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Women and Social Movements:
Modern Empires Since 1820
Selections from Document Clusters on
United States Empire
Women Medical Missionaries in China Interact with Chinese
Women Physicians, 1894-1991
Chinese women embraced and transform...
Anti-Imperialist Writings of Cuban Feminists, 1896-1985
This cluster offers documents and writings by a wide range of femi...
Filipino Women and American Empire, 1904-2004
These documents advance our understanding of the history of Filipino
women’s...
Korean Women in Hawai'i, 1916-1961
Between 1903 and 1924, 2,000 Korean women
immigrated to Hawai‘I, which was annexed by t...
African American and Black African Women Build Civil
Society in South Africa, 1920-1960
This document cluster focuses on t...
Native Women Oppose Colonialism in Guatemala, 1960-2016
Many Mayan women in rural Guatemala
considered it part of their co...
U.S. Women Aid Workers in Indochina, 1955 to 1970
Female aid workers played an important role in American
efforts to moder...
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Women and Social Movements: Modern Empires Since 1820 - Selections from Document Clusters on United States Empire

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This presentation offers documents on women and social movements in the United States from 1820 and beyond.

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Women and Social Movements: Modern Empires Since 1820 - Selections from Document Clusters on United States Empire

  1. 1. Women and Social Movements: Modern Empires Since 1820 Selections from Document Clusters on United States Empire
  2. 2. Women Medical Missionaries in China Interact with Chinese Women Physicians, 1894-1991 Chinese women embraced and transformed the introduction of Western medicine to China. During the late 19th and early twentieth century, when many Western nations colonized China economically, Western missionaries introduced aspects of Western medicine. American women missionaries were the most committed to the health of Chinese women and the only ones to educate Chinese women as physicians. This collection of documents allows scholars and students to evaluate this missionary intervention--to explore the motivations of American women physicians and nurses who brought Western medicine to Chinese women, and the response of Chinese women physicians and nurses who were educated in mission institutions. The collection ranges from the 1890s to the end of the 1940s, with later reminiscences into the 1990s. Both American and Chinese women medical professionals responded to the challenges to Western imperialism and to increasing demands for Chinese control of mission institutions from 1910 to 1940, and finally the end of the missionary enterprise in 1949. House of a Thousand Babies explores an American doctor's experience in China. 产科教育计划 杨崇瑞 [Educational Plan on Obstetrics] by Yang Chongrui, also known as Marian Yang, explains why she helped create a public school of obstetrics to combat high rates of maternal and infant mortality. Her proposal for the school includes a school building, a hospital for students' clinical work, faculty, staff organization, a funding plan, and school regulations. 2
  3. 3. Anti-Imperialist Writings of Cuban Feminists, 1896-1985 This cluster offers documents and writings by a wide range of feminists who held differing views of U.S. imperialism in Cuba (1898-1958), showing nationalist sentiments from both the left and right wings of the woman’s movement. The memoirs of women activists who confronted Cuba’s lack of sovereignty include that of Ofelia Domínguez Navarro, radical women’s rights advocate, and María Collado, elite suffragist and reformer. Ofelia Domínguez Navarro (1896-1977) belonged to feminist, nationalist, and communist revolutionary groups in Cuba between 1920 and 1977. A teacher, lawyer, firebrand, journalist, and activist for working class women, she was also one of the initial members of the Cuban Communist Party and a close friend of Julio Antonio Mella, its founder. She founded her own women’s and worker’s rights parties: the Unión Laborista de Mujeres (1930) and the Unión Radical de Mujeres (1931). The context of her activism can be seen through her participation in three national congresses on women’s rights, 1923, 1925, and 1939. She was imprisoned in the 1930s but her prominence in Cuban society led her to lead dictator and President Fulgencio Batista’s delegation to the United Nations in the 1950s. La Vida en las Prisiones Cubanas records Navarro's experience as a political prisoner during the brutal repression of President Gerardo Machado from 1925 to 1933. Since Machado destroyed imprisonment records, this and other writings constitute important public testimonies. To write the memoir Domínguez gathered notes of her fellow prisoners as well as her own records and consulted with them before she published the book in Mexico, where she was a political exile in 1937. 3
