Susan Goodier studies U.S. women’s activism, particularly woman suffrage activism, from 1840 to 1920. She did her graduate work at SUNY at Albany, earning a master’s degree in Gender History and a doctorate in Public Policy History, with subfields in International Gender and Culture and Black Women’s Studies. She returned for a second master’s degree in Women’s Studies, focusing on transnational women’s movements. At SUNY Oneonta she teaches courses in Women’s History, New York State History, Civil War and Reconstruction, and Progressivism. Goodier has served as a public scholar for Humanities NY and continues to speak to audiences about black and white women and suffrage activism. The University of Illinois published her first book, No Votes for Women: The New York State Anti-Suffrage Movement, in 2013. Her most recent book, Women Will Vote: Winning Suffrage in New York State (2017), coauthored with Karen Pastorello, helped mark the centennial of women voting in the state. Goodier’s current projects include a manuscript tentatively entitled, “Networks of Activism: Black Women in the New York Suffrage Movement,” and a biography of Louisa M. Jacobs, the daughter of Harriet Jacobs (author of Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl).
This presentation, enhanced by many primary source cartoons and other visuals, seeks to understand the challenges faced by suffragists and anti-suffragists in their respective movements. Political cartoons often succinctly expressed the arguments for and against women’s enfranchisement. Cartoons highlight the criticisms suffragists and anti-suffragists faced from a fickle public, too often eager to deride both groups for their political activism.