On September 14, the Department of History celebrated the publication of two new monographs by members of our faculty, Dr. Holly Grout and Dr. Sharony Green.
Dr. Kari Frederickson, the Chair of the Department of History commended Drs. Grout and Green for navigating successfully through the painstaking and involved process of publishing one’s first book.
Dr. James Mixson then introduced Dr. Grout’s book, The Force of Beauty: Transforming French Ideas of Feminity in the Third Republic (Louisiana State University Press, 2015). Dr. Mixson noted that the book, which examines the beauty industry in France from the late nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century, demonstrates that beauty culture was not merely about subjugating women and forcing conformity to gender norms, but also empowered French women, allowing them to use beauty products and processes to navigate and create their own femininities.
Dr. Trudier Harris of the Department of English discussed Dr. Green’s book, Remember Me to Miss Louisa: Hidden Black-White Intimacies in Antebellum America (Northern Illinois University Press, 2015). The book explores the complexities of interracial relationships in the antebellum era, focusing particularly on relationships between enslaved “mistresses” and white men. Green argues that these women were at times able to utilize their connections with white men to navigate the challenges of antebellum life. Dr. Harris noted that in focusing on sources written by enslaved women, Dr. Green’s work provides a crucial glimpse into a facet of antebellum slavery that is often difficult or impossible to access.
Congratulations to Drs. Green and Grout on their impressive achievement!