History Matters Celebrates 100 Years of Women’s Suffrage


Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

In honor of Women’s History Month, North Campus will host an interdisciplinary conference spotlighting the Nineteenth Amendment.

Women spent the better part of a century demanding the right to vote, and their struggle finally paid off on August 18, 1920, when the United States Congress ratified the Nineteenth Amendment legalizing female enfranchisement.

A century later, History Matters, an interdisciplinary conference hosted annually on the San Jacinto College North Campus, will spotlight the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage March 20 in honor of Women’s History Month.

North Campus History Professor John Gillespie founded History Matters in 2016 and said this year’s conference, titled Celebrating a Century of Women’s Suffrage, will focus on the amendment that granted all American women the right to vote.

“We want to draw attention to both the history of women’s suffrage,” he said, “and the scholarship surrounding the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment.

According to History Matters’ webpage, the goal of the conference is to bring together scholars from different fields to discuss historic topics. Gillespie said this year’s event is aimed at treating students, faculty, and employees to a “first-rate academic conference that features published historians on the subject of women’s history.”

Conference historians include Dr. Lisa Mundey from the University of Saint Thomas, Dr. Nancy Beck Young from the University of Houston, Dr. Tersea Van Hoy from St. Mary’s University, and from the South Campus, Dr. Abbie Grubb.

The Keynote speaker is Dr. Kimberly Hamlin from Miami University in Ohio. Hamlin authored the book “Free Thinker: Sex, Suffrage, and the Extraordinary Life of Helen Hamilton Gardener.”

Gillespie said gathering the distinguished group of scholars was easy; he simply reached out and asked them to attend.

“You’d be surprised how many academics are willing to volunteer their time and energy to events they believe are worthwhile,” he said.

Celebrating a Century of Women’s suffrage is the fifth conference organized by History Matters, which showcases a different topic each year.

Although Gillespie said another faculty member would take over the event in 2021, he hopes History Matters continues to provide “the same level of excellent professional development.”

“Prof. Pedigo will be chairing the event next year,” Gillespie added. “I can’t wait to see what ideas he comes up with.”

Celebrating a Century of Women’s Suffrage takes place from 8 a.m. until noon March 20 in the Grants Fine Arts Center (N1) of the North Campus. As of press time, the room assignment was unavailable.

**Update 3/20/20: San Jacinto College has suspended all on-campus events and activities until further notice.**