The Journal of Women’s History partners with the New Books Network to host a podcast profiling recent publications in women’s history. Our team of interviewers sit down for conversations with the authors of recent books in the field. If you are interested in participating in one of these conversations, please contact us directly at email@example.com
Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, The Age of Phillis (Wesleyan University Press 2020). $26.95. 200pp. ISBN 0819579491
Jennifer J. Davis (Co-Editor, Journal of Women’s History; Associate Professor of History, University of Oklahoma) speaks with Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, Professor of English at the University of Oklahoma, about The Age of Phillis (Wesleyan UP, 2020). Jeffers’s latest collection of poems centers on the remarkable life of America’s first poet of African descent, Phillis Wheatley Peters. The Society of Early Americanists recently selected The Age of Phillis as the subject for their Common Reading Initiative for 2021. Prof. Jeffers has published four additional volumes of poetry including The Glory Gets and The Gospel of Barbecue, and alongside fiction and critical essays. She lives in Norman, Oklahoma.
In The Age of Phillis, Jeffers draws on fifteen years of research in archives and locations across America, Europe and Africa to envision the world of Phillis Wheatley Peters: from the daily rhythms of her childhood in Senegambia, the trauma of her capture and transatlantic transport, to the icy port of Boston where she was enslaved and educated. In our conversation, Jeffers speaks to the origins of this project, reveals how she embarked on the research and writing process, and shares a few powerful poems from the volume.
JWH + NBN Episode 2: Honorée Fanonne Jeffers
Pamela S. Nadell, America’s Jewish Women: A History from Colonial Times to Today (New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Co, 2019). The paperback edition of Nadell’s award-winning book will be released this Spring 2020.
Ronnie Grinberg (Asst. Professor of History, University of Oklahoma) speaks with Pamela S. Nadell, the Patrick Clendenen Chair in Women’s and Gender History and director of Jewish studies at American University. Nadell’s books include America’s Jewish Women, winner of the Everett Family Foundation Book of the Year Award from the Jewish Book Council, and Women Who Would Be Rabbis, a National Jewish Book Award finalist. Prof. Nadell lives in North Bethesda, Maryland.
In America’s Jewish Women, Nadell surveys the varied experiences of Jewish women who made America their home. In elegant prose, she introduces readers to a cast of characters from the seventeenth century to the present day. Our interview provides a brief overview of the book’s arguments and archival research, before turning to important questions of how women’s history, Jewish history and American history might work together, as well as enduring tensions between these fields. Nadell and Grinberg also call attention to some distinctive features of Judaism in America, the social roots of Jewish women’s political activism, and reveal a shared passion for mah jong! Please enjoy this conversation between two colleagues with a deep admiration for each other’s work.
Ronnie Grinberg is Assistant Professor in the History Department and Schusterman Center for Judaic and Israel Studies at the University of Oklahoma. She is completing a manuscript on New York Jewish intellectuals in the twentieth century to be published with Princeton University Press.
JWH & NBN Episode 1: Pamela Nadell