True Women, New Women:
Women in New York City, 1890-1940

Welcome to the True Women, New Women in New York City Website. This site has been developed collaboratively by students in Professor Catherine Lavender's course, History and Women's Studies 386--Women in New York City, Fall Semester, 1998. Each student has taken individual responsibility for researching and writing about a woman whose life illustrates the struggles over women's roles in which women participated from 1890 to 1940.

During this period, the "True Woman" identity which many women embraced during the nineteenth century was challenged by women who called themselves (and were called) "New Women." In addition, many women--some new arrivals to New York City--challenged the validity of either identity as defining their own experiences as women. In the course from which the website developed, we read and discussed primary and secondary accounts of the lives of women radicals in Greenwich Village, immigrant women, Bowery Girls, working women, African-American intellectual women, Blues singers and songwriters, women artists, and many other kinds of women. From those readings, students have selected women whose lives interested them, and have each prepared a section of this website (including most of the html coding!). We hope you will find the information included here useful and interesting.

|| Notes on "True Womanhood" ||            || Notes on "New Womanhood" ||

Bessie Smith,
by Joan Hemsworth

Zora Neale Hurston,
by Grace Jack

Amelia Earhart,
by Richard Mugge

Margaret Sanger,
by Mary Ann Battaglia

Mary Ewing Outerbridge,
by Leonard Bromberg

Bella Abzug,
by Vicki Risley

Nellie Bly,
by Rosemary Gazzillo

Anna Shaw Curtis,
by Susan McAnanama

Josephine Shaw Lowell,
by Susan McAnanama

Charlotte Perkins Gilman,
by Jodi DiGrazia

Nellie Bly,
by David Ferrelli

Crystal Eastman,
by M.F. John-Baptiste

Nella Larsen,
by Priscilla Figueroa

Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney,
by Larissa Kosovych

Edith Bolling Wilson Galt,
by Delana Smith

Dorothy Parker,
by Yvonne Tu

Belle Moskowitz,
by John McHugh

Lucille Ball,
by Leila Gonzales

Clara Bow,
by Christopher Montalbano

Course Syllabus ||