Sara Sanders, Student Member

Proposal Type


  • Seeking Additional Presenters
  • Seeking General Feedback and Interest
Related Topics
  • Inclusion
  • Memory
  • Theory

In 1956 20,000 women of all races gathered in Pretoria to demand that Pass Laws not be extended to women. This protest was the first of its caliber in South Africa and is to this day one of the largest mass protests led by women in world history. This March has been commemorated through a national holiday and a national monument. My research analyzes the shortcomings of these forms of commemoration in shaping public memory. I investigate where women fit within the landscape of public history in the ‘new’ South Africa. I criticize the lack of importance given to women in comparison to men in the formation of the ‘Rainbow Nation.’ This work shows the need for public historians to be more inclusive of and intentional with women’s narratives.


I am looking for presenters whose work focuses on the role of public history in telling untold or forgotten stories, specifically looking at the gaps related to issues of gender and women. It is important to have a panel that focuses on the intersections of gender and public history. Fitting within the theme of ‘Power Lines’ this panel may include papers that discuss the ways public history works to bring communities, regardless of gender, together or the ways in which it has been divisive.

If you have a direct offer of assistance, sensitive criticism, or wish to pass along someone’s contact information confidentially, please get in contact directly: Sara Sanders, [email protected]

If you have general ideas or feedback to share, please feel free to use the comments feature below.

All feedback and offers of assistance should be submitted by July 2, 2017.


  1. Mike Dove says:

    I think this panel proposal has great potential. Your work on South Africa sounds intriguing. A cross-cultural approach might also draw added interest and enable contributors to more fully explore issues of gender in public history.

  2. The women’s history of the Civil Rights movement in the US might be an interesting comparitive. The efforts of women- particularly in fundraising and organizing – often take a back seat in the retelling of stories of the movement.

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