DANIELLE DREILINGER IN CONVERSATION WITH STEPHANIE ROHR--ONLINE

Event date: 
Wednesday, June 23, 2021 - 7:00pm
Featured Book: 
The Secret History of Home Economics

ONLINE--

The surprising, often fiercely feminist, always fascinating, yet barely known, history of home economics.

The term “home economics” may conjure traumatic memories of lopsided hand-sewn pillows or sunken muffins. But common conception obscures the story of the revolutionary science of better living. The field exploded opportunities for women in the twentieth century by reducing domestic work and providing jobs as professors, engineers, chemists, and businesspeople. And it has something to teach us today.

In the surprising, often fiercely feminist and always fascinating The Secret History of Home Economics, Danielle Dreilinger traces the field’s history from Black colleges to Eleanor Roosevelt to Okinawa, from a Betty Crocker brigade to DIY techies. These women—and they were mostly women—became chemists and marketers, studied nutrition, health, and exercise, tested parachutes, created astronaut food, and took bold steps in childhood development and education.

Home economics followed the currents of American culture even as it shaped them. Dreilinger brings forward the racism within the movement along with the strides taken by women of color who were influential leaders and innovators. She also looks at the personal lives of home economics’ women, as they chose to be single, share lives with other women, or try for egalitarian marriages.

This groundbreaking and engaging history restores a denigrated subject to its rightful importance, as it reminds us that everyone should learn how to cook a meal, balance their account, and fight for a better world.


AUTHOR: Danielle Dreilinger is a former New Orleans Times-Picayune education reporter and a Knight-Wallace Journalism Fellow. She also wrote for the Boston Globe and worked at the Boston NPR station WGBH. She lives in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Stephanie Rohr is a cross stitch designer, fiber artist, and author. Her first book of cross-stitch patterns, "Feminist Cross-Stitch", was published in 2019. Stephanie has been using cross-stitch to subvert expectations of traditional needlework since she started her Etsy shop, StephXstitch, in 2010. Her work focuses on using the cross-stitch medium to further feminist and progressive causes and ideas. Her next book, which will based around cross-stitch and self-care, will be published in fall 2022.

 

Event Location: 
ONLINE
 
The Secret History of Home Economics: How Trailblazing Women Harnessed the Power of Home and Changed the Way We Live Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9781324004493
Availability: Available online. Call stores for local availability.
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - May 4th, 2021

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