Editors: Kathryn Kish Sklar
and Thomas Dublin
Published by Alexander Street Press and the
Center for the Historical Study of Women and Gender, SUNY Binghamton
In This Issue
In "How Did Changes in the Built Environment at Hull-House Reflect the Settlement's Interaction with Its Neighbors, 1889-1912?" Kathryn Kish Sklar et al. explore the interactions between residents of the settlement and members of the surrounding neighborhood and how those interactions shaped Hull-House spaces and the programs housed within them. Early in the history of Hull-House, Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr looked at the settlement as an opportunity to bring their academic and cultural education to the masses of immigrant people who lived in the surrounding neighborhood. Yet as time went on, the focus of the settlement changed from bringing art and culture to the neighborhood (as evidenced in the construction of the Butler Building) to responding to the needs of the community by providing childcare, educational opportunities, and large meeting spaces. Hull-House became more than simply a proving ground for the new generation of college-educated, professional women--it also became part of the community in which it was founded and its development reveals a shared history.
In "How Did the National Women's Conference in Houston in 1977 Shape a Feminist Agenda for the Future?" Kathryn Kish Sklar argues that the National Women's Conference at Houston in November 1977 marked a high point in the influence of second-wave feminist ideas on policy formulation. Congresswomen elected during the wave of 1970s feminism, especially Bella Abzug, obtained the passage of federal legislation that funded the Conference. Grassroots women's organizations met at the state level and adopted a National Plan of Action to improve the lives of women. The Houston Conference subsequently approved the plan. Yet at the same moment these women were able to mobilize and use government to achieve feminist goals, opponents united to fight against feminist causes. Phyllis Schlafly and others attacked the Houston conference and its agenda and created the basis for a new anti-feminist constituency in American public life. This project presents conference documents, including all the individual planks considered at Houston, speeches and debate at the conference, and follow-up evaluations of progress on those planks in 1988 and 1997.
We are pleased to publish in this issue our first book reviews. In our upcoming March 2005 issue, we will publish both book and website reviews. If you are interested in writing reviews for the journal in the future, please contact our review editors.
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