Fannie Barrier Williams (1893-1918): 100 Years After Suffrage and the Legacies of Race, Gender, and Civic Voice
October 21, 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED (see below). Registrants will receive the Zoom link in an email one hour before the talk begins.
This talk spotlights Fannie Barrier Williams (1893-1918), a Western NY Progressive Era African American suffragist, writer, orator, and social justice reformer who worked with Susan B. Anthony, Ida B. Wells Barnett, and Frederick Douglass as examples. Williams was born in Brockport NY, and in 1870, was the first African American woman to graduate from the then Brockport Normal School, now The College at Brockport (SUNY). Fighting in an era fraught with racial discrimination, Williams became a major, nationally recognized figure on social justice, civil rights, and gender issues. Despite her extraordinary accomplishments, like being the first African American admitted to the prestigious Chicago’s Women’s Club, Williams is not a familiar name in US suffrage or women’s rights history. Placing Williams front and center in commemorating the centennial passage of the 19th amendment, this talk takes up questions on race, gender, and empire with a focus on the mythologizing of equality for all women as it intersects suffrage movements.
Dr. Barbara LeSavoy is Associate Professor in the Department of Women and Gender Studies at the College at Brockport (SUNY). She served as director then chair over a span of 12 consecutive years where she built a small program into its current department status. She teaches Feminist Theory; Global Perspectives on Women and Gender; Gender, Race, and Class; and Senior Seminar in Women and Gender Studies. Her research and publication areas include women’s global human rights, identity politics in literature and popular culture, and historical to contemporary perspectives on gender equality. Her most recent scholarship includes two forthcoming coauthored book chapters, Seneca Falls and legacies of women’s rights, and technologies of affect in memorializing Holocaust trauma. Dr. LeSavoy serves as lead faculty for a global classroom linking students at The College at Brockport with students at Veliky Novgorod State University in Russia, and she has taught a Women and Gender Studies Seminar for several summers at the NY-St. Petersburg Institute of Linguistics, Cognition, and Culture (NYI) in St. Petersburg, Russia. Among her many accolades, Dr. LeSavoy is the 2017 recipient of the Brockport Presidential Award for Teaching Excellence.