette Epps, and roles of African Americans in NASA.
Ynés Mexía: Botanical Trailblazer
September 29, 2020
This Mexican-American botanist fought against the harshness of both nature and society to follow her passion for plant collecting.
The Scribblers and Historians
Black Women Have Written History for over a Century
February 21, 2021
Barriers of racism and sexism slowed them down, but academia wasn't their only venue.
Jarena Lee, The First Woman African American Autobiographer
December 15, 2018
Jarena Lee was the first female preacher in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1836, she published her autobiography.
What, Prithee, Is a Poetess?
April 4, 2018
The loss and recovery of a poetic genre shows how the canon of literary history treats women writers the moment they start to gain attention and approval.
James Tiptree Jr. and Joanna Russ: Sci-Fi Pen Pals
December 28, 2020
The two feminist authors corresponded about writing and romance, especially after Tiptree's true identity leaked.
How Emily Dickinson Wrestled with Darwinism
March 16, 2020
The current vogue for the Amherst poet needs to give credit to the way she readily examined her childhood ideas about fixed and immutable truth.
Sick of Streaming? Try This Really Long Cult Novel
April 18, 2020
Marguerite Young's Miss MacIntosh, My Darling is a dense fusion of poetry and prose. One critic says it's unjustifiably forgotten.
Disease Theory in Mary Shelley’s The Last Man
April 3, 2020
Shelley's third novel, about the sole survivor of a global plague, draws on the now-outdated miasma theory of disease.
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