Women in the twentieth century

American women’s lives changed in many crucial respects over the course of the twentieth century. In 1900, domesticity framed most women’s lives; few obtained education after the age of fourteen. Yet while almost all white women left the formal labor force after marriage, many African American women remained economically active throughout their adult lives. The […]

Religious demographics

No demographic over the past half-century is of greater symbolic conse­quence than the decline of the Protestant population. In i950, Protestants accounted for roughly two-thirds of the American population, but today that figure hovers at 50 percent. In July 2004, the National Opinion Re­search Center at the University of Chicago announced that “after more than […]

Queer America

In A Queer Mother for the Nation (2002), Licia Fiol-Matta looks critically at the political and literary career of Chilean Nobel laureate Gabriela Mistral. Fiol-Matta analyzes, in particular, the “queer” aspects of Mistral’s life: a series of affairs with women, a non-normative gender presentation perhaps best described as “female masculinity,” and a spectacularly non­reproductive maternal […]