Information for students, faculty, staff, and visitors.

Penn State Coronavirus Updates

World in View: Liberté, Égalité, Sororité: A Long History of Women's Rights Conversations between the US France & the Francophone World

  • Wednesday, November 2, 2022
  • 12:00 PM- 1:30 PM
  • Zoom link will be provided

A World in View discussion led by Dr. Cathleen Cahill (Penn State) and Dr. Hélène Quanquin (Université de Lille, France)

The United States and France have long had a relationship based on shared ideals of liberty. Thinkers and activists in each country have been influenced by those in the other, but scholars have tended to focus mostly on men's exchanges. In this conversation, Dr. Cahill and Dr. Quanquin explore how women in the United States and France, as well as the Francophone world more broadly, have engaged in networks of discussion and debate around women's rights from the eighteenth into the twenty-first centuries. While centered on their expertise on voting rights, they will also discuss how those rights in both countries have been intertwined with race, ethnicity, and the legacies of racism and colonialism. They will also investigate the different sites- international conventions, the press, correspondences - of these exchanges throughout history. The conversation will reveal how women in these countries have drawn inspiration and strategy from each other while demanding that their nation live up to its founding ideals. It will also address how the paths of women's rights have diverged and differed leading to the concerns of the present. In revealing the long history of collaboration and inspiration, we hope this conversation inspires the next generation of activists in both countries.

Dr. Cahill and Dr. Quanquin, scholars of women and voting rights began collaborating during the US centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment (1920-2020). This conversation for World in View will build on those discussions and extend them beyond voting rights to explore a range of women's activism and international conversations. Please complete the following short readings before the discussion:

Faculty Presenters

Dr. Cathleen D. Cahill, an associate professor of History at Penn State University and the Honors Advisor for the History Department.  She is a social historian who explores the everyday experiences of ordinary people, primarily women. She focuses on women’s working and political lives, asking how identities such as race, nationality, class, and age have shaped them. She is also interested in the connections generated by women’s movements for work, play, and politics, and how mapping those movements reveal women in surprising and unexpected places. Dr. Cahill's most recent book is Recasting the Vote: How Women of Color Transformed the Suffrage Movement (University of North Carolina Press 2020). Her first book, Federal Fathers and Mothers: A Social History of the United States Indian Service, 1869-1933 (UNC 2011), won the Labriola Center for American Indian National Book Award and was finalist for the David J. Weber and Bill Clements Book Prize. She is also steering committee chair for the Coalition for Western Women's History. 

Dr. Hélène Quanquin is Professor of American Studies at the University of Lille in France, where she teaches the history of U.S. feminisms, 19th-century reform movements, and the history of marriage in the United States. In her most recent book, Men in the American Women’s Rights Movement, 1830-1890: Cumbersome Allies (Routledge, 2020), she examines the role of male feminist allies, including Wendell Phillips, and their marriages in the production of feminist ideas in the 19th century. She was visiting professor at Brown University and the University of Texas at Austin.

Please note: Registration for events in this series is required and, given the topics and speakers, we anticipate interest to be high. Early registration is strongly encouraged. To enhance your online engagement experience, video presence is strongly encouraged and recommended. Scholar attendees will receive a complimentary electronic gift card.

Event Contact

Sarah Lyall-Combs
Schreyer Scholar Lisa Gardner

I chose Schreyer because I wanted access to world-class educational opportunities and international experiences, but I also wanted to be a part of a smaller community. Schreyer has served as my home base as I have navigated all the amazing things that Penn State has to offer.

Lisa Gardner '19 Mechanical Engineering

Get Involved Upcoming Events

View All Events