Anastasia Curwood

On March 30, the Martha Swain Speaker Series welcomes Dr. Anastasia C. Curwood, professor of history and director of African American and Africana studies at the University of Kentucky, to campus to highlight the life and legacy of Shirley Chisholm—who made history as the first black woman elected to the US Congress (1968) and the first black candidate to seek a major party’s presidential nomination (1972)—for Women’s History Month 2023.

Curwood will discuss her new biography of Chisholm, Shirley Chisholm: Champion of Black Feminist Power Politics (2023), which “interweaves Chisholm’s public image, political commitments, and private experiences to create a definitive account of a consequential life. In doing so, Curwood suggests new truths for understanding the social movements of Chisholm’s time and the opportunities she forged for herself through multicultural, multigenerational, and cross-gender coalition building” (UNC Press). A book-signing will take place from 3-4 PM at Friendly City Books, and Curwood’s lecture will follow in Nissan Auditorium at 7 PM.

Shirley Chisholm book cover

Dr. Curwood’s scholarship focuses on the interface between private life and historical context for black Americans in the twentieth century. In particular, she studies the workings of gender in African Americans’ social, cultural/intellectual, and political history. Her first book explored marriages between middle-class African Americans in the era of the New Negro and the Great Depression.

The Swain Series brings a distinguished person to campus to speak every March as part of Women’s History Month and features issues important to women’s interests, lives, and experiences. The series was established to honor the career of Dr. Martha Swain, a women’s historian who published widely on women’s lives and politics in Mississippi, including the biography Lucy Somerville Howorth: New Deal Lawyer, Politician, and Feminist from the South and edited the two-volume set Mississippi Women: Their Histories, Their Lives.

MARCH 30, 2023

3-4 PM Book Signing at Friendly City Books
7-8 PM Lecture in Nissan Auditorium