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Introduction

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 December 2015

Alison M. Parker
Affiliation:
State University of New York
Carol Faulkner
Affiliation:
Syracuse University
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Summary

The chapters in this volume, collected for a conference held at the University of Rochester, see the interconnections between gender and race as fundamental to American identity and central to American history. Organized by Carol Faulkner, Alison Parker, and Victoria Wolcott, the conference celebrated the launch of a new book series at the University of Rochester Press called Gender and Race in American History. Building on decades of interdisciplinary research by feminist scholars and historians of African American women and gender, these chapters bridge the gap between well-developed theories of race, gender, and power and the practice of historical research. They reveal the interdependent construction of racial and gender identity in individuals' lived experiences in specific historical contexts, such as westward expansion, civil rights movements, or economic depression, as well as national and transnational debates over marriage, citizenship, and sexual mores. All of these chapters consider multiple aspects of identity, including sexuality, class, religion, and nationality, among others, but the volume emphasizes gender and race—the focus of our new book series—as principal bases of identity and locations of power and oppression in American history.

Previous historical scholarship on race, like the scholarship on gender, focused on the way American society has imbued perceived biological differences with social meaning, thus legitimating slavery, inequality, disfranchisement, and lynching. As historian Nell Irvin Painter plainly asserts, “Race is an idea, not a fact.”

Type
Chapter
Information
Interconnections
Gender and Race in American History
, pp. 1 - 14
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
Print publication year: 2012

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