03-10 Women Writing Women’s Lives (WWWL): Dorothy O. Helly Work-in-Progress Lecture


“Grace Harriet Macurdy (1866-1946): Pioneering Feminist Scholar”

By Barbara F. McManus

Monday, March 10

4:00 pm – 5:30 pm

Graduate Center, Room 9204

Free and open to the public


Grace Harriet Macurdy, Professor of Greek at Vassar College from 1893 to 1937, rose from a poverty-stricken childhood to become the first woman to win international recognition as a professional classicist and the first to focus her scholarship on ancient women. This presentation will explore the challenges of writing a biography of a woman who is relatively little known today but whose engrossing life story illuminates significant issues such as the opening of higher education to women, the erosion of gender and class barriers in the professions, the overcoming of disability, the delicate balancing act between personal and professional life required of women, the fissures and strains in female solidarity, and the sometimes vicious back-room battles among academics.

 Co-sponsors: The Leon Levy Center for Biography, CUNY Graduate Center’s PhD Programs in History and English, MA Program in Liberal Studies, Center for the Study of Women and Society, and Center for the Humanities

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