Making Democracy Work

Interviews On Suffrage Topics

The Influence of Literature on the Suffrage Movement

Mary Chapman, Associate Professor of American Literature at the University of British Columbia, discusses the powerful influence literature had on the woman's suffrage movement in the United States. Presented by the League of Women Voters of the Ann Arbor Area to celebrate "Liberty Awakes," an exhibit on local woman suffragists, this fascinating podcast offers an unique look at various ways the written word and other voiceless speech methods were used during and after the movement.

Happily, this podcast also coincides with the publication of Mary Chapman's ground-breaking book, Treacherous Texts: An Anthology of U.S. Suffrage Literature 1846-1946.


Liberty Awakes Exhibit Podcast


Part 1: Introduction. What inspired the Liberty Awakes Exhibit? What do the terms suffrage, suffragette, suffragist and anti-suffragist mean? What happened to the movement in Michigan in 1909 and nationally during the 1912 elections?

Part 2: What did women in Michigan do to get the 19th Amendment passed? What role did The Grange, an influential farmers' organization, play? What role did the University of Michigan and events at the university play in the movement?

Part 3: Beyond giving speeches, what methods did suffragists use to get the word out? What artifacts and photos are displayed at the exhibit? How did Prohibition affect the woman's suffrage movement in Michigan? Favorite parts of the exhibit?

Part 4: Questions from the audience, including: Voting rights for students and Native Americans. What country gave women the right to vote first? How close were the failed elections to succeeding in Michigan? What were the turnout rates for women once they

Suffrage and World War I

The League of Women Voters of the Ann Arbor Area presents this interesting exchange between Jeanine DeLay, Zoe Behnke and Wayne State University Women's Studies Professor Beverly Fish about the early woman's suffrage movement in Michigan, and finishes with a discussion about historians' differing views on the effect of American entry into World War I on the ultimate passage and ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment.

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"The Big Vote" - what happened after the vote was won

Jeanine DeLay and Zoe Behnke from the League of Women Voters of the Ann Arbor Area have a conversation with Professor Liette Gidlow about what happened in the immediate aftermath of the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, which conferred voting rights to women in the United States. Prof. Gidlow, an Associate Professor at Wayne State University, is the author of "The Big Vote," a fascinating history of the conflicting meanings and attitudes toward voting, citizenship and democracy during the decade after women won the vote.

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Washtenaw County Suffrage

League of Women Voters of the Ann Arbor Area President Zoe Behnke gives detailed insight into the woman's suffrage movement in Washtenaw County, Michigan. Zoe follows the movement from the 1910s through its passage while touching on myriad events, supporters, detractors that affected the movement in southeast Michigan.

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Michigan Suffrage

Virginia Caruso, historian and former professor at Nazareth College, discusses the Votes for Women campaign in Michigan in the early 20th century. Virginia wrote the first book on woman's suffrage in Michigan and shares her thoughts on how suffragists learned from defeat, redefined themselves and created modern political campaign techniques to win the right to vote. This is an engaging look at the many angles of woman's suffrage in Michigan.

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Suffrage Experiences Since the Early 20th Century

A fascinating podcast from League of Women Voters of the Ann Arbor Area (LWVAAA), Jeanine DeLay interviews Virginia Vandenbroek and Mary Lou Unterburger, who have been casting ballots since the 1930s. With assistance from LWVAAA President Zoe Behnke, they discuss their ideas about the history of woman's suffrage in the US; which president they voted for in their first elections; early 20th Century voting methods in Ann Arbor; voter fraud in Michigan and the rural U.S., then and now; opportunities and other positive side effects of voting; issues they and their mothers dealt with as voters in the early 20th Century; the past, present and future of the League of Women Voters.

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UM's Bentley Library and Source Documents for the Exhibit

Karen Jania, reference archivist at the University of Michigan's Bentley Library, discusses attaining, maintaining and exhibiting library collections. Karen tells us about what is contained in the library, and how we can all access this information. Of particular importance is her description of how the library's holdings grow by the donation of personal collections of historical documents.

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