Debating Women: Gender, Education, and Spaces for Argument, 1835-1945
Carly S. Woods
Michigan State University Press
In Debating Women, Woods begins by describing how women created spaces for debate when they were excluded from university debating clubs. Despite various obstacles, women transformed forests, parlors, dining rooms, ocean liners, classrooms, auditoriums, and prisons into vibrant spaces for ritual argument. From these nascent debate clubs to intercollegiate competitions, these debaters engaged with the issues of the day, often performing, questioning, and occasionally refining norms of gender, race, class, and nation. In tracing their involvement in an activity at the heart of civic culture, Woods demonstrates that debating women have much to teach us about the ongoing potential for debate to move arguments, ideas, and people to new spaces.
This book is the winner of the 2019 James A. Winans-Herbert A. Wichelns Memorial Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Rhetoric and Public Address.
Woods is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication and affiliate faculty in the Department of Women's Studies at the University of Maryland.