  4. 4. Filipino Women and American Empire, 1904-2004 These documents advance our understanding of the history of Filipino women’s activism in the movement for women’s voting rights and other social movements in a wide range of the Philippines during and after its occupation by the United States. We include documents from the National Federation of Women’s Clubs and from women’s clubs in such places as Pangasinan and Iloilo. Women’s club activities reveal the diverse ways that Filipino women engaged with the colonial state. In their speeches and essays, women supported movements for Philippine independence, urged the American governor general to support free public education, and worked with U.S. women on projects that supported the colonial state’s modernizing and civilizing projects. This book by Encarnacion Alzona, a pioneering Filipino historian, educator, suffragist, and first Filipino woman to obtain a PhD, traces the history of education in the Philippines from the sixteenth century to 1930, highlighting the education of women. The volume includes a Spanish and an English text. 4
  5. 5. Korean Women in Hawai'i, 1916-1961 Between 1903 and 1924, 2,000 Korean women immigrated to Hawai‘I, which was annexed by the United States in 1898. Many participated in Korean nationalist activities that supported Korean independence from Japanese colonial rule. To support the 1919 Independence Movement, Korean women in Hawaii formed the Korean Women’s Relief Society, through which they fundraised, lobbied and raised public awareness about Japan’s occupation of Korea. This document cluster includes official immigration documents and sources generated by the Korean Women’s Relief Society, such as by-laws, incorporation papers, financial ledgers, and notes. This inspection card and ticket issued to Susan Chun depict her travel aboard the Shin Maryu to Hawaii. 5
  6. 6. African American and Black African Women Build Civil Society in South Africa, 1920-1960 This document cluster focuses on the interactions of African American and Black South African women in advancing mutual aid associations in South Africa in the first four decades of the 20th century. Through groups like the Bantu Women’s League, the Bantu Youth League, and the Unity Home-Makers’ Club, Black South African women introduced self-help organizations modeled after African American women’s clubs. African American women supported these efforts. Together these women founded and led associations that improved the lives of Black South Africans prior to Apartheid, combatting, for example, an inferior and inadequate education system and restrictive labor laws. In a tumultuous political landscape they simultaneously challenged imperialism and beliefs about racial inferiority. While Susie Wiseman Yergan and Madie Hall Xuma, two African American wives who lived in South Africa (1922-1936 and 1940-1963, respectively) eschewed overt politics in favor of activism that steadily upheld African Americans as models of respectability, Black South African Christian converts Sibusisiwe “Violet” Makanya and Florence Thandiswa Makiwane Jabavu sought to instill pride in African customs and traditions. This divergence sparked debates and questions about how to best represent and serve Black South Africans in their path to modernity (and what modernity meant). Their activism pointed the way to women’s direct protests in South Africa and in the United States in the 1950s. 6 Umteteli Wa Bantu: The Mouthpiece of the Native People
  7. 7. Native Women Oppose Colonialism in Guatemala, 1960-2016 Many Mayan women in rural Guatemala considered it part of their community responsibilities to oppose American- financed, state repression of their culture. Original interviews with guerrilla combatants and organizers during the Guatemalan Civil War (1960-1996) explore the varied work by women in rural Mayan communities. Interviews discuss women’s activism during the conflict and in their promotion of community development after the war ended. Based on fieldwork in Chiché, El Quiché, Guatemala, 2002-2005, 2006, and 2015, the interviews were translated from Chiché into Spanish, and from Spanish into English. Here an interviewee discusses her family life during the Guatemalan civil war. 7
  8. 8. U.S. Women Aid Workers in Indochina, 1955 to 1970 Female aid workers played an important role in American efforts to modernize Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia and bring those countries into the U.S. orbit during the Cold War. What experiences did American women have in Indochina? How did U.S. development programs affect communities and especially women and children in the host countries? How did Vietnamese, Lao, and Cambodian people respond to the efforts of American aid workers? These sources come from the personal collections of some of the American women involved in development and aid projects and seek to address these and other important questions about American involvement in Indochina. 8

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