From Suffrage to Stonewall: The Visual and Material Culture of Social Justice

Martha McNamara's picture
March 14, 2020
Massachusetts, United States
Subject Fields: 
African American History / Studies, American History / Studies, Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Women's & Gender History / Studies, Sexuality Studies


The 2020 Wellesley/Deerfield Symposium

From Suffrage to Stonewall: The Visual and Material Culture of Social Justice


Saturday, March 14th, 2020 8:30-5:00

Collins Cinema, Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachusetts


Free and open to the public.  Registration is encouraged:


2019 and 2020 mark significant anniversaries for the history of social justice movements in the United States, commemorating the many reform campaigns that have taken place from the 19th century to the present. These campaigns sought political, social, economic, and cultural change and deployed visual and material culture to advance their goals. The 2020 Wellesley-Deerfield Symposium will focus on research related to the wide range of artistic expression generated by social justice movements, from painting, sculpture, public performance and installation to ephemera, costume, and craft.


The symposium is made possible by the generous support of the Barra Foundation.


8:30 Registration/Coffee


8:45 Welcome: Alice T. Friedman, Grace Slack McNeil Professor of American Art,  Wellesley College

                        Barbara Mathews, Public Historian and Director of Academic Programs, Historic Deerfield


9:00 - 10:45

Panel 1:  Empowering Acts: Claiming a Place for Social Justice


Emma Rothberg, PhD Candidate, History Department, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

             “Suffrage in the Streets: Woman’s Suffrage Parades and Gendered Geography in New York City”


Laura Prieto, Professor, History/Women’s and Gender Studies, Simmons University

            “‘Something Besides Money’: The Two Women’s Suffrage Exhibitions of 1915”


 Simone Drake, Professor, Dept. of African American Studies, Ohio State

             “Visualizing and Hearing Separatist Aesthetics in Contemporary Black Art & Music”


Martyna Majewska, PhD candidate, Art History, University of St. Andrews

             “Senga Nengudi and Maren Hassinger Performing on the Fringe of Feminism in Southern California”


10:45-11:00 Break



Panel 2: Coming Out/Acting Up


Tamar Carroll, Associate Professor, History Department, Rochester Institute of Technology

             “Feminist Genealogies: From the Second Wave to ACT UP and Beyond”


Brenann Sutter, PhD candidate, Rutgers

            “‘Putting sex back into homosexuality’: Constructing the Liberated Gay Male in drum Magazine”


12:00-1:30 Lunch (on your own)



Panel 3: Representing Women: The Visual Politics of Suffrage


Allison Lange, Associate Professor, Dept. of History, Wentworth Institute

             “Visual Debates and the Women’s Suffrage Movement”


Elsie Heung, PhD (2018) Art History, CUNY; Grants Administrator

            “White Slavery and the Power of the Vote”


Cori Field, Associate Professor, Dept. of Women, Gender & Sexuality, University of Virginia

            “Reconfiguring Old Women and Old Maids: The Visual Culture of Female Ageing in the US Women’s Rights Movement, 1870-1920”


Break 3:00-3:15



Panel 4: The Fabric of Social Justice


Heather Munro Prescott, Professor, Central Connecticut State University

            “Fashioning the Women's Suffrage Movement”


Mariah Gruner, PhD candidate, American & New England Studies, Boston University

            “Stitching Domestic Anti-Slavery: The Uses of Needlework in Women’s Anti-Slavery Activism”


Carrie Greif, MA, Winterthur Program, University of Delaware; Curatorial Intern, Metropolitan Museum of Art

            “Toile for American Laborers”


4:30     Closing Remarks




Contact Info: 

Martha J. McNamara

Director, New England Arts & Architecture Program

Department of Art, Wellesley College

106 Central Street

Wellesley, MA 02481


Contact Email: