Women as Political Activists; History of Women in the U.S.; Women’s Health and Sexuality; Aging and Family Caregiving Roles; Women, Aging and Ageism
Ph.D., Boston College
M.A., Goddard College
B.A., Suffolk University
Paula B. Doress-Worters is a founding co-author of Our Bodies, Ourselves, and subsequent editions up to Our Bodies, Ourselves for the New Century, and (The New) Ourselves, Growing Older.
Paula came to the WSRC/Brandeis to explore a long-standing interest in Ernestine Rose, a 19th century women’s rights advocate whose contributions had been under-recognized by historians, perhaps due to her identities as an immigrant, an atheist and a Jew. Though neglect of Rose has also been attributed to a lack of archival papers, Paula collected and published, a 389 page volume of Rose’s speeches and letters.
Paula founded the Ernestine Rose Society, raised funds to restore the grave marker of Ernestine and William Rose and convened a commemoration at Highgate Cemetery in London on Aug. 4, 2002. To celebrate the 200th birthday of Ernestine Rose (b. Jan. 13, 1810), Paula led Bicentennial events across the U.S. to honor Rose’s early, significant, and still relevant leadership of first wave feminism. Through learning about Rose and 19th century women’s rights, Paula has gained a deeper perspective on second wave and current and future feminisms. She has begun a new writing project, exploring her own roots and the forces and influences that drew her to activism for social justice.
My activist project, outreach for the 40th anniversary of Our Bodies Ourselves, highlighting our Global Partners, has led me to a new writing project, reflections on my life in progressive social movements in relation to the values I absorbed in a working-class Jewish childhood.
Doress-Worters, Paula. Mistress of Herself: Speeches and Letters of Ernestine L. Rose, Early Women’s Rights Leader. New York: Feminist Press, 2008.
Doress-Worters, Paula and Kristin Waters, “Ernestine L. Rose, Feminist, Freethinker, and Political Theorist.” Dictionary of Early American Philosophers. ed. John R. Shook. New York: Continuum, forthcoming 2011.