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'The Civil War's Effect on Northern Women' - lunchtime talk, Mon. April 8th

Special Collections and University Archives is delighted to present a lunchtime talk, "'All My Past Life was a Myth': The Civil War's Effect on Northern Women" by Patricia Ann Palmieri of Queensborough Community College. The presentation will be held on Monday, April 8, 2013 from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. in the Remigio U. Pane Room on the first floor of the Archibald S. Alexander Library in New Brunswick.

Scholars have shed light on Northern women's activism in the Civil War. However, hardly any of these accounts mention New Jersey women. Dr. Palmieri's talk will add to this body of research. First she will consider social and demographic shifts such as feminism and purported sex and marital ratio imbalances that prompted fears of "surplus women." These cultural forces led to collegiate educations, pioneering career paths and personal transformations. Then focusing on New Jersey women--Cornelia Hancock and Arabella Griffith Barlow as well as others--she will illuminate their voices, accomplishments, and testimonials to them. This talk will interpret the "ministrations of mercy" by nurses and outstanding administrative and literary skills that were exhibited during the Civil War. Did these women reconfirm or alter conventional gender roles? And were they harbingers of Gilded Age and Progressive reform and professionalization? Dr. Palmieri will review what historians have concluded and provide her own assessment.

Patricia Palmieri received a B.A. from Hunter College and a doctorate from Harvard University. Her scholarship focuses on the higher education of women and single women in the United States during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Her dissertation was published as In Adamless Eden: The Community of Women Faculty at Wellesley (Yale University Press, 1995). Dr. Palmieri has held two endowed Chairs--one in Women's Studies at the University of Cincinnati, and one (the Laura C. Harris Endowed Professorship) at Dension University. She was also a research scholar at Rutgers in 2003-04 on the topic of single women at the Center for Historical Analysis. More recent appointments are Ithaca College, Cornell University, Teachers College/Columbia University, Adelphi University, St. Johns University, FIT/SUNY and Queensborough Community College.

Please bring your lunch. Light refreshments will be served.

This presentation is one of a series of programs highlighting the Special Collections and University Archives exhibition, Struggle Without End: New Jersey and the Civil War. For more information or assistance with parking, please contact Fernanda H. Perrone, exhibitions coordinator, at 848-932-6154 or

This exhibition and public programs are made possible by a grant from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations in these presentations do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or the New Jersey Council for the Humanities.

New Jersey Council for the Humanities
New Jersey Council for the Humanities

Posted March 19, 2013