Author Archives: Katherine McKenna

A Discussion with Dr. Wiesner-Hanks

Welcome back to the SSEMWG Blog and the Founding Mothers project page. Founding Mothers is an open-access digital history project that uses interviews to explore the Society’s origin and evolution. It also aims to illuminate the larger disciplinary history of Renaissance women’s studies in the American academy while forging lasting connections between premodern scholars at all career levels. In this post, Katherine McKenna, Editor of the Blog, interviews Merry Wiesner-Hanks about the Society’s formation, her seminal contributions to women’s history, activism in the academy, and the challenges that the humanities face in 2021. Dr. Wiesner-Hanks is a Distinguished Professor Emerita at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) and winner of the Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award (2017). This dicussion represents one of the project’s inaugural set of interviews. Continue reading

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A Discussion with Dr. Georgianna Ziegler

In this post, Tanya Schmidt, a PhD student in English at New York University, interviews Georgianna Ziegler about the Society’s formation, her work at the Folger Shakespeare Library, and her current scholarship on women book owners. Dr. Ziegler is the Louis B. Thalheimer Associate Librarian and Head of Reference Emerita at the Folger. She is also the recipient of the Society’s 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award. This interview represents the inaugural post of the Society-sponsored initiative Founding Mothers, an open-access digital history project dedicated to exploring the Society’s origins and evolution as well as the larger history of Renaissance women’s studies in the American academy. Continue reading

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Letter from the President: EMWJ Moves to University of Chicago Press

Dear Colleagues, I am pleased to share with you some exciting news from the Society for the Study of Women and Gender. On July 1, SSEWMG will become the owner of Early Modern Women: An Interdisciplinary Journal. For several years, … Continue reading

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Book Announcement: Convent Networks in Early Modern Italy (ed. Marilyn Dunn and Saundra Weddle)

In this post, editors Marilyn Dunn and Saundra Weddle discuss the newly published anthology Convent Networks in Early Modern Italy (Brepols, 2020). The volume builds on the recent upsurge of scholarly interest in convent networks, a topic that previously has not been focused in a single volume. Its interdisciplinary essays examine how and why such associations existed. The collection explores the personal, spatial, and temporal networks that emerged in, among, and beyond convents in Italy during the early modern period (fifteenth through early eighteenth centuries). Continue reading

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Book Announcement – Forgotten Healers: Women and the Pursuit of Health in Late Renaissance Italy, by Sharon Strocchia

In this post, Sharon Strocchia (Emory University) shares a description of her monograph Forgotten Healthers: Women and the Pursuit of Health in Late Renaissance Italy (Harvard University Press, 2019). The winner of the Society for Italian Historical Studies’ Marraro Prize, Forgotten Healers examines the broad palette of Renaissance women’s contributions to medical knowledge, empirical culture, and contemporary health practices in the period between 1500 and 1630. Continue reading

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November 2020 – Early Modern Women’s Letter Writing and the Desire for In-person Contact

When researching Renaissance women’s letter writing as a grad student, I quickly learned that early modern women had a keen awareness of the intimacy that could be re-created through correspondence in order to bridge geographical and temporal gaps between friends and family. Though it seems obvious in hindsight, I did not immediately realize that letters could only bridge those gaps for so long. … Nearly five hundred years later amid a pandemic, I personally related to their yearning for face-to-face interaction and their desire to find ways to advance it. Continue reading

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