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The 2020-21 Wellesley Deerfield Symposium

From Suffrage to Stonewall: The VIsual and Material Culture of Social Justice

Friday, April 23rd, 2021 and Saturday, April 24th, 2021

Free and Open to the Public. Registration Required for Zoom link.
Register via Google Forms (

The years 2019 and 2020 marked significant anniversaries for the history of social justice movements in the United States, commemorating the many reform campaigns that have taken place from the 19th century to the present. These campaigns sought political, social, economic, and cultural change and deployed visual and material culture to advance their goals. The 2020-21 Wellesley-Deerfield Symposium will focus on research related to the wide range of artistic expression generated by social justice movements, from painting, sculpture, public performance and installation to ephemera, costume, and craft.


The symposium is made possible by the generous support of the Barra Foundation.




The symposium is organized by Wellesley College and Historic Deerfield. For questions, please reach out to Martha McNamara, Director of the New England Arts and Architecture Program and Senior Lecturer in Art.  

Friday, April 23rd  

Visualizing Resistance 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm



Simone Drake, Professor, Dept. of African American Studies, Ohio State
     “Visualizing and Hearing Separatist Aesthetics in Contemporary Black Art & Music”

Martyna Majewska, PhD candidate, Art History, University of St. Andrews
     “Senga Nengudi and Maren Hassinger Performing on the Fringe of Feminism in Southern California”

Tamar Carroll, Associate Professor, History Department, Rochester Institute of Technology
     “Feminist Genealogies: From the Second Wave to ACT UP and Beyond”

Q&A to follow


Saturday, April 24th

The Materiality of Protest 9:00 am - 10:30 am



Mariah Gruner, PhD candidate, American & New England Studies, Boston University
     “Stitching Domestic Anti-Slavery: The Uses of Needlework in Women’s Anti-Slavery Activism”

Heather Munro Prescott, Professor, Central Connecticut State University
     “Fashioning the Women's Suffrage Movement”

Laura Prieto, Professor, History/Women’s and Gender Studies, Simmons University
     “‘Something Besides Money’: The Two Women’s Suffrage Exhibitions of 1915”

Emma Rothberg, PhD Candidate, History Department, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
     “Suffrage in the Streets: Women’s Suffrage Parades and Gendered Geography in New York City”

Q&A to follow


Break 10:30 am - 11:00 am  


Representing Women: The Visual Politics of Suffrage 11:00 am - 12:30 pm 



Allison Lange, Associate Professor, Dept. of History, Wentworth Institute
     “Visual Debates and the Women’s Suffrage Movement”

Elsie Heung, PhD, Art History, CUNY; Grants Administrator
     “White Slavery and the Power of the Vote”

Cori Field, Associate Professor, Dept. of Women, Gender & Sexuality, University of Virginia
     “Reconfiguring Old Women and Old Maids: The Visual Culture of Female Ageing in the US Women’s Rights Movement, 1870-1920”

Q&A and Final Wrap-up