Funding Feminism: Monied Women, Philanthropy, and the Women’s Movement, 1870–1967 | Newberry

Funding Feminism: Monied Women, Philanthropy, and the Women’s Movement, 1870–1967

Joan Marie Johnson

Meet the Author: Joan Marie Johnson
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Author Talk 6 pm, Book Signing 7 pm

Ruggles Hall

Free and open to the public. Registration required.
Open to the Public
Meet the Author

How did a group of affluent white women from the late nineteenth through the mid-twentieth centuries advance the status of all women through acts of philanthropy?

This cadre of activists included Phoebe Hearst, the mother of William Randolph Hearst; Grace Dodge, granddaughter of Wall Street “Merchant Prince” William Earle Dodge; and Ava Belmont, who married into the Vanderbilt family fortune. Motivated by their own experiences with sexism, and focusing on women’s need for economic independence, these benefactors sought to expand women’s access to higher education, promote suffrage, and champion reproductive rights, as well as to provide assistance to working-class women. In a time when women still wielded limited political power, philanthropy was perhaps the most potent tool they had. But even as these wealthy women exercised considerable influence, their activism had significant limits. As Johnson argues, restrictions tied to their giving engendered resentment and jeopardized efforts to establish coalitions across racial and class lines.

As the struggle for full economic and political power and self-determination for women continues today, this history reveals how generous women helped shape the movement. And Johnson shows us that tensions over wealth and power that persist in the modern movement have deep historical roots.

Download a PDF flyer for this event, to post and distribute.

Joan Marie Johnson is a historian and Director for Faculty in the Office of the Provost at Northwestern University.

After her talk, Dr. Johnson will sign copies of the book, which will be available for purchase.

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Cost and Registration Information 

Free and open to the public; registration required. Register online using this form by 3 pm Thursday, March 8.

Doors open half an hour before the program begins, with first-come, first-served seating for registered attendees. If seats remain available, non-registered individuals will be permitted to enter about ten minutes before the event’s start.

Questions? Contact us at publicprograms@newberry.org or 312-255-3610.