The U.S. Congressional Women’s Tour of China: Women’s Internationalism and Cold War Diplomacy

Lecture Description

In the winter of 1975, eleven U.S. congressional representatives, all of them women, visited the People’s Republic of China (PRC). This talk examines the goals, experiences, and outcomes of this trip, with a particular focus on Patsy Takemoto Mink (1927-2002), the deputy leader of the delegation. Mink was the first Japanese American female lawyer in Hawaii and the first woman of color elected to the U.S. Congress. She had a long-standing interest in U.S.-China relations and had advocated for détente and the political recognition of the PRC in the midst of the Cold War. In addition, Mink, along with many other members of this delegation, were inspired by and engaged in the women’s and civil rights movements in the United States. By utilizing archival sources, this presentation focuses on female political leaders and their international travels to foreground how the local, national, and global shaped gender politics in the U.S. in the 1970s.

CATEGORIES

Cold War Women

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