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Library celebrates Women’s History Month with book picks, films, events

March 10, 2014

Do you know March is Women’s History Month?

In early 1980 President Carter declared by Presidential Proclamation  Women’s History Week as a way to highlight accomplishments made by American women. In 1987 Congress extended the week to a month. The National Women’s History Project assigns a theme for each year. 2014 will focus on celebrating women of character, courage, and commitment.

Let’s highlight the tenacity of inspiring women--authors, leaders, educators, activists--who push us to be better people. Staff at the Morse Library have compiled their personal picks of books and film centered on the stories of women.


  • Lauren Zuniga is an internationally touring poet and teaching artist. A three-time National Slam finalist and passionate activist, MoveOn.Org called her work, “the most riveting message.” Daily Kos called her “a voice that can change the game.” Born and raised in Oklahoma, she is the voice of Oklahoma City Community College's Now is Power campaign featured on television and radio. In 2012, she served as the Activist-In-Residence for the University of Oklahoma and was voted Best Local Author by the Oklahoma Gazette. She is the author of two poetry collections, The Nickel Tour and The Smell of Good Mud. Hear her speak on campus in the Java Joint on March 25 at 9 p.m.
  • Beloit College has had many pioneering women walk this campus. Hail to the Conquering Coed is a historical piece written by Liz Renner‘92 that details the decade after the college first started admitting female students in 1895. This publication and many more records documenting the history of women at the college can be found in the college archives. The library even has an entire database full of women authors - check it out!
  • At the Beloit Public Library, in celebration of National Women’s History Month, Beloit College Professor Diane Lichtenstein will present a program about Ethel Bird’s letters home. Miss Bird was a Beloit College student from 1901-1905, and the letters are detailed and entertaining. The event takes place on Thursday, March 27 from 6 p.m. - 7 p.m.

Staff picks for books and film to further inspire:

“Suspected of killing Vera Donovan, her wealthy employer, Dolores Claiborne tells police the story of her life, harkening back to her violent husband, disintegrating marriage, and the suspicious death of Joe Claiborne 30 years earlier.”

“With an extraordinary collection of details, Goodwin masterfully weaves together a striking number of storylines--Eleanor and Franklin's marriage and remarkable partnership, Eleanor's life as First Lady, and FDR's White House and its impact on America as well as on a world at

“An engaging portrait of an autistic young woman who became, through timely mentoring and sheer force of will, one of America's most remarkable success stories as a leader in the field of animal husbandry and the humane handling of cattle.”

"In 1790, Lavinia, a 7-year-old Irish orphan with no memory of her past, arrives on a tobacco plantation where she is put to work as an indentured servant with the kitchen house slaves. Though she becomes deeply bonded to her new family, Lavinia is also slowly accepted into the world of the big house, where the master is absent and the mistress battles opium addiction.”

“First published in 1983, this collection was an important addition to the steadily growing voice of the world's silenced people, especially women of color. As Gloria Anzaldua puts it in her foreword: ‘Haven't we always borne jugs of water, children, poverty? Why not learn to bear baskets of hope, love, self-nourishment and to step lightly?’”

“Originally published to wide critical acclaim in France, where it elicited comparisons to Art Spiegelman's Maus, Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi's wise, funny, and heartbreaking memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. In powerful black-and-white comic strip images, Satrapi tells the story of her life in Tehran from ages 6 to 14, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah's regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq.”

“The mesmerizing story of Hillary Clinton's political rebirth, based on eyewitness accounts from deep inside her inner circle. Hillary Clinton's surprising defeat in the 2008 Democratic primary brought her to the nadir of her political career, vanquished by a much younger opponent whose message of change and cutting-edge tech team ran circles around her stodgy campaign. The story of Hillary's phoenix-like rise is at the heart of HRC, a riveting political biography that journeys into the heart of "Hillaryland" to discover a brilliant strategist at work.”

“The highest-ranking woman in the history of U.S. government chronicles the story of her life, from her childhood as a Czechoslovakian refugee through her rise to power in the world of international diplomacy and policy-making, detailing her two terms as Secretary of State, her
personal life, and the colorful personalities she met along the way.”

“Living for Change is a sweeping account of the life of an untraditional radical from the end of the ‘30s, through the Cold War, the Civil Rights era, and the rise of Black Power, the Nation of Islam, and the Black Panthers to the present efforts to rebuild our urban communities. This fascinating autobiography traces the story of a woman who transcended class and racial boundaries to pursue her passionate belief in a better society.”