Feminism Interviews --


Mary Catherine Bateson

Do We Really Know the People Around Us?

Full Circles, Overlapping Lives (Culture and Generation in Transition)

Do we really know the people around us?  Our children?  Our family?  Our friends?  Or are we strangers in our own community?  Mary Catherine Bateson, the author of a book entitled, “Full Circles: Overlapping Lives, Culture and Generation in Transistion,” believes that we are strangers. She describes us as immigrants in time, rather than space.In this interview from the archives of Radio Curious, recorded in April 2000, we visit with Mary Catherine Bateson, the daughter of two distinguished anthropologists, Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson.

Mary Catherine Bateson recommends "Ithaca."

Originally Broadcast: April 17, 2000

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Amy Bloom

Love as Creator

Love Invents Us

Amy Bloom is a Connecticut-based author and psychotherapist and the author of a novel entitled “Love Invents Us.”  This book, the enactment of psychological theory about human behavior, also traces the intimate details in the life of Elizabeth Howe from her childhood to middle age.  I spoke with Amy Bloom by phone while she was on tour to discuss ‘Love Invents Us” and asked her, “how does love invent us?”

Amy Bloom recommends "Seeing Calvin Coolidge in a Dream," by John Derbyshire.

Originally Broadcast: February 12, 1997

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Blanche Boyd

Self-Styled Outlaw Lesbians

Terminal Velocity

The concept of memoir versus fiction leads many authors to transform their personal experiences and life to fiction.  Blanche Boyd is a native of South Carolina and a Professor of Literature at Connecticut College.  She is also the author of the book entitled, “Terminal Velocity.”  This is a book about a group of self-styled lesbian outlaws in the 1970s.  We discussed the relationship of memoir and fiction, and how it applies to her work.

Blanche Boyd recommends "Cathedral" & "To the Waterfall," both by Raymond Carver.

Originally Broadcast: August 19, 1997

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Joan Jacobs Brumberg

An Intimate History of American Girls

The Body Project: An Intimate History of American Girls

Advertising has had a major effect on how we view our bodies and on our individual self-image.  The history of how this advertising has come to affect American girls as they pass through menarche and adolescence is presented in a book called “The Body Project: An Intimate History of American Girls.”  This book describes the historical roots of acute societal and psychological pressures that girls feel today.  It shows how the female adolescent experience has changed since 1895.  The author, Joan Jacobs Brumberg, is a Professor of History and Women’s Studies at Cornell University in New York.  In this two-part program, I spoke Professor Brumberg in October of 1997 and asked her what drew her to write “The Body Project.”

Joan Jacobs Brumberg recommends “Learning to Bow,” by Bruce Feiler & “The Grass Link,” by May Vinchi.

Originally Broadcast: October 14, 1997 & October 21, 1997

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Emily Dickinson & Wendy Norris

Hiding in Her Own House

Emily Dickinson, better known now than she was then, was known well for her phrases which sang out in a multitude of forms, meters and styles.  Her words presented her innermost feelings and thoughts.  A passionate and witty woman, she made a craft and an art of her words and her life.  I met with Emily Dickinson, in the person of actress Wendy Norris, in the parlor of the Dickinson family home, magically carried from Amherst, MA, to the stage of the Willits Community Theater, in Willits, CA, where the belle of Amherst told her story.

Originally Broadcast: December 5, 1997

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Dr. Eva Etzioni-Halevy

Israel:  The 11th Century B.C. and Now

The Song of Hannah, A Biblical Novel of Love, Temptation, and the Making of A Prophet

Eva Etzioni-Halevy, a retired professor of sociology at Bar-Ilan University Tel Aviv, Israel, is the author of  “The Song of Hannah, A Biblical Novel of Love, Temptation, and the Making of A Prophet,” and the guest in this edition of Radio Curious.  The story takes place in Judea in the eleventh century B.C. when few people were literate.  In this interview with Eva Etzioni-Halevy recorded from her home in Tel Aviv, Israel, in late September 2006, she describes her interpretation of Hannah’s life, loves and leadership, and her impressions of Israel several weeks after the summer 2006 war with Lebanon.  We began when I asked her to describe who Hannah was.


