Guest lecturer talks about History of Women, Gender and War

Idaho State Journal
By Jennifer Anthony

POCATELLO–Dr. Kimberly Jensen presented at Idaho State University Wednesday evening to faculty, students and community members on “New Directions in the History of Women, Gender and War: Violence, Medical Humanitarianism and the “Affective Turn” in War Studies.”

The presentation is part of the War in Society series at ISU which also includes an art exhibit in the John B. Davis Gallery, a panel discussion with ISU faculty and courses in “Art and War” and “Women, War, and the Military.”

Jensen is a Professor of History and Gender Studies at Western Oregon University, an award winning scholar and the author of “Mobilizing Minerva: American Women in the First World War.” Her presentation included information about women’s roles in war and society in the early twentieth century, violence against women as part of war and how women defended themselves in
war and on the home front during World War I.

Jensen also discussed historical roles of women nurses and physicians, focusing on physician and activist Esther Lovejoy who helped transform public health in the United States and fought for medical humanitarianism, social justice and civic health as a way to combat disease and poverty.

“Lovejoy observed the way women experienced war,” Jensen said. “She was an advocate for women doctors working together and believed that cities had an obligation to develop civic health to end poverty, increase social justice and create healthier communities.”

Jensen expressed her appreciation for being at ISU.

She said, “It is really fabulous that your university is sponsoring such innovative programs and I hope that people will think about the history of war differently and learn from people like Lovejoy that were activists for causes they believed in,” she said.

The presentation was sponsored by the Idaho Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Women Studies Program and the Department of Art and Pre-Architecture coordinated the War in Society series and Jensen’s visit to the ISU campus.

Associate Professor of Art History, Linda Leeuwrik, said, “I hope that this presentation and series will open up a conversation and dialogue with the community at large. This is such a timely topic and relevant to all of us.”

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