Welcome, from Three Feminist History Nerds!

19 Aug

A merry little trio are we, even though we now find ourselves scattered across three different states, at three different universities, in three different regions of the country.

Once upon a time, in a small MA program in California, our advisor and favorite women’s history professor Becky Kluchin suggested we form a writing group.  The sheer panic brought on by impending Ph.D. applications and thesis writing was all the motivation we needed to agree it was a sound idea, even if we didn’t know each other very well.  Fortunately, Becky is an excellent match-maker and we fell into easy, supportive friendships.  Completing our MA degrees would have been exponentially harder without one another.  More importantly, during that year together we developed relationships that are sustaining us throughout our academic careers (and our personal lives, too).

It is probably not the best idea to embark on a new project right now.  The breadth of commitments we have is already overwhelming.  In addition to the rigors of our history Ph.D. programs – courses, grading, teaching, language study, research, writing, prelims/exams/quals, conferences, panels, workshops – we also face a slew of other life responsibilities:  children, partners, cats, dogs, union organizating, feminist activism, and social lives that we try desparately to maintain.  Still, during one of our monthly phone chats, we agreed to add a blog to the mix.  We wanted a way to continue (and expand) the enriching conversations we began four years ago.

The title and blog Feminist History Nerds works in a few different ways.  First (and most obviously), this is a space to share feminist history.  Second, as Tom and Chelsea’s inaugural posts show, it is a place to consider what it means to be a feminist scholar and to do feminist work.  And finally, as graduate students, it is a place to work out the various curiosities, questions, and interests that arise as we go about our research and suss out our profession.  We are certain that with prelims afoot there will be no shortage of possible content (time, however, is another story).

Feminist History Nerds invites you to join us as active participants.  This project will work best for all of us if you contribute to the conversations we start and the questions we pose.  Comment, challenge, debate, share, and even join us as guest bloggers!  And of course ideas and opinions needn’t be related strictly to the work of an historian. We are at least as interested in how these ideas work outside the context of our research and university. It is a happy little feminist world we are creating here and we look forward to your company along the way.

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