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Hanley, Sarah (1937-)



  • Existence: 1937-


Sarah Hanley, professor, historian, feminist and political activist, was born in 1937 near Boston, Massachusetts and married Henry Madden at age 21. Within four years, they had three kids. Until the late 1970s, Hanley was known as Sally Madden. She started her B.A. at the University of Pittsburgh at age 27 and moved to Cedar Rapids, Iowa with her family in the late 1960s. Hanley was one of the founding members of the Cedar Rapids Women's Caucus in 1971, which later became a chapter for the National Organization for Women (NOW). A chapter in Louise Noun's More Strong Minded Women provides details on Hanley's activism during the women's movement and her involvement in other civil and political issues. Hanley received her M.A. in history from the University of Iowa in 1970 and her Ph.D. in 1975. She made several research trips to Paris to study women's and legal history, including one for her dissertation in 1972. Hanley taught at Coe College in Cedar Rapids starting in 1969 and at the University of Iowa from 1977 to 2008, becoming a full, tenured professor in 1987. Hanley divorced Henry Madden in 1982-1983. She married University of Iowa American Studies professor Malcolm Rohrbough in 1986. She served as the Assistant Chair of the department from 1984 to 1985 and was Dean for Faculty of the College of Liberal Arts from 1987 to 1990, where she worked to get more women appointed as faculty and to ensure women went through a fair tenure process. As Dean, she also testified in the widely publicized Jean Jew sexual harassment case in 1990. Hanley also served as chair for the relatively new Women's Studies program from 1977-1980 and from 1982-1983. She became the first female history faculty to win the faculty scholar award in 1982. Hanley published several articles and book chapters including the monograph, The Lit de Justice of the Kings of France: COnstitutional Ideology in Legend, Ritual and Discourse (Princeton University Press, 1983.) . She was also active in many professional organizations and as a peer-reviewer for several scholarly journals. She worked to get equal rights and privileges for women in the academy until her retirement in 2008.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Sarah Hanley papers

Identifier: IWA0076

University of Iowa professor of history, feminist, and political activist.

Dates: 1900-2008