February 22, 2018 (REVISED March 12, 2018) Women's History Month Events at the Library of Congress

Celebrating Women in Art, Science, Literature, Film and Illustration

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The Library of Congress will host an array of events and programming throughout March that celebrate and commemorate women and their contributions to STEM, history, civil rights, justice and the arts.  All of the following events are free and open to the public.

The Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden will host two discussions with five women in the arts. These events will also be livestreamed on the Library’s Facebook page at facebook.com/libraryofcongress and its YouTube site (with captions) at youtube.com/LibraryOfCongress. Follow the conversation on Twitter at @librarycongress and #WomensHistory.

“In Conversation with the Librarian of Congress: Hidden Figures” featuring Margot Lee Shetterly and Donna Gigliotti
Wednesday March 14, 7 p.m.
Coolidge Auditorium, Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St., S.E., Washington, D.C.  
Margot Lee Shetterly is the author of “Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race.”  The Hampton, Virginia, native and University of Virginia graduate is also the founder of the Human Computer Project, an endeavor that is recovering the names and accomplishments of all the women who worked as computers, mathematicians, scientists and engineers at NASA and the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics from the 1930s through the 1980s. 

Donna Gigliotti was a producer of the Academy Award nomindated film “Hidden Figures,” based upon Shetterly’s book.  Gigliotti is one of only nine women to win an Academy Award for best picture. She received her fourth Oscar nomination in 2017 for producing “Hidden Figures,” after winning her first in 1998 for producing “Shakespeare in Love.”  She currently serves as President of Tempesta Films, a production company based in New York. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the European Film Academy and the Producers Guild of America.

Tickets are available for this free event, but not required. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Visit this event ticketing site for more information and to secure your ticket. Entry is not guaranteed. 

“In Conversation with the Librarian of Congress: Drawn to Purpose: American Women Illustrators and Cartoonists” featuring Whitney Sherman, Barbara Brandon-Croft and Jillian Tamaki
Thursday, March 15, noon
LJ 119, Thomas Jefferson Building
Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden will talk with a panel of women illustrators and cartoonists highlighted in the current exhibition and Library co-published book, “Drawn to Purpose.” A book signing and exhibition tours will take place after the conversation in the Graphic Arts Gallery on the ground floor of the Jefferson Building.

Barbara Brandon-Croft is the groundbreaking creator of the comic “Where I’m Coming From,” which ran from 1990 to 2005. She was the first African-American woman to publish a nationally syndicated comic strip. Featuring an engaging cast of African-American women, her feature brought a broad range of topical themes into the comics, including politics, history, race and gender issues, and relationships. She has since continued to use her artistic talent in activist pursuits that include illustrations for a guide for black teen girls by Franchestra Ahmen-Cawthorne entitled “Sista Girl-Fren Breaks It Down…When Mom’s Not Around.”

Whitney Sherman, director of the MFA Illustration Practice program at the Maryland Institute College of Art and an award-winning illustrator, has created a body of multifaceted work for national magazines, corporations and multiple book projects. She has also co-authored and co-edited a monumental new book, “History of Illustration,” that covers image-making and print history from around the world, spanning from the ancient to the modern.

Jillian Tamaki, an award-winning illustrator and comic artist, has in a short span of years produced an impressive volume and variety of creative work that includes three graphic novels, web comics, editorial illustrations for newspapers and magazines, portrait drawings of authors for the New York Times Book Review, book covers, posters and, most recently, her first children’s book.

Additional events during the month will highlight the Library’s wide array of collections and resources that enable life-long learning.

Book Talk with Liza Mundy, Author of “Code Girls”

Friday, March 30, noon
LJ 119, Thomas Jefferson Building
Liza Mundy is a former Washington Post reporter and New York Times bestselling author who recently published “Code Girls: The Untold Story of Women Codebreakers of World War II”. Mundy will discuss the book as well as the process of conducting her research at the Library. In her research, Mundy utilized the Veterans History Project collections, and she features women veterans from the collections in the book.  Invited special guests to the event, also hosted by the Young Readers Center, include one of the featured “Code Girls.” Immediately following the event, the book will be available for sale and the author will sign copies. The event is free, but tickets are required. To secure tickets, visit this event-ticketing site 

Women in Science: Gathering Data, Setting Goals and Shaping the Future
Thursday, March 8, 10:30 a.m.
Young Readers Center, Thomas Jefferson Building
Dr. Svetlana Kotliarova and Dr. Yuri Kotliarov of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will lead a primary source-based activity featuring facsimiles of items from the Library’s collections designed to inspire young people to be curious and passionate about careers in STEM. They will take the audience through the history of science and origins of the scientific method and data, and lead a hands-on activity in informing students about careers in science.

Lecture: Snapshots of Ottoman Women in Court Records
Tuesday, March 13, noon
African and Middle Eastern Reading Room, Thomas Jefferson Building
Dr. Betul Basaran, associate professor of religious studies at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, will present a lecture focusing on women in the sharia court records of Istanbul during the late 18th century.  The discussion will allow for an examination of the nature of Ottoman sharia law and women’s roles and rights. She will highlight the general types of legal cases women took to court or for which they were brought before the court. 

Lecture: Textured Abstractions: Howardena Pindell’s Cut and Sewn Paintings
Friday, March 30, noon
West Dining Room, James Madison Memorial Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E. Washington, DC
Sarah Cowan, 2017-2018 Smithsonian Fellow in Residence, will present a lecture on her most recent research, the artist Howardena Pindell.  Her talk will consider the cut and sewn paintings of the 1970s artist in the context of aesthetic debates engendered by the Black Arts Movement, the women’s art movement and shifts in modernist criticism. Pindell’s paintings used texture as a strategy for conveying her affinities for African culture, administrative and craft labor, feminine adornment and modernist art.

Women’s History Month Tour Offerings

Curator’s Tour: Women’s Lives in WWI
Thursday, March 8, 1 p.m.
Southwest Gallery, Thomas Jefferson Building
In honor of women’s history month and International Women’s Day, Peggy Wagner, author of “America and the Great Way: An Illustrated History,” will lead a tour of the exhibition “Echoes of the Great War,” focused on the experiences of women “over here” and “over there,” including the fight for the right to vote, the Women’s Land Army, nursing and Gold Star mothers.

Curator’s Tour: Drawn to Purpose – Exhibition Highlights
Friday, March 23, 11 a.m.
Graphic Arts Gallery, Thomas Jefferson Building
In honor of women’s history month, exhibition curator and Prints and Photographs Specialist Martha Kennedy will present highlights of the exhibition “Drawn to Purpose: American Women Illustrators and Cartoonists.”

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world—both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov; access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov; and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.


PR 18-016
ISSN 0731-3527