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15th Annual Women's History Month Conference
Activism and Scholarship: A Conference Honoring Amy Swerdlow
March 1-2, 2013
Free and Open to the Public
Featuring: The keynote Address by Women’s Historian Alice Kessler-Harris, distinguished professor at Columbia University and Author of A Difficult Woman The Challenging Life and Times of Lillian Hellman
Round table discussion about the life and work of Amy Swerdlow and Gerda Lerner moderated by Blanche Wiesen Cook, author of The Biography of Eleanor Roosevelt Volumes 1 and 2.
In addition to honoring Amy Swerdlow, we will begin our tribute to one of the co-founders of the women's history graduate program, venerable women's historian, Gerda Lerner.
Amy Swerdlow (1923-2012), graduate and former director of the women’s history graduate program at Sarah Lawrence College was a scholar, activist, teacher, mentor and mother. She was a founding member and a significant force in Women Strike for Peace, a grassroots movement that greatly influenced the end of above ground nuclear weapons testing, especially emphasizing the effect this had on children’s health. The organization went on to protest the Vietnam War. Amy Swerdlow sat on the national board of the antiwar group known as Clergy and Laity Concerned, chaired the steering committees of two antiwar coalitions of women’s groups, the Jeannette Rankin Brigade and the Women’s Emergency Coalition, and was a member of the New York State coordinating council of the National Women’s Political Caucus. Amy Swerdlow was the quintessential activist scholar.
The Fifteenth Annual Women’s History Conference at Sarah Lawrence College honors Amy Swerdow’s life and work as a committed and indomitable activist/scholar by making issues of peace and justice its central theme.
We still face unending war, economic injustice, potential environmental catastrophe, militarism, institutionalized racism, hunger, homophobia and sexism among other issues. By taking a multi-disciplinary approach, we will explore issues of global peace and justice from a variety of perspectives. We seek to understand the ways in which activists have organized around these issues now and in the past and ask the following questions: What are the issues activists have faced in the past and how might we learn from previous movements? How do current issues intersect and interact and how can activists combine forces to confront these problems and work for social change? With the spirit of Amy Swerdlow as our legacy, can we find the energy and focus to move forward together?
For more information contact:
Tara Elise James