NPSA Women's Caucus

Name: Deborah Anthony
Section: Women's Caucus
Professional Email: deborahx50@hotmail.com
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: University of Illinois Springfield
Scheduling Preference: Thursday Morning
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Analyzing Women’s Political-Legal Regression through the Lens of Surname Practices in the English Early Modern Period
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The names by which people have been known illustrate a great deal about social norms and legal practices extant during various periods in English history. Surname use was at one time quite variable, bearing little resemblance to the typical practices seen in modern-day England. That variation tells an interesting story about women over the centuries, beginning in Saxon times, through the advent of surnames at the Norman Conquest of 1066, then later through the development of coverture as a component of English common law, and into the present day. Women in England at one time held individualized surnames reflecting specific traits, occupations, statuses, or family relations (e.g. Fairwife, Silkwoman, Widow, Robertdaughter). Certainly before, and even after surnames became regularly hereditary around the Fifteenth Century, women still sometimes retained their birth names at marriage, men sometimes adopted the surnames of their wives, and children and grandchildren sometimes inherited the surnames of their mothers or grandmothers. Women’s surname flexibility was once quite expansive, which bespoke of a surprisingly developed social and legal standing. But these diverse surname practices eventually disappeared, along with women’s occupational options and property rights, as well as other indicators of their position. What accounts for this retrenchment? If the history of women is not one in which only positive developments and progress occurred over time, however plodding, but rather one that evinced a significant and prolonged period of decline, then important questions arise about the causes for such a significant regression. There are several possible explanations. In addition to the emergence (and disappearance) of feudalism and the gradual implementation of the common law and coverture in England, these manifestations may also be tied to economic and political developments in the Early Modern period. Included in that umbrella is the advent of capitalism, which emerged in England in its modern form in the 16th-18th Centuries. Also potentially important is the advancement of theoretical concepts of citizenship and rights, which became more formalized during that period and therefore more exclusive to certain privileged groups, which did not typically include women. Additional factors include expanding principles of conquest and imperialism (both formal and informal) and the building of the modern nation-state. These new political concepts necessarily brought with them discourses of dominance and superiority, self and other. In the process of identifying the “self” in determining which were the citizens entitled to rights and status, women may have been formally excluded in ways in which they had not previously been. The implications of these historical developments and their impact on women are wide-ranging and significant. A theoretical investigation and analysis of the catalysts for this constriction of women’s rights and status will be central in this paper.


Name: Mary Anne Borrelli
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Professional Email: mabor@conncoll.edu
Professional Status: Full Professor
Institution: Connecticut College
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Roundtable Title: Gender, Race, and Ethnicity and the 2016 Presidential Election
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Name: Young-Im Lee
Section: Women's Caucus
Professional Email: youngim.lee@mail.umsl.edu
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: University of Missouri-St. Louis
Scheduling Preference: Friday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Political Machines, Mixed Electoral System, and Gender: Challenges for Continuing Political Career for Women National Legislators
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South Korea adopted gender quotas for the national proportional representation (PR) seats in 2004. Currently about 17 percent of women assume national legislative seats, most of them benefit from the gender quota.However,very few women serve beyond their first term and the quota does not seem to have a lasting effect. This paper explores the challenges those PR women face after they enter political arena, based on statistical analysis of the last three elections and author’s interviews with party members and legislative staff members. The author argues that due to South Korea’s party organization and local political machines, PR members enjoy less privilege compared to district representatives, and have a hard time establishing their own political machine in districts.


Name: Stan Molchanov
Section: Continental Political Thought
Professional Email: 10molchanov@cua.edu
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Catholic University of America
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Paper Title: Observations on Late Modern Historiography
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‘Modern’ political thought is concerned with history to the degree that it revolts against tradition; modernity recasts the old in the form of the new, which is unfinished and unfinishable, in order to more fully account for what industrialization and rationalization have made possible. Postmodern thought goes further: postmodernism is a set of ongoing attempts to shatter the autonomy of various spheres of thought and culture by undermining the legitimacy of their separateness. Postmodernity celebrates and even institutionalizes difference. It does so chiefly by means of a genealogical unmasking of cultural dominants. Genealogy and periodization, however, bring in their train a theory of history. Postmodern political thought in fact seems acutely sensitive to the historical dimension of human being. Michel Foucault once said that to think beyond modernity, one must think beyond history. How is it, then, that postmodernism, to the degree that it emphasizes growth and becoming and transition at the expense of homogeneity and rigidity and tradition, has moved beyond modern thought? Could post-modernity be an outgrowth of late modernity that corrects for certain modern defects? What would properly post-historical political thought be?


Name: Kisha Patel
Section: Undergraduate Research
Professional Email: kipatel@ursinus.edu
Professional Status: Undergraduate Student
Institution: Ursinus College
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Paper Title: My Body, Not My Say: Regulation of Reproductive Freedom in America
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Women’s bodies have been legislated for years. Many people associate regulation beginning in 1973 when Roe V. Wade was decided. Even though legislation has affected women for much longer, understanding the implications of this decision are fundamental to analyze the debate over the constitutionality of abortion today. I examined the opinion written by Justice Blackmun in Roe v. Wade that changed the way abortion was looked at in America. The basis in which Justice Blackmun founded his decision was important in how abortion would be regulated and argued in the future. Therefore it is important to understand the man behind the decision. Justice Blackmun’s decision was controversial because confronted legal standards of individual rights and privacy going on to say, “If the right of privacy means anything, it is the right of the individual, married or single, to be free from unwarranted governmental intrusion into matters so fundamentally affecting a person as the decision whether to bear or beget a child”. Justice Blackmun went against the norm to carefully dissect the constitutionality of abortion, regardless of what others around him believed. He made sure to research both the medical procedure and the constitutional language in the 9th and 14th amendment. To understand his decision, I also conducted in depth analysis of Justice Blackmun’s biographies that contain notes from during the trial. This highlights the pivotal role of Justice Blackmun in shaping reproductive freedom in the future. I combined this with research of specific Supreme Court Cases and Congressional Bills that try to regulate reproductive freedom post the Roe decision. Specifically, I looked at 48 pieces of congressional legislation from the 114th Congress that limit women's reproductive freedom through abortion bans, non-accessible health care, and cuts in federal spending towards Planned Parenthood. I also examined Supreme Court cases regarding reproductive freedom and studied the arguments on the constitutionality of abortion regulation. When examining many Supreme Court opinions on reproductive freedom, and found that many justices supported the infringement on women’s rights to their respective bodies by preventing women from having abortions or having access to contraceptives. I use the Roe decision to examine the constitutionally of the current restrictions being placed on women’s bodies and argue that these laws and regulations against women infringe on their ability to participate equally in society, limiting their rights as citizens.