New Critical Studies on Quaker Women, 1650-1800 Project

The corpus of Quaker women’s history and literature offers one of the most fascinating studies of gender across all centuries and continents. This small group of women pioneers, activists, prophets and writers has often been at the grassroots of revolutionary movements, fuelling and propelling the way for global, monumental change. Yet, there is very little in Quaker historiography that specifically highlights or features the gathered influence of these women. While only a few scholars have analysed early Quaker women’s contributions as spiritual foremothers and visionary leaders (Christine Trevett’s Women and Quakerism, 1991; Phyllis Mack’s Visionary Women, 1992; Rebecca Larson’s Daughters of Light, 1999; and Catie Gill’s Women in the Seventeenth-Century Quaker Community, 2005), there has not been a twenty-first-century compilation of new critical studies on Quaker women. With a central focus on gender, this project seeks to assemble an interdisciplinary body of writers with a shared interest in reassessing early Quaker women, highlighting new discoveries and interpretations about their literary creation, historical landmarks, and transatlantic movements.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  •  Women and the origins of Quakerism (the influence of the earliest women Friends)
  •  Feminization of early Quaker religious practices
  •  Women’s socio-political positions within Quaker theology and culture
  •  Women’s Meetings (as a site of power, autonomy, change)
  •  Women and Quaker print culture (vs. the censorship of Second Day Morning Meeting)
  •  Manuscript Culture
  •  The limited placement of women in early Quaker historiography
  • Women on the margins of Quakerism
  • Women and the slave trade
  • Martyrology and gender
  • Women and Language
  • Women and Prophetic Performance
  • Religio-political writings by women, Autobiography and “convincement”
  • Dissent and identity studies
  • Women, leadership, and networking
  • Lesser known Quaker women (e.g. Elizabeth Hooten, Martha Simmonds, Mary Fisher, etc.)
  • Women Friends’ influence on other religious sects and communities

Please submit proposals of approximately 500 words, along with a curriculum vita, to: Michele Lise Tarter and Catie Gill by 25 October 2015. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact them.

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