Marketing the Movement: Shifting Tactics for Winning Women’s Suffrage

Thursday, September 23 at 6 PM
Virtual Program

Elizabeth A. Novara, American Women’s History Specialist in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress, will present a lecture on the marketing of the suffrage movement. She will discuss how suffragists used a variety of tactics, including traditional approaches like petitioning, lobbying, and publishing newspapers, but also shifted to innovative techniques such as parades and public demonstrations, and the use of planes, automobiles, motion pictures, and other emerging technologies to spread their message. She will also demonstrate how, during the last decade of the suffrage campaign, greater mass production of commercial goods combined with new marketing techniques to help keep the cause keep the suffrage cause ever-present in daily life. Novara will draw examples from the Library of Congress’s exhibition Shall Not Be Denied: Women Fight for the Vote and will highlight significant suffrage-related collections available at the Library, including the National Woman’s Party records.  Novara will be joined by Alice Paul Institute Board member Lisa Hendrickson, who will discuss her own research that resulted in API’s traveling exhibit, also titled Marketing the Movement.

Elizabeth A. Novara is the American Women’s History Specialist for the Library of Congress Manuscript Division. She co-curated the Library’s Shall Not Be Denied: Women Fight for the Vote exhibition, during the 2019 and 2020 centennial of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Novara works with women’s history collections on a daily basis by acquiring new materials; developing online research resources; providing reference services; creating exhibits and collection displays, and delivering historical presentations. Her research interests include the history of women’s political activism in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; and the intersections of feminist theory and practice with the field of archives. She holds an MLS in archives management; an MA in history; a graduate certificate in women’s studies; and is currently pursuing a PhD in American history at the University of Maryland, College Park.

As an independent historian, Lisa Hendrickson has done extensive research on the women’s suffrage movement in New Jersey. She has written 20 biographies of individual New Jersey suffragists and helped identify 20 more for contribution to the national Women in Social Movements online database project. Her research has also appeared on the website, as part of the statewide initiative New Jersey Women Vote: The 19th Amendment at 100, and on the National Votes for Women Trail website. Lisa joined the Alice Paul Institute’s Board of Directors and created a traveling exhibit for them marking the anniversary of the 19th Amendment titled “Marketing the Movement: How Women Won the Right to Vote.” Prior to this work, she was a senior vice president in charge of merchandising and design at Destination Maternity.

The Alice Paul Institute (API) holds the trademark of the National Woman’s Party (NWP), which dissolved at the end of 2020. NWP leadership transferred the trademark in recognition of the organizations’ shared legacy and API’s ongoing commitment to furthering gender equality. API will use the NWP trademark for efforts that share the history of the women’s movement in order to inspire action today.

Logo of the National Woman's Party