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The Writers’ Room: Preserving women's histories

Collage of Elsie Robinson and Madam C.J. Walker.
Collage of Elsie Robinson and Madam C.J. Walker.

In his famed novel “1984,” George Orwell wrote, “Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.”

For most of modern history, patriarchal institutions have controlled the past, present, and future using the power of the pen.

For centuries, they minimized, destroyed, or altogether excluded women’s stories and contributions from the historical record.

The result: a dearth of varied historical narratives about influential and inspiring women.

In recent decades, the book landscape has seen more works about women, but data shows these works aren’t regarded with the same esteem as those about men.

How are women fighting back against historical erasure? We convene a panel of women authors specializing in women’s histories to talk about it.

Copyright 2023 WAMU 88.5

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Lauren Hamilton