Category Archives: Contributions

Lois Weber, Hollywood Shero

Lois Weber was early Hollywood’s original shero.  In a career that spanned almost three decades at the beginning of moviemaking, Weber wrote and directed more than 40 features and over 100 shorts.  She was the first woman to direct a feature film in the US –The Merchant of Venice in 1914the first woman admitted to the Motion Picture Directors’ Association in 1916, and in 1917 she became the first woman to run a Hollywood studio.

In her time Weber was considered one of the three “great minds” in early film-making, alongside D.W. Griffith and Cecil B. DeMille. While her male peers have long been celebrated as the fathers of American cinema, Weber has been largely forgotten. Continue reading Lois Weber, Hollywood Shero

Margaret Morris, Pioneer of Movement

Margaret Morris was a prolific dancer, choreographer, artist and the founder of the international Margaret Morris Movement (MMM). Today, very few people know about the Margaret Morris Movement and fewer still are aware of who Margaret Morris was.  But in its hay day, the MMM was widely known, with a series of schools across the world. And during Margaret Morris’s lifetime, she was celebrated as a pioneer in the field of movement, dance and physical culture. Continue reading Margaret Morris, Pioneer of Movement

Freda White

For a short time in the sixties and early seventies I had two great female friends. I was in my twenties, Frances Gordon in her fifties and Freda White in her late seventies. I had recently graduated from Glasgow University and was accumulating educational qualifications; Frances had a degree from the LSE gained in the 1930s and was a linchpin in the political and cultural life of Edinburgh; Freda was among the first graduates from Somerville College, Oxford, an author, journalist, campaigner and lecturer of international renown. Continue reading Freda White

Jane Addams: Chicago’s Progressive Shero

Jane Addams was born in 1860–the daughter of a wealthy Illinois businessman. At the age of two, her mother died after falling on ice while pregnant. This left Jane empathetic to how fate could work against a person. Continue reading Jane Addams: Chicago’s Progressive Shero

Lucy Maud Montgomery

A precocious red-headed orphan from Prince Edward Island captured the world’s heart in 1908. Anne Shirley, otherwise known as Anne of Green Gables, has withstood the test of time and to this day remains a beloved literary heroine. What about the woman who made her? In many ways, Lucy Maud Montgomery has been overshadowed by her popular creation. Little is known about the story behind the story- the orphan raised by strict grandparents in rural Cavendish, fighting loneliness with the world inside her head. Lucy Maud Montgomery most certainly qualifies as a shero in her own right. Continue reading Lucy Maud Montgomery

Molly Murphy MacGregor

“All of our efforts are with the goal of making women’s lives visible, because invisibility is the number one form of bias.”

 

Interview with Molly Murphy MacGregor, Executive Director National Women’s History Project by Angie Klink. This interview first appeared in Ms Magazine on December 27, 2016.  

Molly Murphy MacGregor was a 26-year-old, California high school history teacher in 1972 when a male student asked her a question that would change the course of her life: “What is the Women’s Movement?” Continue reading Molly Murphy MacGregor

Freya Stark: a life of daring travel

Dame Freya Stark is legendary for her daring and unorthodox travel throughout the Middle East. She was an observant and prolific writer who became an accomplished cartographer mapping previously uncharted territory in the deserts of Southern Arabia in the 1930’s. Continue reading Freya Stark: a life of daring travel