Dr. Eva Etzioni-Halevy recommends "Walking the Bible," by Bruce Feiler.

Originally Broadcast: September 27, 2006

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Eve Ensler

Meet the Author of the Vagina Monologues

The Vagina Monologues

The Vagina Monologues, created and produced by Eve Ensler, tell the stories of women, their relationships, feelings, and, in some cases, abuse.  In this edition of Radio Curious, we spoke with Eve Ensler about the origin of the the Vagina Monologues and the film, “Until the Violence Ends.”

Eve Ensler recommends "Bush in Babylon," by Tariq Ali.

Originally Broadcast: January 27, 2004

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Joelle Fraser

Growing up Hippy

The Territory of Men

"The Territory of Men” is an intimate self-expose written by Joelle Fraser, a former Mendocino Community College English teacher.  Written as a series of short episodes and adventures, Joelle shares the life of a woman who was raised in the hippie life of the 70s, and now is an accomplished writer and teacher.

Joelle Fraser recommends "Last Stand," by Richard Manning.

Originally Broadcast: July 30, 2002

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Lynn Freed

Reflections on a Life

The Mirror

The personal journal is often not meant for the eyes of anyone but the writer.  When a stranger’s journal is read, the reader often becomes a voyeur to the innermost secrets of another.  And whether it is a true journal or one of fiction, who cares?  Often, it remains a good story.  Lynn Freed, originally of Durban, South Africa, wrote the fictional journal of Agnes LaGrange, entitled “The Mirror,” which reveals the thoughts, feelings, and loves of Agnes, starting when she arrived in South Africa to work as a housekeeper, and ending 50 years later.

Lynn Freed recommends “Misfit,” by Jonathan Yardly, “Essays,” by George Orwell & “Last Days in Cloud Cukooland Dispatches,” by Graham Boynton.

Originally Broadcast: December 12, 1997

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Estelle Freedman

The History of Feminism

No Turning Back—The History of Feminism and the Future of Women

Estelle B. Freedman, a Professor of History at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, specializing in feminism, is the author of “No Turning Back—The History of Feminism and the Future of Women.”   She addresses many of the issues in her book in this edition of Radio Curious.

Estelle Freedman recommends "The Blind Assassin," by Margaret Atwood & "The Vagina Monologues," by Eve Ensler.

Originally Broadcast: April 2, 2002

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Lucy Grealy

What is Ugly

The Autobiography of a Face

Lucy Grealy, a victim of Ewing’s Sarcoma, beginning when was nine years old suffered from a cancer of the jaw that is 90% fatal in the first few years.  In Lucy’s case, it was not fatal.  Rather it brought about many intense and emotional experiences that most of us could not imagine.  She had a large part of her lower jaw removed when she was about nine and half and for two and a half years had weekly chemotherapy treatments.  Throughout her teenage years, she had multiple surgeries to reshape her jaw.  Her book, “Autobiography of a Face,” reveals her experiences, her mistaken conflation of beauty and love, and what she learned about emotions, both her own and other people’s.

Lucy Grealy recommends “100 Years of Solitude,” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Originally Broadcast: December 5, 1994

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Terry Gross

Fresh Air

If you like interview programs perhaps you have listened to Fresh Air, produced in Philadelphia and broadcast regularly on this and other public radio stations, and hosted by a woman named Terry Gross, our guest on this edition of Radio Curious.  I wanted to know who she is, and what she does to prepare for and create Fresh Air.  I spoke with her by phone from her home, near Philadelphia, and asked her how she does it, how does she put together so many interesting programs so frequently.

Terry Gross recommends "Self-Consciousness: Memoirs," by John Updike & "U and I," by Nicholson Baker.

