Fearless Women: Feminist Patriots from Abigail Adams to Beyoncé

Elizabeth Cobbs (Texas A&M)
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Rothermere American Institute
1a South Parks Road
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Main seminar room (lower ground floor)

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Lectures and seminars
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When America became a nation, a woman had no legal existence beyond her husband. If he abused her, she couldn’t leave without abandoning her children.

Abigail Adams tried to change this, reminding her husband John to “remember the ladies” when the Founders wrote new laws in 1776. He simply laughed—and women have been fighting for their rights ever since.

Fearless Women tells the story of women who dared to take destiny into their own hands. They were feminists and antifeminists, activists and homemakers, victims of abuse and pathbreaking professionals. Fueled by an unshakeable sense of right and wrong, and inspired by national ideals drawn from the anti-patriarchal writings of John Locke, they wouldn’t take no for an answer. In time, they carried the country with them.

Elizabeth Cobbs is a prize-winning historian, novelist, and documentary filmmaker. Author of nine books, she has served on jury for the Pulitzer Prize and the Historical Advisory Committee of the U.S. State Department. She has written for the New York Times, Financial Times, and Washington Post. A Stanford Ph.D., Cobbs holds the Melbern Glasscock Chair at Texas A&M. In 2020, the U.S. Army Signal Corps Association named her Brevet Colonel for unearthing the story of the “Hello Girls,” America’s first women soldiers. At age 23, Cobbs won the Rockefeller Youth Award for “a significant contribution to the well-being of mankind.”