Friday, February 24, 2017

celebrating Ellen DuBois


To UCLA today, for a terrific celebration of all that Ellen DuBois has contributed to women's history - to the history of US suffrage; to the history of US feminism - with a range of speakers who brought home the significance of these contributions; the amount of collaborative work she's done; her tough but kind mentoring; her pioneering work in transnational feminisms; the importance that she's placed on jargon-free communication in one's writing and speaking, and - no mean feat, this - bringing out her quintessential Ellen-ness.  A big shout-out to Brenda Stevenson for having organized this.

But, oh, this slide from the archives, showing work by Ellen on Sarah and Angelika Grimk√© ... the punctum, for me, in true Barthesian fashion, is in that lettering, so wonderfully pre-computer, so very familiar from a hundred fliers advertising meetings and one-off one-act play productions; echoing the graphics of album covers and more glossily produced posters in the late 60s and early 70s.  There's something about the fact that the letters are both curvaceous and with serifs that makes them very much of their time, and acutely nostalgia-producing.

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