Herstory

Gerda Lerner is one of the founders of the field of women's history.  She is considered to be the single most influential figure in the development of women's and gender history since the 1960s. In 1993, she told the Chicago Tribune that in the courses she took when she was in school, the teachers told her about a world in which one-half the human race was doing significant things and the other half didn't exist.  She asked herself how this checked against her own experience and concluded, "This is garbage; this is not the world in which I have lived."   

She established women’s history as a respected academic discipline and raised the status of women in the historical profession by gathering and publishing the primary source material (diaries, letters, speeches etc.) that would allow historians to reconstruct the lives of women. She also taught what is considered to be the first women's history course in the world at the New School for Social Research and she established the first Women's History graduate program in the United States at Sarah Lawrence College. 

Please take a few minutes to watch the short interview below.  It was filmed before her death in 2013. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=rX6N3Xw19yk