Stanford historians receive national recognition for work on gender and women

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Stanford historians receive national recognition for work on gender and women

by Gender News staff on Tuesday, April 29, 2014 - 9:08am

March may be women's history month, but April was the month for women's historians. Three Stanford historians, all associated with the Clayman Institute, received national recognition for their work on women and gender.

On April 24, Londa Schiebinger, who is the John L. Hinds Professor of the History of Science, was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. On April 13, Estelle Freedman, the Edgar E. Robinson Professor in U.S. History, received the Darlene Clark Hine award from the Organization of American Historians. Freedman's recently-graduated Ph.D. student, Katherine Marino, received the OAH's Lerner-Scott Prize.

"The Clayman Institute salutes these scholars for their groundbreaking contributions to the history of gender," said Andrea Rees Davies, associate director of the Clayman Institute. "As an institution, we are proud to have supported work that has received such prestigious recognition at a national level," she added.

Londa Schiebinger was Director of the Clayman Institute from 2004 to 2010. She and Freedman are both former Clayman faculty research fellows, and Katherine Marino is a former graduate dissertation fellow.

Schiebinger elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Londa SchiebingerWith her election to the 2014 class of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AASS), Schiebinger joins one of the country's oldest and most prestigious honorary learned societies—and a supporter of scholarship, public discussion, and useful knowledge.

Schiebinger studies the history of women's participation in science, the structure of scientific institutions, and the gendering of human knowledge. She is a professor of the history of science and the Director of the EU/US Gendered Innovations Project. Gendered Innovations seeks to "fix the knowledge" around science and engineering, by urging scientists and policymakers to integrate gender analysis into research. The approach, Schiebinger explains, fundamentally changes the way we think about everything from urban planning to water policy to stem cell research

Among the AAAS's more than 4,600 members and 600 foreign fellows are some of the world's most accomplished leaders from academia, business, social policy, energy, global security, the humanities and the arts, including Nobel laureates and Pulitzer Prize winners.

Schiebinger, who is the first woman from Stanford's history department to be elected to the  academy, was also the first woman historian to receive the prestigious Alexander von Humboldt Research Prize in 1999. “Another glass ceiling shattered,” Schiebinger remarked. "Including scholars who think critically about gender can enhance collective social intelligence, especially the knowledge we produce in history and in science."

Freedman's latest book honored by Organization of American Historians, as is Marino's dissertation

Estelle Freedman and Katherine MarinoSchiebinger's colleague in the history department, Estelle Freedman, received the Darlene Clark Hine award for the best book in the history of African American women and gender from the Organization of American Historians (OAH). Founded in 1907, the OAH is the largest learned society and professional organization dedicated to the teaching and study of the American past. Freedman was doubly honored when her advisee, Katherine Marino (Ph.D. '13), received the OAH's Lerner-Scott prize for the best dissertation in U.S. women's history.

Freedman's book, Redefining Rape, traces the political history of rape during the eras of woman suffrage and racial segregation. During the period Freedman studies, most white Americans thought of rape as a crime perpetrated by black men against white women. Rapes by white men received less public attention, especially if they occurred against African-American women. By looking at which men were accused of rape—and which women held the political clout to do the accusing—Freedman weaves together the histories of gender, race, and citizenship.

The book has also received the Emily Toth Award from Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association for the best single work in women’s Issues in popular and American Culture, along with the Frances Richardson Keller-Sierra Prize from the Western Association of Women Historians for the best history book published by a member.

Marino's prize-winning dissertation traces the history of feminism, social movements, and human rights in the U.S. and Latin America. Freedman's influence was crucial for Marino, who is now an assistant professor at the Ohio State University.

"Estelle Freedman's historical approach to feminism, which embraces diverse types of activism and recognizes the intersectionality of gender, class, race, ethnicity, and nation, energized my interests in studying feminism when I came to graduate school," said Marino. "It was such a special honor to receive a prize from the OAH alongside Estelle."

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