Originally Broadcast: March 7, 1994

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Holly Hollenbeck

Sex Lives of Wives

Sex Lives of Wives: Reigniting the Passion, True Confessions and Provocative Advice from Real Women

How to ignite sexual passion from a woman’s perspective is the topic of this edition of Radio Curious as we talk with Holly Hollenbeck, a former attorney from Omaha, Nebraska.  Holly Hollenbeck is the author of “Sex Lives of Wives, Reigniting the Passion, True Confessions and Provocative Advice from Real Women.”  She says her book is not so much directed at how to please your mate, but how to please yourself by pleasing your mate.  Take a look at www.passionseekers.com, her website devoted to helping women find passion and inspiration in their long-term relationships.  I spoke with Holly Hollenbeck from her home in Nebraska in mid September 2006, and asked to her describe what motivated to write “Sex Lives of Wives.”

Holly Hollenbeck recommends "Adults Only Travel: The Ultimate Guide to Romantic and Erotic Destination," by David West and Louis James.

Originally Broadcast: September 20, 2006

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Lynda Koolish, Ph.D.

African American Writers

African American Writers: Portraits and Visions

The voice of a writer can be heard in words, and sometimes seen in the writer’s face.  It is unusual to find both in a book in which the creator is both the author and the photographer.  Lynda Koolish, our guest on this archive edition of Radio Curious, is a professor of African American literature at San Diego State University and an accomplished photographer.  She is the author of a book entitled “African American Writers: Portraits and Visions” in which she reveals the visage of 59 African American writers along with a thumbnail biography and summation of each writer’s vision.

Lynda Koolish, Ph.D. recommends "Dien Cai Dau" and "Neon Vernacular" by Yusef Komunyakaa.

Originally Broadcast: February 19, 2002

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Dr. Gerda Lerner

The Foremother of Women's History

Fireweed: A Political Autobiography

The history of women has existed as long as humans have, but it was not until the last half of the 20th Century that women’s history received academic attention.  Professor Gerda Lerner is a pioneer of the study of women’s history and a founder of the movement to study and record the history of women.  She has placed particular emphasis on the differences among women due to class, race and sexual orientation.

Originally Broadcast: October 1, 2002

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Suzanne Braun Levine

What Will She Do Next?

Inventing the Rest of Our Lives: Women in Second Adulthood

Recent research of how the human brain works seems to indicate that at midlife women start to see the world differently.  Approximately 37 million American women now entering their fifties and sixties having fulfilled the prescribed roles of daughter, wife, mother, employee and are not ready to retire.   They want to experience more.  Suzanne Braun Levine, our guest in this edition of Radio Curious has been reporting on the lives of women like herself and is the author of “Inventing the Rest of Our Lives:  Women in Second Adulthood." She begins by descussing recent brain research and anthropological findings relative to women in their fifties and sixties.      

Suzanne Braun Levine recommends "Never Have Your Dog Stuffed: And Other Things I’ve Learned," by Alan Alda.

Originally Broadcast: March 7, 2006


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Mother Jones & Ronnie Gilbert

The Most Dangerous Woman in America

Mary Harris Jones, Mother Jones, was born in 1830.  She lived a quiet, non-public life until she was approximately 47 years old and then, for almost the next fifty years, she was a fiery union organizer, strike leader, and fighter for safe and humane working conditions, the eight hour day, and child labor laws.  Around the turn of the century, she was called the most dangerous woman in America.  Her legacy has lived on in the form of a magazine that bears the name, Mother Jones; and in the form of a one-woman play about her life, produced, acted and written by singer and songwriter Ronnie Gilbert.

 Mother Jones recommends any books by Leo Tolstoy. Ronnie Gilbert recommends "Hawaii," by James Mechiner.

Originally Broadcast: March 12, 1997

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Clarina Nichols portrayed by

Diane Eickhoff

The Revolutionary Heart of Clarina Nichols

Revolutionary Heart, The Life of Clarina Nichols and the Pioneering Crusade for Women's Rights

The life of Clarina Nichols and her work in the early women's rights movement of the United States has been greatly overlooked.  As one of the country’s first female newspaper editors and stump speakers, Clarina Nichols spoke out for temperence, abolition and women's rights at a time when doing so could get a woman killed.  Unlike other activists, she personally experienced some of the cruelest sufferings that a married woman of her day could know.  In her pursuit for justice she traveled westward facing all of the challenges of being a single mother and a women's rights activist of her day with good humor and resourcefullness.  Clarina Nichols was portrayed by Diane Eickhoff in this chautauquan style interveiw and we began when I asked Clarina about her childhood.


