Browse Exhibits (5 total)

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HIV/AIDS in the American South: Rhetoric and Experiences

This exhibit highlights the rhetoric and experiences of HIV/AIDs in the American South to demonstrate how marginalized populations strived to support public health in a time of crisis. The primary materials we have selected highlight the rhetoric and policy creation of a negative socio-cultural landscape that HIV-positive individuals faced in the United States during the 1980s and 1990’s. With powerful statistics and personal accounts, these collections highlight how marginalized communities were able to band together in the fight against AIDS as well as demonstrate the importance of community in times of crisis.

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Patterns of Feminism

What unifies feminists across their history in the U.S.? Is it merely their ties to feminism and its values… or is it something more? Spanning three centuries, Sarah Grimke, Melissa Hield, and Gloria Anzaldua are united through their responses to external social pressures to behave in a prescribed way. Moreover, to behave in a “ladylike” manner or “traditional” way that the historically misogynistic culture of the U.S. has bred. As an inhabitant of the 19th century, Grimke was expected to adhere to the social standards of the time, which required for women to be meek and confined to the domestic sphere. Yet, Grimke, as one of the first American feminists—lecturing others on her “bold” ideas of how abolition and gender equality go hand in hand. In a similar vein, Hield sought out the world of academia and challenged the male-dominated institution. The 70s typically expected women to continue to adhere to domesticity, but instead Hield set her sights on receiving a Ph.D.—something very untypical for a woman within this period. Anzaldua similarly responded to these external patriarchal pressures by questioning the concept of white feminism. Latina women such as Anzaldua were simply not treated the same in a white-majority movement, inducing Anzaldua to fight for her place. All three of these women were exerting their feminist identities in male-dominated spheres. They are all pioneers of their times and reveal that feminism possesses “patterns” that unify women together in more than just beliefs.

In honor of feminism, we chose a pale yellow as the color theme for this exhibit. This sunflower-esque color serves as a reminder of early suffragettes who actively fought to change the male-dominated landscape they lived in. The sunflower pin at the top right of our page actually belonged to Alice Paul, a prominent feminist who happened to join the National Woman’s Party.

After digging around in the archives in search of material over religious communities, Laurie ultimately found a piece of Grimke’s. This eventually led her to Anzaldua, whose works revolved around the very Catholic atmosphere of Latinx culture. On the other hand, I was in search for early feminist works and came across a book covering feminists within Hull House. Turns out this book was written by Melissa Hield, and I ended up requesting her box—finding myself enthralled by her personal journals and story. I hope you find this exhibit just as enthralling.

         

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Snapshots: Community Networks and Media Ephemerality

This exhibit includes an array ephemeral pieces, all of which give insight into how non-majority communities communicate both with themselves and with others via creative outlets. 

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Political Freedoms of Women

This exhibit explores first-wave feminism in the U.S. and England and second-wave feminism in the U.S. With a focus on activist strategies, this will examine the wider expansion of these movements, their portrayal in the media, and their modern impact. The progression of the feminist movement overtime contributes to our understanding of social movements and the media, and translates into how we view these in the modern day. The strategies of early women's movements, like parading, and ideas of women's rights reflected in these movements develop a foundation for the modern women's movement. 

  • Photographs from the Christina Livingston Broom collection are courtsey of the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin. 
  • Documents from the Austin Women's Suffrage Records are courtesy of the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin.
  • Documents from the Bonnie Huval Papers are courtesy of the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin.

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Reclaiming Sexualities: An Exploration of Marginalized Sexuality in the 20th Century

While our project as a whole focuses broadly on America's hidden histories, this exhibit is specifically dedicated to the histories of groups who have been oppressed because of their sexuality or sexual identity. Each of these collections interacts with the idea of reclaiming sexuality through revolutionary empowerment for these marginalized groups, with a particular focus on the experiences of women and queer people.

The colletions are expansive in topic and intersectional in nature. The Morris Ernst papers cover a 1929 court case concerning women's reproductive rights and explore the extensive history of legal figures using moralistic rhetoric to disenfranchise women in 20th century America. The documents that cover "The Great Lesbian Wars" examine class tensions and other issues within the Political Lesbian Movement and broader lesbian community of the transformative 1960s. Meanwhile, the Feminist Zines collection of the 1970s explores the progression of various "waves" of the feminist movement and examines both the strengths and problems of this controversial movement through a display of homemade alternative magazines. Finally, the Noticias collection delves into a narrative about a gay Hispanic community in Houston, Texas during the 1980s HIV/AIDS crisis. 

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