Empire and Women’s Suffrage in the Americas

Lisa Materson
History
UC Davis

Judy Wu
Asian American Studies
UC Irvine


The year 2020 marks the centennial celebration for the passage of U.S. women’s suffrage. Long celebrated as a victory for “American women,” this attainment of the federal right to vote left mixed legacies, given the ongoing history of settler colonialism and differential gradations of citizenship based on gender, sexuality, race, immigration, and class. This multi-campus working group, the UC Consortium for the Study of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality History in the Americas (UC-WGSHA), analyzes the significance of women’s suffrage beyond the U.S. context to consider gender and citizenship across the Americas. Our work will, in turn, shape a rethinking of the 100th anniversary of women’ suffrage.

Through a year-long series on “Empire and Women’s Suffrage in the Americas,” the group will bring together faculty, students, and other interested participants to workshop research in progress, discuss pedagogical strategies, and intellectually reframe gendered concepts of citizenship. This collaboration will generate three outcomes: a collective syllabus on suffrage, a roundtable discussion to be published in Women and Social Movements that illuminates how local and transnational processes shaped the development and significance of women’s suffrage, and a special issue of Amerasia Journal on “Rethinking Citizenship: Gender, Transnationalism, Sovereignty, and Empire.”

Our consortium proposes to organize a year-long series on “Empire and Women’s Suffrage in the Americas” that brings together faculty, students, and other interested participants to workshop research in progress, discuss pedagogical strategies, and intellectually reframe gendered concepts of citizenship. The collaboration will generate three outcomes: a collective syllabus project on suffrage, a published roundtable in Women and Social Movements that illuminates how local and transnational processes shaped the development and significance of women’s suffrage, and a special issue of Amerasia Journal on “Rethinking Citizenship: Gender, Transnationalism, Sovereignty, and Empire.”