Women's History Month

Women's History Month

March is Women's History Month! Celebrate the accomplishments of women throughout history - explore their stories, recognize their contributions, and get involved in some special events taking place during Women's History Month.


Indie Lens Pop-Up presents "Dolores"
Thursday, March 8 from 6:30-8:45pm - Central Library

With intimate and unprecedented access, Peter Bratt's "Dolores" tells the story of Dolores Huerta, among the most important, yet least-known, activists in American history. Co-founder of the first farmworkers union with Cesar Chavez, she tirelessly led the fight for racial and labor justice, becoming one of the most defiant feminists of the 20th century. Please stay after the film for a discussion with local experts and community leaders.

This series is a partnership between ITVS, WPT, and Madison Public Library.

Wisconsin Book Festival presents Kathryn Moeller
Monday, March 12 from 7:00-8:00pm - Central Library

In celebration of Women's History Month, the Wisconsin Book Festival welcomes UW Professor, Kathryn Moeller, to discuss her exploration of women and girls in the new world economy. How and why are U.S. transnational corporations investing in the lives, educations, and futures of poor, racialized girls and women in the Global South? Is it a solution to ending poverty? Or is it a pursuit of economic growth and corporate profit?

Pinney Mini Film Festival
Saturday, March 17 from 6:30-8:30pm - Pinney Library

The Pinney Mini Film Festival will present four short films that screened at the 2017 Wisconsin Film Festival, as well as a Q&A with some of the filmmakers and Wisconsin Film Festival Coordinator Ben Reiser. This year’s mini festival will highlight several female filmmakers just in time to celebrate Women’s History Month, including Violet Wang, Kate Jianqing Feldt, Megan Monday, Brijetta Hall Waller, and Christina Ciano. Willy Street Co-op is generously donating refreshments.

Book Discussion: Prague Winter by Madeleine Albright
Wednesday, April 18 from 7:00-8:30pm - Central Library

Albright uses her own recollections, her parents’ written reflections, interviews with contemporaries and other source material to create a narrative that flows in a very readable style, with historical insights from her perspective as a past Secretary of State. Join us for discussion and dessert!

Check It Out

Who Says Women Can't Be Doctors?: The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell by Tanya Lee Stone

In the 1830s, when a brave and curious girl named Elizabeth Blackwell was growing up, women were supposed to be wives and mothers. Some women could be teachers or seamstresses, but career options were few. Certainly no women were doctors. But Elizabeth refused to accept the common beliefs that women weren't smart enough to be doctors, or that they were too weak for such hard work. And she would not take no for an answer. This inspiring story of the first female doctor shows how one strong-willed woman opened the doors for all the female doctors to come.


Rabble Rousers: 20 Women Who Made a Difference by Cheryl Harness

Short, spirited profiles of twenty women who impacted life in America by speaking out against injustice and fighting for social improvements. The folksy, friendly narrative introduces such fascinating figures as Sojourner Truth, abolitionist preacher; Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, a Civil War physician; Margaret Sanger, birth control pioneer; and Doris Haddock, a ninety-two-year-old champion of campaign-finance reform. The book spans over two hundred years of American history and includes time lines for such important social movements as abolition, woman suffrage, labor, and civil rights. 


Maria Tallchief: America's Prima Ballerina by Maria Tallchief

Maria Tallchief was the first grand ballerina of the United States. This book is a fascinating self-portrait of the fairy-tale life of a woman who understood that a committed talent could transform the world around her.




Sophia: Princess, Suffragette, Revolutionary by Anita Anand

In 1876 Sophia Duleep Singh was born into Indian royalty. Her father, Maharajah Duleep Singh, was heir to the Kingdom of the Sikhs, one of the greatest empires of the Indian subcontinent. Sophia transcended her heritage to devote herself to battling injustice and inequality, a far cry from the life to which she was born. Her causes were the struggle for Indian Independence, the fate of the lascars, the welfare of Indian soldiers in the First World War--and, above all, the fight for female suffrage. 


Hedy's Folly: The Life and Breakthrough Inventions of Hedy Lamarr, the Most Beautiful Woman in the World by Richard Rhodes

What do Hedy Lamarr, avant-garde composer George Antheil, and your cell phone have in common? The answer is spread-spectrum radio: a revolutionary inven­tion based on the rapid switching of communications sig­nals among a spread of different frequencies. Without this technology, we would not have the digital comforts that we take for granted today.


Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay by Nancy Milford

Edna St. Vincent Millay was the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for poetry. Thirty years after her landmark biography of Zelda Fitzgerald, Nancy Milford returns with an iconic portrait of this passionate, fearless woman who obsessed America even as she tormented herself.



Madame President: The Extraordinary Journey of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf by Helene Cooper

When Ellen Johnson Sirleaf won the 2005 Liberian presidential election, she demolished a barrier few thought possible, obliterating centuries of patriarchal rule to become the first female elected head of state in Africa's history. Madame President is the inspiring, often heartbreaking story of Sirleaf's evolution from an ordinary Liberian mother of four boys to international banking executive, from a victim of domestic violence to a political icon, from a post-war president to a Nobel Peace Prize winner.


A Burst of Light and Other Essays by Audre Lorde

Winner of the 1988 Before Columbus Foundation National Book Award, this path-breaking collection of essays is a clarion call to build communities that nurture our spirit. Lorde announces the need for a radical politics of intersectionality while struggling to maintain her own faith as she wages a battle against liver cancer. From reflections on her struggle with the disease to thoughts on lesbian sexuality and African-American identity in a straight white man's world, Lorde's voice remains enduringly relevant in today's political landscape.


Rejected Princesses: Tales of History's Boldest Heroines, Hellions, and Heretics by Jason Porath

Well-behaved women seldom make history - good thing these women are far from well behaved. Illustrated in a contemporary animation style, Rejected Princesses turns the ubiquitous "pretty pink princess" stereotype portrayed in movies, and on endless toys, books, and tutus on its head, paying homage instead to an awesome collection of strong, fierce, and yes, sometimes weird, women: warrior queens, soldiers, villains, spies, revolutionaries, and more who refused to behave and meekly accept their place.

Additional Resources

Booklist: Books by Wisconsin Women

Women's History in Wisconsin | Wisconsin Historical Society

Women's History Month - Official Website | Library of Congress