Sunday Lecture Series–A Congress for Women: Women’s Clubs and the Chautauqua Movement

Chautauqua was a rural movement focused on moral education and self-improvement through programs on reform, religion, and culture. The movement was useful for advancing the cause of “womanhood,” through the creation of organizations like the Woman’s Council in Ottawa, Kansas, in 1892. This Council, defined as a “congress” for the growing women’s club movement, provided a space for women to discuss important issues of the day. This presentation will examine how these clubs engaged women in political activism, particularly suffrage and temperance, and how this early movement laid the groundwork for contemporary issues of feminism and gender equality.

The program is presented by Sarah Bell, a doctoral candidate in history at the University of Kansas and membership coordinator at the Watkins Museum of History in Lawrence.

This lecture is a part of the ongoing Sunday Lecture Series held monthly at 2pm on the third Sunday.

The presentation is open to the public.  Admission is free.

Program made possible by Humanities Kansas, an independent nonprofit spearheading a movement of ideas to empower the people of Kansas to strengthen their communities and our democracy. Since 1972, our pioneering programming, grants, and partnerships have documented and shared stories to spark conversations and generate insights. Together with our partners and supporters, we inspire all Kansans to draw on history, literature, ethics, and culture to enrich their lives and serve the communities and state we all proudly call home.