Women's rights activist will be discussed by historian who knew late DFA recipient
(Oct. 13, 2004) GENEVA, N.Y.—Executive director of the Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation Sally Roesch Wagner will give a lecture titled “Matilda Joslyn Gage: from the Iroquois to Oz” at 4 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 22, in Demarest Hall Room 212, on the Hobart and William Smith Colleges campus. The event is free and the public is invited.
Sponsored by the Fisher Center for the Study of Women and Men at Hobart and William Smith, the event is part of the celebration of the HWS Distinguished Faculty Awards, this year being given to the late Toni Flores, a professor of American studies and women's studies who researched Gage and knew Wagner, and John Loftus, professor emeritus of art.
Gage was born in Cicero, N.Y., in 1826. She made her first public speech at the third national Women's Rights convention in Syracuse in 1852, and rapidly became a leader in the women's rights movement. Raised in an Abolitionist home that was a station on the underground railroad, where she was taught multiple languages, Gage was throughout her career among the more radical leaders of the movement. Like Stanton, she focused particularly on the role of social and religious institutions as well as civil concerns. Her writing focused on significant accomplishments of women in invention, military affairs, and history. Gage co-wrote with Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony the first three volumes of “A History of Woman Suffrage.” She also worked with Stanton on “The Woman's Bible,” and in 1893 her most widely known solo publication “Woman, Church and State” was published.
Wagner is one of the first women to receive a doctorate for work in women's studies in the United States (from the University of California, Santa Cruz) and is a founder of one of the country's first women's studies programs at California State University, Sacramento. She appeared in the Ken Burns PBS documentary “Not for Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony,” for which she wrote the accompanying faculty guide for PBS. She was also a historian in the PBS special, “One Woman, One Vote” and has been interviewed several times on National Public Radio's “All Things Considered” and “Democracy Now.” She is the author of, among others, “She Who Holds the Sky: Matilda Joslyn Gage” (Sky Carrier Press, 2003).