History of Women and Gender Seminar The ‘Woman Inventor’ as a Political Tool of Female Suffragists: Patents, Invention, and Civil Rights in the Nineteenth-Century United States Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
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23 January 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:45PM Location: Massachusetts Historical Society Kara Swanson, Northeastern University School of Law Comment: Rebecca Herzig, Bates College

After the Patent Act of 1790, patents played an important social and political role in the formation of American nationhood and citizenship. Part of a larger book project, this paper demonstrates how nineteenth-century American women mobilized patents granted to women as justification for civil rights claims. It identifies the creation of the “woman inventor” as a cultural trope and political weapon of resistance.

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