"These American Lives" | Jill Lepore

Paradise Island: From "Herland" to Wonder Woman


Thursday, February 5, 2015 - 4:30pm
Collins Cinema, Collins Cafe

In an illustrated lecture, Jill Lepore develops on ideas from her most recent book The Secret History of Wonder Woman, a New York Times bestseller. Lepore recounts the startling biography of William Moulton Marston, the creator of Wonder Woman, to argue that Wonder Woman is the missing link in a chain of events that begins with the woman-suffrage campaigns of the 1910s and ends with the troubled place of feminism a century later. Her compelling study of the failure of the women’s rights movement rings true even today with the recent influx of Marvel films.

Jill Lepore is the David Woods Kemper ‘41 Professor of American History at Harvard and in 2012 she was named Harvard College Professor for her distinction in undergraduate teaching. She has been contributing to the The New Yorker since 2005. Her numerous works have been published in several languages and forums including the New York Times, the American Quarterly, and Common-place, a journal she co-founded. Last year, Lepore was elected to the American Philosophical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (harvard.edu).

This lecture is a part of the These American Lives series. Curated by Jane Kamesky, These American Lives will engage the Wellesley community in a sustained meditation on two entwined questions: the challenges of capturing and representing an individual’s story, and the vexed notion of a particular—even, some allege, “exceptional”—American experience. A series of talks and workshops featuring guest speakers and artists as well as scholars from the Wellesley faculty will approach this broad theme through different disciplinary lenses throughout the 2014–15 academic year.