Clarina Nichols recommends "The Sexes Throughout Nature (Pioneers of the woman's movement)," by Antoinette Louisa Brown Blackwell.

Originally Broadcast: January 13, 2007

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Elana Rozenman

Jewish, Muslim & Christian Understanding

In June, 2002 I overheard an American woman now living in Israel passionately describe her belief that teaching children to be suicide bombers is the worst form of child abuse imaginable. I invited Elana Radley Rosenman, an organizer of the Women’s Interfaith Encounter, a group of Muslim, Christian and Jewish women who meet regularly in Jerusalem, to be our guest on this edition of Radio Curious.

Elana Rozenman recommends "Yet a Stranger: Why Black Americans Still Don't Feel at Home," Debra Mathis.

Originally Broadcast: July 23, 2002

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Dame Shirley & Kate Magruder

Women and the Gold Rush

When word that California had gold in its creeks and streams reached the United States of America in 1848, fortune seekers from all over the world soon began to arrive in California by boat, covered wagon, and on foot. Some people made their fortunes by selling provisions or services and very few actually found enough gold to take home.  Louise Smith Clapp of Amherst, Massachusetts, using the name of Dame Shirley, wrote detailed and vivid descriptions of the life and ways of the gold seekers and of mid 19th century California.  In this two-part program, we will talk to Dame Shirley in the person of Kate Magruder, a Chautauqua performer and participant with the California Council for the Humanities Sesquicentennial Project, Rediscovering California at 150.

Dame Shirley recommends The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. Kate Magruder recommends "Days of Gold," by Malcolm Rhorbough & "The Shirley Letters," by Dame Shirley.

Originally Broadcast: March 16, 1999 & March 23, 1999

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Elizabeth Stanton & Frederick Douglass

Sally Wagner & Charles Pace

A Visit with Elizabeth Cady Stanton & Frederick Douglass

Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Frederick Douglass were good friends from the mid 19th century to the late 19th century, and were active leaders in the fight for the rights of women and blacks throughout their lives.  From time to time they got together to visit and talk about America, as they knew it. In this archive edition of Radio Curious recorded in May 1998, I met with Chautauqua scholars Sally Roach Wagner and Charles Pace who portrayed Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Frederick Douglass and asked them each to tell us what it was like to be an American during their life time.

Frederick Douglass and Elizabeth Stanton recommend “The Columbian Orator: Containing a variety of original and selected pieces together with rules, which are calculated to improve youth and others, in the ornamental and useful art of eloquence,” by Caleb Bingham and “The Woman’s Bible” edited by Eliz. Cady Stanton.

Originally Broadcast: July 3, 1996

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Maria Stewart

Sandra Kamusukiri

A Visit With a Free Black Women - Boston 1840

Maria W. Stewart, as characterized by professor and scholar Sandra Kamusakiri, was a free black woman who lived in Boston, MA, from the 1820s to the early 1840s.  She was the first American born woman to lecture in public on political themes and likely the first African-American to speak out in defense of women’s rights.  A forerunner to Frederick Douglass and Sojourner Truth, she was intensely religious and regarded as outspoken and controversial during her time. For more than a century, Maria W. Stewart’s life contributions remained obscured, illustrating the double pressures of racism and sexism on the lives African-American women.  I met with Mariah W. Stewart in the person of Professor Sandra Kamusukiri during the 1996 Democracy in America Chautauqua, held in Ukiah, California.

Maria Stewart recommends "The Fair Sketches of Women," by John Adams and "The Bible."

Originally Broadcast: November 27, 1996

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An Afghan Woman's Struggle for Freedom

Zoya's Story, An Afghan Woman's Struggle for Freedom

Zoya, a member of the RAWA, the Revolutionary Association of Women of Afghanistan, tells the story of her childhood, her parents and her parents’ disappearance.  She describes the wrath that first the Russians, then the Taliban and then the Northern Alliance have brought to her country.   Along with the suffering, she describes the hope and spirit carried in the hearts of the Afghan people.

 Zoya recommends the collected speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr..

Originally Broadcast: June 18, 2002

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