Center for Women's History
Explore women's history through exhibitions, programs, scholarship, and immersive multimedia.
About the center
Our new Center for Women’s History—the first of its kind in the nation within the walls of a major museum—reveals the untold stories of women who have shaped and continue to shape the American experience. As a hub for scholarship and education, the new Center demonstrates how women across the spectrum of race, class, and culture exercised power and effected change before they could even access the ballot box. Guided by a committee of distinguished historians and informed by the latest research, the Center features permanent installations, temporary exhibitions, and a vibrant array of talks and programs, enriching the cultural landscape of New York City and ushering in a new era of historical discovery.
"Miss Rose Bower of North Dakota" Woman playing trumpet, wearing "Votes for Women" sash. Gelatin Silver Photograph, New-York Historical Society.
Major funding for the Center for Women's History programs provided by
Joyce B. Cowin
Diane and Adam E. Max
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Jean Margo Reid
The Estate of Jean Dubinsky Appleton
Eric J. & Daria L. Wallach
Diana and Joseph DiMenna
Claudine and Fred Bacher
James Basker and Angela Vallot
The Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation
The Caroline M. Lowndes Foundation
Public funding for the Center for Women’s History
New York City Department of Cultural Affairs,
in partnership with the City Council
Empire State Development and I LOVE NEW YORK
under Governor Andrew Cuomo’s
Regional Economic Development Council Initiative
Unidentified Artist, Excelsior (detail), ca. 1775–1800. New-York Historical Society, X.731
Sex and the Constitution
Sunday, March 4
The Center for Women’s History is pleased to present the third annual Diane and Adam E. Max Conference on Women’s History, a cornerstone of the Center’s series of public and scholarly programs. This year through a keynote address and panel discussions, leading scholars of history and law explore the ways in which the U.S. Constitution has defined, protected, and regulated the rights and freedoms of sexuality, marriage, and reproduction throughout our nation’s history.
Speakers look at key Supreme Court cases, as well as the political, social, and cultural contexts in which they were decided. They also consider how American women have worked to guarantee and expand these rights and freedoms, both inside and outside of the courtroom, and what the future of law and organizing holds.
Please note that there are separate registrations for the morning and afternoon sessions. Please reserve a ticket to both the morning and afternoon sessions if you plan on attending the entire conference.
9 AM WELCOME
9:15 AM KEYNOTE: TBA
PANEL: What does the Constitution say about sex?
Akhil Reed Amar, Sterling Professor of Law, Yale Law School
Nadine Strossen, John Marshall Harlan II Professor of Law, New York Law School; Former President, American Civil Liberties Union (1991-2008)
Moderator: Robert C. Post, Sterling Professor of Law, Yale Law School
PANEL: How and why has Constitutional law about sex changed over time?
Nancy Cott, Jonathan Trumbull Professor of American History, Harvard University
Estelle Freedman, Edgar E. Robinson Professor in U.S. History, Stanford University
Deborah Gray White, Board of Governors Distinguished Professor of History, Rutgers University
Moderator: Reva Siegel, Nicholas deB. Katzenbach Professor of Law, Yale Law School
2 PM WELCOME
PANEL: Where do we go from here?
Virginia Espino, Oral historian and lecturer, University of California at Los Angeles; filmmaker, “No Más Bebés”
Katherine Franke, Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law, Columbia Law School
Fatima Goss Graves, president and CEO, National Women’s Law Center
Moderator: Irin Carmon, journalist (Washington Post, MSNBC) and author (The Notorious RBG, 2015)
Major funding for the programs of the Center for Women’s History has been provided by Joyce B. Cowin, Diane and Adam E. Max, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Jean Margo Reid, The Estate of Jean Dubinsky Appleton, Eric J. & Daria L. Wallach, Diana and Joseph DiMenna, Deutsche Bank, Claudine and Fred Bacher, James Basker and Angela Vallot, The Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation, Hogan Lovells, and The Caroline M. Lowndes Foundation.