Pulteney Street Podcast: Suffrage, Political Discourse and Public Memory with Free – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
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Pulteney Street Podcast: Suffrage, Political Discourse and Public Memory with Free

On the latest episode of the Pulteney Street Podcast, President Joyce P. Jacobsen and Associate Professor of History Laura Free discuss the suffrage movement’s history and legacy in the U.S.

Associate Professor of History Laura Free — whose new podcast, Amended, traces the stories of women’s suffrage from the 1800s to the present — joins the Pulteney Street Podcast with President Joyce P. Jacobsen to reflect on 100 years of women’s suffrage, the struggle for voting rights and the role of public memory in American political history.


Free, who joined the faculty in 2003, teaches courses in American history, the Civil War and Reconstruction and women’s history. She is a scholar of American history, focusing on the interconnections between gender, race and politics in the 19th-century. Specifically, her work explores political language, identity formation and the way that gender and race are created and re-created in the public political world.

In 2015, she published the monograph Suffrage Reconstructed: Gender, Race and Voting Rights in the Civil War Era, the first book to consider how and why the 14th Amendment’s authors decided to include gender-specific language to the U.S. Constitution for the first time (re: defining “legitimate” voters as male).

Her podcast, Amended, was launched in 2020, offering insight into the diverse and complex history of women’s equality, tracing the stories of under-recognized women who, in addition to gender discrimination, fought injustice based on race, citizenship status and class in their quest for suffrage.

Free is a board member for Humanities New York (state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities), and a member of the American Historical Association and the Organization of American Historians. She received her Ph.D. and M.A. from Cornell University, another M.A. from Binghamton University and B.A. from Grinnell College.