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Women's History Month 2021

Women's History Month.pngWomen’s History Month is a national celebration of women’s contributions and achievements taking place all throughout March. The celebration coincides with International Women’s Day, a global celebration that takes place on March 8th annually. As part of the celebration GenCen is recognizing achievements in our community and sharing events and resources related to Women’s History Month. Check out our social media for more!

About Women’s History Month

Women’s History Month is a month-long celebration that is observed in the US, UK, and Australia in March and in October in Canada. Women’s History Month originates from various celebrations of women’s impact on society. Starting with the first International Women’s Day, which has taken place in some form since 1911, the popularity for a celebration of women really arose in the 1970s. It was local celebrations, most notably the “Women’s History Week” organized by the Education Task Force of Sonoma County, California in 1978, that created this popularity and led to its federal recognition. In the 1980s, activists began lobbying for federal recognition of a month-long celebration, which eventually came in 1987.

More information on Women’s History Month

Women’s History Milestones: A Timeline

Women's History Month (

Why is Women’s History Month in March? 

Highlighting Faculty Achievements in Women’s History

Marcie Ray, PhD

Marcie Ray is an Associate Professor of Musicology at Michigan State University. After years as a coloratura soprano, Ray now focuses her work on music history. Her research specifically looks at how music intersects with social identities such as race, ethnicity, religious identity, disability, gender, and sexuality.

Ray has published numerous articles and was recognized as a Lilly Teaching Fellow in 2014. Most recently, Ray has published a book entitled Coquettes, Wives, and Widows: Gender Politics in French Baroque Opera and Theater which looks specifically at how composers and dramatists of the time discredited independent women throughout their works. 

Juliet Guzzetta, PhD

Juliet Guzzetta is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English. Her research focuses on contemporary drama and performance study, specifically in Italian theater. She incorporates feminist theories such as performance studies and theory.

Guzzetta’s forthcoming book tentatively titled The Theater of Narration: From the Peripheries to the Main Stage of Italy is planned to be published by Northwestern University Press in August of 2021. This text takes more of a historical approach and incorporates her research into pre-contemporary drama and performance study, particularly the 20th century.

Linda Sayed, PhD

Linda Sayed is an Assistant Professor in James Madison College. Sayed is a social historian and scholar of the contemporary Middle East with a focus on  issues of sectarianism, citizenship, religion, and nationality as it relates to familial affairs and gender norms in the context of Lebanon.

Sayed’s most recent publication “Asserting Roots: Muhammad Jābir Āl Ṣafā‘ and the Writing of Shiʿi history during the French Mandate,” was published in The Muslim World in 2020. 

Helen Zoe Veit, PhD

Helen Zoe Veit is an Associate Professor in the Department of History. Veit’s research focuses on the history of food in the United States in the 19th and 20th centuries with interests in science and medicine as well as women and gender.

Veit is currently working on a book titled Picky: A History of American Children’s Food that looks at the history of children’s eat habitats to investigate the claim of children being naturally picky eaters. In addition, Veit published three journal articles in 2019 in the Journal of American History, Global Food History, and Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture.  

Susan Sleeper-Smith, PhD

Susan Sleeper-Smith is a Professor in the Department of History. Sleep-Smith’s research looks at Native American and Euro-American contact in the colonial and early national histories of North America. Her research looks at topics such as gender, religion, and borderlands.

Sleeper-Smith published Indigenous Prosperity and American Conquest: Indian Women of the Ohio River Valley, 1690-1792 in 2018 with the University of North Carolina Press.Sleeper-Smith recently released a new book, Violence and Indigneous Communities: Confronting the Past and Engaging the Present, published in February 2021 with Northwestern University Press.

Nwando Achebe, PhD

Nwando Achebe is a Jack and Margaret Sweet Endowed Professor of History, the Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and the Faculty Excellence Advocate for the College of Social Science. Achebe’s research focuses on 19th and 20th century oral history to study women, gender, and seuxality in Nigeria.

Achebe has published six books including Female Monarchs and Merchant Queens in Africa which was published in July 2020. Female Monarchs and Merchant Queens in Africa investigates elite females, female principles, and female spiritual entities across the African continent, from the ancient past to the present disrupting Western understandings. Her book has been praised by the Washington Post, was included in the Monkey Cage 7th Annual African Politics Summer Reading List, and nominated by the Wellness Feed as one of “7 Books to Celebrate & Learn About Black History.”


WHM Logo.jpgWomen's History Month at MSU

GenCen is part of a coalition of departments, centers, and groups across MSU's campus that have come together to create programming celebrating women and women's history. In our use of “women” we recognize that gender is complex. We are all more than just our gender - we are comprised of intersecting identities that are grounded in history and our lived experience that goes beyond the gender binary. We celebrate this month because of the past and present existence of systemic gender oppression that impacts women  as well as others who exist differently regarding the gender construct. View all of the affiliated events online and some highlights below.

Shortlisted: Women in the Shadows of the Supreme Court 

Online Event, hosted by the MSU WorkLife Office & Women's Networking Association
Date: March 17th, 3-4:30pm EST
Information & Registration Link

Women's History Month Keynote Speaker: Dominique Jackson

Online Event, hosted by MSU Women*s Student Services & LGBT Resource Center
Date: March 23rd, 6:00pm EST
Registration Link

LUNAFEST: Films by, for & about womxn

Online Event, hosted by MSU Women*s Student Services
Date: March 26th, 6:00 pm EST
Registration Link

International Women's Day Webinar Series: Gender, COVID-19, and Human Rights

Online Event, hosted by the University of Minnesta
Dates: March 2nd 12:00 pm CST, Thursday March 4th 12:00 pm CST, & Wednesday March 10th 9:00 am CST
Registration Link 

The Future is Bright: Celebrating Women’s History Month focusing on ‘women in the workplace’

Online Event, hosted by JDX Consulting
Date: March 3rd, 6:00-7:30 pm EST
Registration Link

Women’s History Month: The Collective PowHER of Women in Making History

Online Event, hosted by Women Wednesdays
Date: March 3rd, 1-2 pm EST
Registration Link

Writing Women Back into History: Profiles in Peace 

Online Event, hosted by Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security 
Date: March 5th, 10:00-11:15 am EST
Registration Link

Women's Day: Kitchen Table Talk with Meridians

Online Event, hosted by National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA)
Date: March 8th, 6:00-7:30 pm EST
$5 Registration Fee
Registration Link

Special Collections: Women's History Month

Online Event, hosted by MSU Libraries
Date: March 24th, 1:00 pm- 2:00 pm EST
Registration Link

The Role of Black Women in America

Online Event, hosted by I’RAISE Girls & Boys International
Date: March 27th, 7:00-8:00 pm EST
Registration Link


Women’s History Month Resources for K-12 Educators

Anti-Defamation League (ADL)
List of resources for educators to use when teaching about gender and women’s history in the classroom. Resources are labeled for intended age range: elementary, middle, and high school.

25 Must-Reads for Women’s History Month

Barnes & Noble
List of 25 books as recommended reading to celebrate Women’s History Month.

Guide to Being an Ally

Women of Color for Progress
List of guidelines and suggestions for people who are not women of color looming to get involved but can be read as a broader way to understand how to be an ally to a community you are not a part of.

We Must Rewrite Women's Role in History

Time Opinion Piece by Anita Sarkeesian and Laura Hudson
Article that outlines how men have been portrayed as the heart of historical change and erases women. The others hope that through reframing history we can empower women and create a lasting impact.

Selected Reading for Women's History Month

Oxford University 
Listing of Oxford University Press publications available for free for Women's History Month. 

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