How to Write a Book About Your Mother

Felicia Kornbluh, LAPA Fellow; University of Vermont

Mon, 11/04/2019 - 2:30pm
LAPA Conference Room, 348 Wallace Hall
Event Category: 
By Invitation Only

This is a series of informal workshop sessions for papers in progress. Each is by invitation only and is an RSVP event.

To receive an invitation, please email LAPA Associate Director Leslie Gerwin at

From Professor Kornbluh:  "The presentation will serve as an introduction to my current work and some of the intellectual and other challenges it forces me to face. One broad way to describe these challenges would be to say they involve the relationship of the personal to the political in recent feminist legal history. They raise, too, questions about the contours of the academic field(s) in which I participate – legal history, socio-legal studies, gender and sexuality studies, Jewish studies – and the boundary lines of the permissible and admissible, the spoken and the silent, in much of scholarly practice.

My intention in this presentation is to make patent that which I am tempted to conceal in the formal LAPA presentation I give in February, and to be honest about the complexity of the endeavor into which I have launched myself. My hope is that by talking about these issues, and taking guidance from wise others, I will start to turn what sometimes appear as problems standing in the way of writing a book that I think is capable of making important contributions into problematics that will guide my remaining research and writing."

Felicia Kornbluh
2019-2020 LAPA Fellow
Professor of History and Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies, University of Vermont

Professor Kornbluh is an advocate and writer, as well as a scholar and teacher, who has served on the Vermont Commission on Women and as president of United Academics, the UVM faculty union (AFT/AAUP).  Kornbluh’s roots lie in advocacy for women and children.  In high school, she was Senior Editor of Children’s Express news service, and after college served as a staff member at the U.S. House Committee on Children, Youth, and Families and two Washington, D.C.-based think tanks.  She currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England and is Vice President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America-Vermont Action Fund.  Kornbluh’s research and writing concern the history of social and economic policy in the modern United States, and the role of grassroots social movements in making policy change.  Her first book, The Battle for Welfare Rights, focused on a movement of low-income women and their allies in New York City and nationally.  Her second, Ensuring Poverty: Welfare Reform in Feminist Perspective (co-authored with Gwendolyn Mink) chronicled the history of the 1996 welfare reform.  Professor Kornbluh received her BA from Harvard-Radcliffe College and her Ph.D. from Princeton University. She is now at work on two projects, a collection of her own essays about grassroots movements and public policy and a monograph on reproductive rights and reproductive justice entitled “How to Fight a War on Women.”