Defining Women’s Scientific Enterprise: Mount Holyoke Faculty and the Rise of American Science
Miriam R. LevinPaper: $24.95
Levin tells a remarkable story-all the more remarkable because of a paucity of sources . . . Levin has produced an exciting history of an important school, one that has much to say about the development of science in the United States and of women's changing roles in that practice.
Attentive to Mount Holyoke's religious origins and its ongoing sense of education as a calling, Levin analyzes how this outlook was transformed from its founders' natural theology outlook into its purposeful education of women that included science.
—The Journal of American History
Levin's analysis of the limitations that the Mount Holyoke faculty accepted and imposed on themselves as women is probing, poignant, and insightful, as is her discovery of their pride in their scientific work and investment in the partial equality with men that their pursuit of science made possible... Historians interested in the secularization process in American culture and its residual ties to religious life will find no better analysis or case in point.
—American Historical Review
Levin avoids intellectual jargon, and she writes with great fidelity to her sources. One feels her commitment to getting this story right, with all of its shades of grey.
—The New England Quarterly
Levin's study elucidates the key role of Mount Holyoke-and, one can infer, a small number of other colleges, in advancing higher education for women, and in the curious interplay between science and religion throughout most of our history.
MIRIAM R. LEVIN is Associate Professor of History, Case Western Reserve University. She is the author of numerous publications on the history of science, technology and education.