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Hidden Lives: Exploring Women's History

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July 9–22, 2017

Smith College and the surrounding area are home to unparalleled collections and cultural heritage institutions that offer an immersive experience in women's history.

During your time at Smith, we will explore women's lives through archival research, visits to local museums and tours of historic sites. With a focus on women and social change, you will be introduced to women who have altered the course of American history through reform, mobilization, cultural interventions and outright rebellion.

In Smith's special collections we will look at the letters, diaries, photographs and manifestos that chronicle personal and political revolutions over the past 150 years. We will get to know the first generation of college women through the institutional archives of Smith and Mt. Holyoke. And we will explore feminist art in the Smith College Museum of Art.

In neighboring Amherst, we will immerse ourselves in the world and poetry of Emily Dickinson. In the nearby village of Florence, we will learn about the abolitionist and women's rights activist Sojourner Truth. We may also travel further afield to Boston, Hyde Park, or Seneca Falls to dig deep into the history of women and politics.

Through field trips, walking tours and primary research, we'll gather insights about women who've made a difference—what inspired their passion and dedication to women's equality, and how their words and actions changed the possibilities for women. You'll get a chance to play historian, discover a new role model or two, and find out more about what matters to you and what you can do about it.