SMC Bookshelf

Daughters of Aquarius: Women of the Sixties Counterculture

Gretchen Lemke-Santangelo

Based on meticulous research and featuring photographs and poster art that bring the era to life, professor Gretchen Lemke-Santangelo’s book provides both an inside look at a defining movement and a needed corrective to long-held stereotypes of the counterculture. This book describes how gender was perceived within the movement, with women taking on much of the responsibility for sustaining communes. It also examines the lives of younger runaways and daughters who shared the lifestyle. It explores the search for self-enlightenment at the core of the counterculture experience, recounts the problems faced by those who resisted the expectations of “free love” and discusses the sexism experienced by women in the arts.
Lemke-Santangelo’s work also extends our understanding of second-wave feminism. She argues that counterculture women, despite their embrace of traditional roles, claimed power by virtue of gender difference and revived an older agrarian ideal that assigned greater value to female productive labor. She shows how they used these values to move counterculture practices into the mainstream, helping transform middle-class attitudes toward everything from spirituality to childrearing to the environment.

Essays on Women’s Artistic Contributions 1919–1939: Expanded Social Roles for the New Woman following the First World War

Edited by Anna Novakov and Paula Birnbaum
Edwin Mellen Press 2009

This book examines the social, cultural and political contexts in which women artists from Europe, Asia and North America could contribute to their nations’ cultural production during a time of social opportunity, and then the financial collapse of the Depression. Professor Anna Novakov co-edited the book with USF professor Paula Birnbaum; the book won the Adele Mellen Prize for Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship.