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Puerto Rican Needleworkers in a Factory, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 1942
Teaching

Short Teaching Module: Portraying Women Workers: Beyond Norma Rae

Starting at the turn of the twentieth century, U.S. and insular government offices and textile and garment businesses incorporated women of the New South and Puerto Rico into manufacturing in distinct yet interrelated ways.

Sally Fields in the film Norma Rae (1979)
Source

Norma Rae: Depicting Women's Labor History through Film

In this still shot from the movie Norma Rae, two pretty and petite white actors represent southern mill hands. Norma, portrayed by the famous actress Sally Field, stands with her mother (Barbara Baxley).

Puerto Rican Needleworkers in a Factory, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 1942
Source

Puerto Rican Needleworkers in a Factory, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 1942

This government photograph provides an important contrast to the popular culture images of poor southern whites. During the 1940s and 1950s, U.S. government agencies hired photographers to travel the main island of Puerto Rico to capture the conditions of working people.

A detail of the Love Letter, showing two women. One holds a letter while the other stands next to her.
Source

The Love Letter by Jan Vermeer

Painted in the last phase of his career, Dutch artist Jan Vermeer’s The Love Letter is a work of oil on canvas that depict

A woodblock print from a scene in the Tale of Genji depicting a women looking down at a man from a balcony. Black ink on cream background.
Source

Yamamoto Shunshō’s The Tale of Genji

Largely considered the first novel, The Tale of Genji was written by Murasaki Shikibu, a noblewoman and lady-in-waiting du

The cover of a Hindi copy of the Laws of Manu
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Laws of Manu

The Manu-smriti, or Laws of Manu, are of the most authoritative codes of Hinduism in India, dating back to approximately 1

A newspaper article titled big business banishes the flapper. On the left is a woman dressed as a flapper, and on the right is a woman dressed modestly in black.
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“Big Business Banishes the Flapper"

The “flapper” craze overtook the western world in the early 1920s and was spearheaded by young women intent on bucking cultural n

A image of a kasai velvet textile, woven in a diamond pattern in cream and black
Source

Kasai Velvet, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Despite its name, Kasai velvet, or velours du kasai, is not actually a velvet.

A woodblock print of Tomoe Gozen dressed in samurai armor, seated on a horse
Source

Tomoe Gozen

Tomoe Gozen was a Japanese female samurai that lived during the late twelfth century, or late Heian period, in Japan.

Djida Tazdaït in Lyon, France, 1989.
Source

Picture of civil rights activist, Djida Tazdaït

One of the realizations of the 1983 March for Equality and Against Racism was the election to the new European Parliament the Lyon-based civil rights activist, Djida Tazdaït (1957- ).  In 1989, she was elected as the first woman of North African descent to serve in that capacity until 1994.