Women of America's Right and Far Right | Newberry

Women of America's Right and Far Right

Friday, January 23, 2015

3-5 pm


Panelists: Emily Johnson, Yale University; Kathleen Belew, Northwestern University
Center for American History and Culture Programs
Gender and Sexuality Seminar

“A Woman’s Place: Conservative Christian Women’s National Political Leadership.”
Emily Johnson, Yale University

Many conservative Christians are staunchly anti-feminist, and they are often labeled “anti-woman.” But women have been a driving force in the modern Religious Right since its emergence in the late 1970s, both as grassroots supporters and as national leaders. This paper will examine the careers of three nationally prominent conservative women - Phyllis Schlafly, Anita Bryant, and Beverly LaHaye - in order to understand how conservative Christian women have negotiated their authority in a movement premised on an ideology of traditional gender and family roles.

“The Mothers of Future Aryan Warriors: Race Women in the White Power Movement, 1979-1995”
Kathleen Belew, Northwestern University

The white power movement was a national coalition of Klan, neo-Nazi, tax resistance, Christian Identity, and other white supremacist and white separatist groups that united in 1979, and whose activism culminated in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. This article seeks to frame white power as a coherent social movement, concentrating on the real and imagined place of women within its groundswell. I use Hazel Carby’s idea of black “race men” as seen through the social and cultural production of black masculinity to interpret the archive of cultural materials produced by and centering on women in the white power fringe. Three archetypes of ideal race women–survivalist housewives, Aryan warriors, and skinhead fighters–centered on the birth of white children. I examine both the cultural production of these figures and the lived experiences of women within the white power movement.

Commentator: Michelle Nickerson, Loyola University Chicago

Cost and Registration Information 

Scholl Center Seminar papers are pre-circulated electronically.  For a copy of the paper, email the Scholl Center at scholl@newberry.org.  Please do not request a paper unless you plan to attend.