Ohio University

Ohio University Libraries’ Authors @Alden presents Sara Egge and Women’s Right to Vote

Published: February 12, 2020 Author: Staff reports


Dr. Sara Egge of Centre College will visit Ohio University on Wednesday, Feb. 19, and give a talk on the fourth floor of Alden Library from 3 to 4:30 p.m. about her latest book, “Woman Suffrage and Citizenship in the Midwest, 1870-1920” as part of the Authors @Alden series.

The event is part of the celebration surrounding the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which extended the right to vote to all U.S. citizens, regardless of their gender. The celebration will include a variety of events throughout the spring semester.

“Two of our biggest events for this year celebrating women’s suffrage are the Authors@Alden with Dr. Sara Egge and the special collections exhibit on the fourth floor of Alden: ‘Women Pioneers: Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Women's Suffrage,’” Miriam Intrator, special collections librarian said.

Egge will speak with Dr. Katherine Jellison, professor and chair of the history department at OHIO. Jellison, who has written several books on women and gender herself, said she’s interested in talking with Egge about her research process, women’s suffrage in the Midwest and the lessons that people can take from the activism within the suffrage movement.

As women in the Midwest tried to gain support for the right to vote, they used some tactics that would be considered ethically questionable by today’s standards. At the time of the suffrage movement, the Midwest was home to a great number of immigrants, many of whom had the right to vote before they gained citizenship. Egge pointed out that nativism drove the conversation about suffrage with many people in rural midwestern communities who didn’t like the fact that male immigrants could vote before native-born women could.

“There’s this broader conversation about rights and citizenship that might interest anybody,” Egge said. “There’s also a lot of conversations today surrounding the topics of immigrants, women’s rights, gender, identity and the guarantees of the Constitution, so I think anyone who is interested in those things will find this talk to be quite compelling.”

Egge said that the talk will appeal to anyone who is interested in political science, law, history, social justice, women’s rights and anyone who is open to thinking more critically about the Constitution and the rights that it claims to protect.

Intrator hopes that the information and events that the Libraries is providing encourages students to reflect on the idea of civic duty and what our individual rights and responsibilities are against the backdrop of the 100th anniversary of the suffragists’ success, while engaging with the Libraries at the same time.

“We want to offer students opportunities for learning and engaging that are different from their day-to-day class and University experience,” Intrator said. “We want to introduce them to original materials, to a broad range of ideas, perspectives and experiences, and to conversations that are happening across campus, in the community and beyond.”