A Select Reading List for Women’s History Month

In observance of Women’s History Month, Penn Press has assembled a reading list commemorating and encouraging the study, observance, and celebration of the vital role of women in American history. For more information on Women’s History Month, as well as a schedule of related events, visit the Women’s History Month website hosted by the Library of Congress.


Wicked FleshWicked Flesh: Black Women, Intimacy, and Freedom in the Atlantic World
Jessica Marie Johnson
Unearthing personal stories from the archive, Wicked Flesh shows how black women, from Senegambia in West Africa to the Caribbean to New Orleans, used intimacy and kinship to redefine freedom in the eighteenth-century Atlantic world.

The Sound the Stars Make Rushing Through the SkyThe Sound the Stars Make Rushing Through the Sky: The Writings of Jane Johnston Schoolcraft
Jane Johnston Schoolcraft
Edited by Robert Dale Parker
Introducing a dramatic new chapter to American literary history, this book brings to the public for the first time the complete writings of the first known American Indian literary writer, Jane Johnston Schoolcraft (1800–1842).

Her Neighbor's WifeHer Neighbor's Wife: A History of Lesbian Desire Within Marriage
Lauren Jae Gutterman
Through interviews, diaries, memoirs, and letters, Her Neighbor’s Wife explores the personal experiences and public perceptions of women who struggled to balance marriage and same-sex desire in the postwar United States.

Lucretia Mott’s HeresyLucretia Mott’s Heresy: Abolition and Women’s Rights in Nineteenth-Century America
Carol Faulkner
This biography, the first in thirty years, focuses on Lucretia Mott’s long and controversial public career as an abolitionist, women’s rights activist, and Quaker minister.

The Philadelphia NegroStrange Bedfellows: Marriage in the Age of Women’s Liberation
Alison Lefkovitz
Strange Bedfellows recounts the unlikely ways in which the efforts of feminists and divorced men’s activists dovetailed with the activity of lawmakers, judges, welfare activists, immigrant spouses, the LGBTQ community, the Reagan coalition, and other Americans, to redefine family and marriage.

Remaking the RepublicSet the World on Fire: Black Nationalist Women and the Global Struggle for Freedom
Keisha N. Blain
Set the World on Fire highlights the black nationalist women who fought for national and transnational black liberation from the early to mid-twentieth century.

A Brotherhood of LibertyPan American Women: U.S. Internationalists and Revolutionary Mexico
Megan Threlkeld
Pan American Women examines U.S. women activists’ attempts to advance inter-American cooperation among women and further hemispheric peace between the World Wars.

Early African American Print CultureWomen at the Wheel: A Century of Buying, Driving, and Fixing Cars
Katherine J. Parkin
Women at the Wheel explores women’s historical experience with automobiles. Katherine Parkin argues that in every regard, from learning to drive to repairing cars, from being a passenger to taking the wheel, women had a distinct experience with cars in American culture.

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