In the second half of the 18th century, motherhood came to be viewed as women’s most important social role, and the figure of the good mother was celebrated as a moral force in American society. In Maternal Bodies: Redefining Motherhood in Early America (University of North Carolina Press, 2018), Nora Doyle ’06, assistant professor of history at Salem College, shows that depictions of motherhood in American culture began to define the ideal mother by her emotional and spiritual roles rather than by her physical work as a mother. As a result of this new vision, lower-class women and nonwhite women came to be excluded from the identity of the good mother because American culture defined them in terms of their physical labor.
Artists & Scholars
Edited by Grant Faulkner ’87, Lynn Mundell, and Beret Olsen, Nothing Short Of: Selected Tales from 100 Word Story (Outpost 19, 2018) was spawned by the literary magazine Faulkner founded, 100wordstory.org. In these very short stories, every word, every detail, every moment matters. And the things left out, the spaces around the stories, are just as intense.
In The Woman Who Fought an Empire: Sarah Aaronsohn and Her Nili Spy Ring (Potomac Books/University of Nebraska Press, 2018), Gregory J. Wallance ’70 tells the true story of a bold young woman, the daughter of Romanian-born Jewish settlers in Palestine, who became the daring leader of a Middle East spy ring during World War I. Operating behind enemy lines, Aaronsohn and her spies furnished vital information to British Intelligence in Cairo about the Turkish military forces until she was caught and tortured by the Turks in the fall of 1917. The book rebukes the Hollywood stereotype of women spies as femme fatales and is at once an espionage thriller and a Joan of Arc tale.
“The road I’ve taken to poethood was definitely circuitous,” writes Stephanie L. Reisdorf Harper ’92. Her first poetry chapbook, This Being Done (Finishing Line Press, 2018), was released in June. “I was and always will be immensely grateful for the guidance I received as a student at Grinnell, which took its sweet time to bloom.”
Julia Fine ’10 credits the education she received as double major in psychology and English at Grinnell College for helping her finish What Should Be Wild (Harper Collins, 2018), her debut novel. In this modern fairy tale, Maisie Cothay was born with the power to kill or resurrect at her slightest touch and has spent her childhood sequestered in her family’s manor at the edge of a mysterious forest. Maisie’s father, an anthropologist who sees her as more experiment than daughter, has warned Maisie not to venture into the woods. But one day Maisie’s father disappears, and Maisie must venture beyond the walls of her carefully constructed life to find him.
In February, Annie Ewaskio ’04’s vibrant paintings were showcased at the Elijah Wheat Showroom in Brooklyn, N.Y. Her oil-and-cold-wax-on-canvas pieces were a part of an environmentally-themed winter show entitled Persistence of Future Memories.
Saints Rest, a musical drama co-written and directed by Noga Ashkenazi ’09, premiered at the 20th RiverRun International Film Festival in North Carolina in April.
A Flash of Insight and Other Poems (Nordic Moon Press, 2017) by David de Young ’86 is his first collection of poetry.