Monday February 13, 2006

Feminism in the Heartland

Former Daytonian Judith Ezekiel to discuss this topic during March 3 visit to UD.

As it celebrates Women's History Month in March, the University of Dayton will look close to home when it hosts Judith Ezekiel, former Daytonian and author of "Feminism in the Heartland," a history of the women's movement in Dayton.

Ezekiel, associate professor of American studies at the University of Toulouse-le-Mirail in France, will discuss the issues raised in her book at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, March 3, in the lobby of UD's Roesch Library, followed by a book signing. It is free and open to the public.

"Feminism in the Heartland," set in Dayton because it is often viewed as a "typical" American city, documents the women's liberation movement in the 1970s through the life stories of 60 activists. 

"By turning her attention to Dayton, Ohio, Judith Ezekiel demonstrates brilliantly how women envisioned a new, feminist world — how they responded to the many calls for liberation and self-determination in the 1960s and 1970s," wrote the Journal of Women's History. "By moving to the 'heartland,' Ezekiel illustrates that women identified their work for feminist change as 'liberation,' which provides new insight into the movement and feminism at large."

Howard Zinn, author of A People's History of the United States, also praised Ezekiel's work, saying she "writes with clarity and force."

"She is constantly aware of the way the problems of the whole American society impinge on the feminist movement, and on the women she is writing about: the problems of race and class, and the difficulties of bringing together different tendencies in the movement."

Ezekiel also is the author of articles on American and French feminism and is an associate editor of The European Journal of Women's Studies. She founded the Race and Gender Research Group and co-founded the French and the European Women's Studies associations and the Worldwide Organization of Women's Studies.

For media interviews, contact Sheila Hassell Hughes, director of UD's Women's Studies program, at (937) 229-4290.