This is the fourth in a series of posts examining the publishing history of feminist texts from the 1970s. Last week’s post revealed just how much I don’t know and can’t know from examining archival evidence related to the presentation of “Up from the Genitals” at the 1970 meeting of the American Historical Association. However, during the course of my research for that post, I did correspond with a couple of the authors of that 1970 paper to ask if they could provide any details on its presentation or reception at the AHA.
Both historians were generous and gracious correspondents. Linda Gordon kindly put me in touch with Rochelle Ruthchild, who offered some recollections about the formation and fate of the paper ahead of the convention – including, crucially, Gerda Lerner’s disapproval of the co-authors’ plan to give the paper at the meeting. And, after my post of last week went up, she provided some further detail about whether any of the historians mentioned in the paper had been in attendance. Here’s what Ruthchild wrote about the early career of “Up from the Genitals”: Continue reading