The Legacy of Jeannette Rankin and Women in Elected Office | Newberry

The Legacy of Jeannette Rankin and Women in Elected Office

Led by Mary Kettering
Tuesday, July 19, 2022
Three sessions. Tuesdays, July 19-August 2.



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Seminar Description

The 2016 presidential election introduced Hillary Clinton as America’s first female presidential nominee. Now, Vice President Kamala Harris is the first woman to occupy an executive role in United States history. The 2020 election boasted the strongest field of female candidates in American history. As the political glass ceilings are shattering, one may ask, when did this change begin?

The answer lies in Helena, Montana in 1916, with a victorious Jeannette Rankin, who had just been elected the first female to the U.S. Congress. This seminar provides an intentional focus on the overlooked political career of Jeannette Rankin.

Each session will contextualize the history that shaped her politics and activism. By examining the journey of Jeannette Rankin’s historic two terms in Congress, students in this seminar will gain a better understanding of Jeannette Rankin’s role in America’s history, and her lasting impact for female politicians.

Mary Kettering teaches Social Sciences at the Chicago Academy for the Arts. She earned her B.A. in Political Science & History at the University of Montana and her Masters in Women and Gender Studies at Trinity College in Ireland. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Political Science at UIC.

Materials List


  • Instructor-Distributed Materials

First Reading:

Cost and Registration Information 

Three sessions. Registration: $170 ($153 for Newberry members, seniors, and students)

Please note: You’ll register for this class on a platform called Learning Stream. Questions? Contact us at

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