The "Texas Women : A Celebration of History" exhibit : second-wave feminism, historical memory, and the birth of a "Texas women's history industry"

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Title: The "Texas Women : A Celebration of History" exhibit : second-wave feminism, historical memory, and the birth of a "Texas women's history industry"
Author: Abbott, Gretchen Voter
Abstract: Touring the state in the early 1980s , the “Texas Women : A Celebration of History” exhibit was the first attempt to create a comprehensive , public Texas women’s history narrative . Surprisingly , the exhibit was organized not by academics or museum professionals , but rather by the Texas Foundation for Women’s Resources—a nascent second -wave feminist non -profit organization composed of up -and -coming political activists such as Ann Richards , Sarah Weddington , Jane Hickie , and Martha Smiley . Through an analysis of the exhibit , as well as archival research and oral histories with many of the participants , this thesis explores the reasons that a feminist organization with finite resources would choose to focus on the production of women’s history as a tool of feminist activism . The “Texas Women” exhibit was a uniquely effective way for the members of the Texas Foundation for Women’s Resources to express their feminist values in a culturally palatable way and to create embodied moments of feminist consciousness for their audience . Furthermore , it paved the way for the organization’s future successful feminist projects , fed the production of Texas women’s history initiatives around the state , and served as a springboard that helped launch Ann Richards’ successful political career .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /2152 /ETD -UT -2010 -12 -2050
Date: 2011-02-16

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The "Texas Women : A Celebration of History" exhibit : second-wave feminism, historical memory, and the birth of a "Texas women's history industry". Master's thesis, University of Texas at Austin. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /2152 /ETD -UT -2010 -12 -2050 .

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