Dana RubinJul 13, 2023
Speaking While Female
75 Extraordinary Speeches by American Women
From Dr. Painter restoring the words of Sojourner Truth’s original speech, to VP-candidate Kamala Harris enduring through repeated interruptions at her debate, to Katie Porter silently reading The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck at the Speaker of the House election—American women persist in speaking over their censors. While this takes courage, it is neither new or modern. American women have spoken in public spaces for hundreds of years, on myriad subjects, in venues of varying size, through a variety of methods. So why are their speeches consistently omitted from anthologies?
Today’s book is: Speaking While Female: 75 Extraordinary Speeches by American Women, by Dana Rubin. This anthology reexamines the American story as it unfolded through the centuries, revealing that in every time and place and at every critical juncture, women were speaking. Women from all backgrounds—some whose names you already know and others who will be introduced to you here—spoke in every corner of the land, and in a variety of ways. This volume offers a corrective to the story we have been told about whose ideas and which voices shaped the nation.
Today’s guest is: Dana Rubin, who is the author of Speaking While Female: 75 Extraordinary Speeches by American Women. She is the creator of the Speaking While Female Speech Bank,
Our host is: Dr. Christina Gessler, who holds a PhD in American history. She has served as content director and producer of the Academic Life since she launched it in 2020. The Academic Life is proud to be an academic partner of the New Books Network.
Listeners to this episode may also be interested in:
- Creating Black Americans: African American History and Its Meanings, 1619 to the Present, by Nell Irvin Painter
- Learn more about Emma Willard and the Willard School here
- This episode on reclaiming lost voices and recovering women’s history
- This episode on feminist communication strategies
- This episode on overcoming public-speaking anxieties
- This episode on underrepresentation in the archive
- This episode discussing the anniversary of the 19th amendment with two curators from the Smithsonian
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