Geneseo commemorates Susan B. Anthony's life and influence

SUNY Geneseo continues to commemorate the revolutionary contributions of Susan B. Anthony this semester as part of a year-long celebration initiated by Provost Katherine Conway-Turner. "Susan B. Anthony: Women's Rights, Women's Power" officially started in September 2006, and is guided by a committee of Geneseo faculty, staff and students who have been coordinating events related to the theme since March 2006.

Geneseo's community will mark the life and legacy of one of America's greatest activists through courses, lectures, art and history exhibits, performances, concerts and a summer reading book for entering students in 2006, Letters to Young Activists. Following Anthony's example, Geneseo faculty, students and staff are encouraged to consider the way in which people around the world continue their work for human rights, women's rights, political access and democracy.

"As she worked most of her life in Rochester, Susan B. Anthony's ties to Geneseo are local, but her work extends her importance beyond the bounds of geography," explained Celia Easton, chair of the Susan B. Anthony Year Planning Committee. She continued, "Anthony was a nineteenth-century 'young activist' who modeled precisely what Geneseo expects from our students."

The courses offered this semester in commemoration of Susan B. Anthony's life and work include AMST 201: The Culture of Women's Rights with professors Caroline Woidat and Carol Faulkner, which examines the culture of women's rights activism from 1848 to 1920. Other courses offered are from the anthropology, English, foreign languages, history, psychology, sociology and women's studies departments.

Several of the events being offered this semester include the Alan Lutkus International Film Series "Celebrating the Strength of Women," In the Belly of the Basin, a film on Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath by Roxana Walker-Canton and Tina Morton, "'Anything I was Big Enough to Do': Women in the Civil Rights Movement" dramatic readings, and The Vagina Monologues performed by the Womyn's Action Coalition.

Other events this semester include trips to the Susan B. Anthony House, National Women's Hall of Fame/Women's Rights National Historical Park, and the Underground Railroad Tour, all a part of the Best of Western New York program.

Anthony, who lived from 1820-1906, changed the way Americans thought about women, democracy, civil rights and politics. Anthony supported the temperance movement, but found that women's voices were excluded. After meeting Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Anthony joined the women's rights movement, uniting her fight for women's rights with the abolition of slavery. "She thought critically about social justice, was engaged intellectually in movements for women's rights and abolition, and actively pursued the causes she espoused," said Easton. Through this, Anthony quickly became one of the leading speakers, writers and organizers for the women's suffrage movement in the late nineteenth century.

For additional information on these and other events, go to