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The National Women's Conference: Taking 1977 into the 21st Century

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Rockwell Pavilion and Cullen Performance Hall

University of Houston

Houston, Texas 77204

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This year marks the fortieth anniversary of the National Women’s Conference held November 18-21, 1977. At this momentous event, 2,000 elected delegates and around 32,000 observers descended upon Houston, Texas, to participate in the first and only federally funded National Women’s Conference in U.S. history. The Houston Conference reflected the tensions of a nation at a crossroad with some seeing it as a promising expression of a more representative, rights-centered democracy and others viewing it as a liberal cooptation of taxpayers’ dollars.

We expect to carry on the conversation in Houston once again this fall, looking forward to the challenges women face in the early twenty-first century as we reflect on past successes and failures. We invite you to return to Houston, Texas and take stock of this historic gathering. In honor of this moment the University of Houston is hosting a two-day conference, November 6-7, bringing together former participants and dynamic scholars.

THIS CONFERENCE IS FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

For full details, check out our website: http://uh.edu/class/77womensconf

Highlights of the conference include the following:

  • There are two dozen panels with activists and academics speaking spaced over Monday and Tuesday, located in Rockwell Pavilion, the Digital Research Commons, the Student Center South, and the Writing Center (see full program for details).
  • A luncheon talk Monday by Dr. Marjorie Spruill about her new book Divided We Stand: The Battle Over Women's Rights and Family Values that Polarized American Politics takes place in Rockwell Pavilion.
  • A Monday afternoon plenary session in Rockwell Pavilion features Shelah Leader and Patricia Hyatt discussing their work as IWY staff for the 1977 Houston Conference and their new book, American Women on the Move.
  • The McGovern Lecture in Cullen Performance Hall features Martha Cotera discussing her work with minority issues at the Houston Conference. Following her talk there will be a roundtable with Charlotte Bunch, Cotera, Gloria Steinem, and Melba Tolliver, all of whom played significant roles in the conference.
  • The Tuesday lunch in Rockwell Pavilion features a Living Archives panel with Houstonians who worked on the conference including Nikki Van Hightower and Elma Barrera.
  • Cynthia and Allen Mondell, filmmakers who produced Sisters of '77, will spotlight the Tuesday afternoon plenary in Rockwell Pavilion with a screening of their film and showing of some outtakes.
  • The conference wraps up Tuesday evening in Rockwell Pavilion with a discussion on women, politics, and the law since the 1970s. This panel features Liz Abzug, Sissy Farenthold, and Sarah Weddington.
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Location

Rockwell Pavilion and Cullen Performance Hall

University of Houston

Houston, Texas 77204

View Map

Refund Policy

Refunds up to 7 days before event

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