March is Women’s History Month, and the LRC is celebrating by taking a look at a sample of some of the contributions by women that have improved our areas of study and our lives.
ENGLISH: Amy Tan
Amy Tan is best known as the author of the New York Times Bestselling novel The Joy Luck Club. Themes in her literary work revolve around mother and daughter relationships, family dynamics, and Chinese history and experiences.
The LRC has multiple titles from Amy Tan in its collection including The Joy Luck Club.
SOURCE: Amy Tan biography, Biography.com
Harriet Martineau by Richard Evans
SOCIOLOGY: Harriet Martineau
Harriet Martineau is considered one of the first female sociologists. She is credited with contributing the idea of studying all aspects ( religious, political, etc.) of a social issue to the field of sociology. She was also an accomplished writer and published over 50 books in her lifetime.
PSYCHOLOGY: Alison Gopnik
Alison Gopnik is known as a leader within the field of child psychology, learning and development. She is the first psychologist to assert that the study of children’s minds could help us to understand deep philosophical questions.
The LRC has a copy of Gopnik’s book, The Scientist in the Crib : Minds, Brains, and How Children Learn, available for check out.
SOURCE: Alison Gopnik official website
FINE ARTS: Kara Walker
Kara Walker is a artist who is most known for her work with silhouettes. Through her work, Walker makes statements on the concept of race and racism. Her work has been displayed all over the country and in England.
SOURCE: Kara Walker biography, Biography.com
MATH: Ada Lovelace
Augusta Ada Byron, Countess of Lovelace, also known as Ada Lovelace, is considered the world’s first computer programmer due to notes that she added to a translation of an Italian article about the work of Charles Babbage, father of the computer. In her notes, Lovelace introduced the concept of looping, a method by which a computer repeats a series of instructions, which is still used by computer programmers today.
If you’d like to know more about the work of Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage, check out the graphic novel The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage from the LRC.
SOURCE: Ada Lovelace biography, Biography.com
CHEMISTRY: Marie Maynard Daly
Marie M. Daly is the first African-American woman to receive a PhD in chemistry in the United States. Her work on the causes of heart attacks uncovered the link between high cholesterol and clogged arteries. This research created a new understanding within circles of health care and nutrition professionals about how food choices affect heart health.
SOURCE: Marie M. Daly biography, Biography.com
BIOLOGY: Mary Styles Harris
Mary Styles Harris is a health researcher who has studied sickle cell anemia and breast cancer. She is an advocate for government action concerning promoting healthy living, and she also runs Journey to Wellness, a health centered website and radio show.
SOURCE: Mary Styles Harris biography, Biography.com
ENGINEERING: Hedy Lamarr
Hedy Lamarr is probably known more for her career as an actress during the “Golden Era” of Hollywood, but her inventions within the field of engineering are part of the foundation for modern security technology for military communications. Her “Secret Communications System” changed radio frequencies to keep enemies breaking coded messages.
SOURCE: Hedy Lamarr biography, Biography.com
NURSING: Dorthea Lynde Dix
Dorthea Dix was a nurse who is most known for her work as an advocate for the mentally ill. She lobbied the government for changes that affected how the mentally ill were treated that created the foundation for our current mental health care system today. One of the hospitals that she founded for the mentally ill was in Raleigh, North Carolina.
To learn more about Dorothea Dix, check out Voice For The Mad : The Life Of Dorothea Dix from the LRC.
SOURCE: Dorothea Dix biography, Biography.com
DENTAL SCIENCE: Lucy Beaman Hobbs Taylor
Lucy Beaman Hobbs Taylor is the first woman to become a dentist in the United States. She graduated with a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Ohio College of Dental Surgery in 1866. In addition to dentistry, Taylor dedicated her life to fighting for women’s rights.
SOURCE: University of Michigan School of Dentistry
Who are your favorite women from history? Tell us in the comments!