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Foreword

Foreword gayle gullett and susan e. gray Dear Readers, When historian Karen Blair approached us about the possibility of Frontiers producing a special issue on women’s clubs in the United States and around the globe, we were immediately interested. Studies of clubwomen—a fi eld launched with Anne Firor Scott’s book in 1970—served as a catalyst in trans- forming women’s history. Scholars who focused on clubs, a fi eld that grew rapidly in the last decades of the twentieth century, developed and docu- mented ideas that are commonplace today: women’s organizations can ac- quire power locally and nationally, use that power to alter the political land- scape, and thereby destabilize notions such as “women,” “race,” and “citizen.” Those of us who studied organized women turned our attention not simply to their engagement with specifi c reforms or certain political campaigns; rather, we began to see women waging, privately and publicly, a continuous struggle for power, which made all their goals seem political. The study of women’s clubs, a group previously disdained as frivolous—too feminine—to be the topic of serious scholarship, led scholars to expand their defi nitions of politics and to declare that the division between the private and public cannot http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies University of Nebraska Press

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Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2009 Frontiers Editorial Collective.
ISSN
1536-0334

Abstract

gayle gullett and susan e. gray Dear Readers, When historian Karen Blair approached us about the possibility of Frontiers producing a special issue on women’s clubs in the United States and around the globe, we were immediately interested. Studies of clubwomen—a fi eld launched with Anne Firor Scott’s book in 1970—served as a catalyst in trans- forming women’s history. Scholars who focused on clubs, a fi eld that grew rapidly in the last decades of the twentieth century, developed and docu- mented ideas that are commonplace today: women’s organizations can ac- quire power locally and nationally, use that power to alter the political land- scape, and thereby destabilize notions such as “women,” “race,” and “citizen.” Those of us who studied organized women turned our attention not simply to their engagement with specifi c reforms or certain political campaigns; rather, we began to see women waging, privately and publicly, a continuous struggle for power, which made all their goals seem political. The study of women’s clubs, a group previously disdained as frivolous—too feminine—to be the topic of serious scholarship, led scholars to expand their defi nitions of politics and to declare that the division between the private and public cannot

Journal

Frontiers: A Journal of Women StudiesUniversity of Nebraska Press

Published: Feb 4, 2010

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