RegisterSearchFAQMemberlistUsergroupsLog in
The Place of History in WILPF's Organizational Life

 
Reply to topic    WILPF Book Readings Forum Index » Most Dangerous Women: Bringing History to Life through Readers' Theater, View previous topic
View next topic

The Place of History in WILPF's Organizational Life
Author Message
Laura Roskos



Joined: 10 Oct 2006
Posts: 4
Location: Cambridge, MA

Post The Place of History in WILPF's Organizational Life Reply with quote
I don’t want to be known as someone who tells tales out of schools so I will spare you the juicy details, but . . . during the recent meeting of the US WILPF board, WILPF history was invoked at least four times by three different speakers. Such invocations are a discursive resource that invariably enhances the speakers’ authority. The question is: is this a good or a bad thing for WILPF? On the negative side, because WILPF’s membership demographic tends toward elder rather than younger, WILPF’s insistence on using its history can sometimes be conflated with our aging bodies giving the impression that we are actually, in real time, older than we are. Sometimes, it’s not all that good if people think that because you are representing the oldest women’s peace organization you are also the oldest person in the room. On the other hand, because WILPF’s history is so well documented and so accessible (Mary Day reports that the report from the 1915 congress at the Hague sits in her office and, in addition to some of the better known books like Women for All Seasons and Harriet Alonso’s Peace as a Women’s Issue, there have been something like 200 dissertations written on WILPF’s history) , it is a resource that can be easily mobilized by the young, if they are willing to do the research. I remember that my personal “clout” vis-à-vis much older branch members went way up once I finished my dissertation and word got out that included pieces of WILPF history. And, I appreciated that immensely because as a mere 39 year old at the time, I could think of no other way of leveling the playing field even a little bit. What historical texts have you turned to to learn more about WILPF’s past? How have you made use of the history you’ve learned? History is all about creating what Ruth Hubbard calls a “usable past.” How have your forays helped you in creating a past for yourself that is politically and personally empowering?
---Laura R., Cambridge, MA
Fri Apr 20, 2007 10:39 pm View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:    

Reply to topic    WILPF Book Readings Forum Index » Most Dangerous Women: Bringing History to Life through Readers' Theater, All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to: 
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group
Design by Freestyle XL / Flowers Online.