Iowa City Feminist Reunion 2017 records
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Scope and Contents
The Iowa City Feminists’ Reunion records date from 1971 to 2017 and measure 25 linear inches in five boxes. The records are arranged in four series: Reunion Events, Iowa City Feminists, Audiovisual, and Artifacts. The bulk of the collection is comprised of donations from women who attended the Iowa City Feminists’ Reunion.
The Reunion Events (2017) series includes materials produced by the attendees during the Iowa City Feminists’ Reunion along with a few promotional materials such as fliers and programs. This series also includes newspaper clippings about the events associated with the Reunion. There are also results of two activities designed to broaden historical knowledge about this period: a series of photographs printed out on paper that allowed women to identify who was in them, and a large sheet of paper that asked attendees who drew the Sojourner Truth artwork for the local feminist newspaper, Ain’t I a Woman?
The Iowa City Feminists series (1971-2017) is organized by donor. Several women donated small amounts of materials related to their activism during the Reunion. They span several themes and organizations from works published by the Iowa City Women’s Press to feminist articles about abortion and body positivity. It is split into 14 sub-series organized by donor’s last name.
The Lynne Adrian sub-series begins with correspondence about feminist Linda Yanney’s research and political activism as well as interviews with other feminists. It continues with a folder titled Feminism at the University of Iowa that includes early mission statements of a Women’s Studies program at the University of Iowa and WRAC events. The subseries also covers student activism at Iowa and elsewhere with copies of the Progressive Student News and several articles about anti-apartheid protests at the University of Iowa that led to student occupying Jessup Hall. Lynne Adrian also donated articles about abortion from the feminist perspective and a collection of feminist writings entitled “Fat Politics” aimed at recognizing and fighting against “fat oppression.”
The Ginny Blair sub-series is focused exclusively on the women’s only restaurant and private club Grace and Rubies. It includes by-laws and a series of newspaper articles about the restaurants clash with the city over whether or not its women only rule constituted discrimination.
The Michal Brody sub-series is comprised of several issues of Better Homes and Dykes, the newsletter of the Lesbian Alliance and a satirical magazine, Right Living. The Theresa Carbrey sub-series consists of one book: The Story of Itsy Bit by Anna Carbrey, that was published by the Iowa City Women’s Press in 1975. There are examples of Emma’s Periodical Rag, a newsletter produced by the Emma Goldman Clinic for Women in the Hamilton, Sharon sub-series. The Francie Hornstein sub-series is focused on the years when she attended the University of Iowa (then the State University of Iowa) and includes a memoir and several printed images of her life in the dorms.
The Phoebe Hunter sub-series houses several folders related the Plainswoman bookstore and includes photographs of events there, and a bill of sale when the bookstore changed hands. Her sub-series also includes a small amount of materials about Aplum Productions, a production company for woman musicians and several photographs related to Hunter’s involvement in the Women Against Racism Conference, the protest group Ladies Against Women, and a fictitious sorority for lesbians, Delta Psi Kappa.
The G. Kay Kendall sub-series consists entirely of photographs of women in drag for an unidentified production. The Linda McGuire sub-series also has only photographs. These are of McGuire’s friends and of gatherings at the Women’s Resource and Action Center. The Casey O'Connor sub-series comprises of only three documents including a tract written by an anonymous author about harassment lesbians experienced in Iowa City. The Jefri Palermo sub-series is made up of unlabeled photographs of women attending events in Iowa City during the 1980s.
The Joy Smith sub-series focuses on women’s health. It includes some material of the Emma Goldman Clinic for Women along with several publications about women’s health including and early edition of Our Bodies, Ourselves and a 1972 issue of Ms. Magazine that features the article Women Tell the Truth about their Abortions. This sub-series also includes two newsprint compilations of radical feminist articles entitled Notes from the Second Year: Women’s Liberation and Notes from the Third Year: Women’s Liberation.
The Tova Vitiello sub-series comprises of two short articles by Vitiello: “When You Become My Ally” and “Voices Among Us: LGBTQ Pride.” The Barb Wieser sub-series is made up of books and poetry published by the Iowa City Women’s Press.
The Audiovidual series (2008-2020) is comprised of several interviews and conversations with feminists about their activism. There are three interviews conducted by Joy Smith about the Emma Goldman Clinic in 2008 and several recordings done during the Iowa City Feminists’ Reunion in which women have conversations about topics like coming out and the Iowa City Women’s Press. Additionally , there is one interview with Barbara Wieser conducted as a part of the Minnesota Lesbian Community Organizing Oral History Project (MLCO). Digital files related to this interview include audio and video recordings along with a transcript. The full project will be available at the The Jean-Nickolaus Tretter Collection in Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Studies at the University of Minnesota.
The Artifacts (c. 1970s) series has several pins with feminist slogans and a softball cap worn by a member of the Blue Stockings women’s softball team.
- Creation: 1971-2020
Conditions Governing Access
The records are open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
Copyright held by the donor has been transferred to the University of Iowa.
However, copyright status for some collection materials may be unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owner. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility and potential liability based on copyright infringement for any use rests exclusively and solely with the user. Users must properly acknowledge the Iowa Women’s Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, as the source of the material. For further information, visit https://www.lib.uiowa.edu/sc/services/rights/
Biographical / Historical
During the women’s liberation movement of the 1970s and 1980s Iowa City, Iowa had a thriving feminist community. Women, some of whom were students at the University of Iowa, left their mark on the campus and in the community through founding organizations like the Women’s Resource and Action Center (WRAC), the Rape Victim Advocacy Program, and the Emma Goldman Health Clinic for Women. Additionally, women started local businesses like Grace and Rubies Restaurant, which catered only to women, the Plainswomen’s Bookstore, and the Iowa City Women’s Press, which reached women around the country.
In 2014, a group of women who had been a part of this activism decades earlier began planning the Iowa City Feminist Reunion, aiming to give the women who were feminist activists in Iowa City from 1965-1986 the chance to tell their stories and have them preserved. The event was planned for 2017 and included partnership with the Iowa Women’s Archives, the UI Libraries, the Women’s Resource and Action Center, and the University of Iowa School of Social Work.
The Reunion took place over three days and included both academic and social events. There were several panels on women’s activism in Iowa City and the library opened a recording studio for women to tell their stories on camera. The women also hosted a catered dinner with live performances from attendees and organized a softball game for women who had played as part of a women’s league decades before. Overall, around 100 people attended the Reunion.
2.00 Linear Feet
3 audiocassettes [AC1906 – AC1908] located in audiocassette collection. 4 flash drives [fd0001 – fd0004] shelved Box 4 items
Language of Materials
An event held at the Iowa Women’s Archives in 2017 celebrating the achievements of Iowa City feminists from 1965-1985 and collecting their history.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The records (donor no. 1530 and others) were donated by several donors in 2017.
- Emma Goldman Clinic (Organization)
- University of Iowa. Women's Resource and Action Center (Organization)
- Rape Victim Advocacy Program (Iowa City, Iowa) (Organization)
- Iowa City Feminist Reunion 2017 records
- Anna Tunnicliff
- Language of description
- Script of description