The materials in the Alix Kates Shulman Papers span the dates 1892 to 2000, with the bulk of materials dating from 1968 to 2000. These materials include: manuscripts, notes, clippings, published books, correspondence, photographs, audio and videotapes, microfilm, address and date books, family and business records. The primary focus of the collection is Shulman's writing and literary career. The secondary focus is the women's liberation and feminist movements, in which Shulman was and continues to be very active (from 1968 to the present). However, feminism and feminist activism are inextricably intertwined with Shulman's writing career, and her 1972 novel Memoirs of an Ex-Prom Queen is regarded by many as the first novel to "come out of" the women's liberation movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Other topics covered by the collection include: her teaching and other academic work; her public speaking and conference activities; and her involvement in political activities besides feminism. This collection sheds valuable light on the concerns and tensions within the women's liberation and second-wave feminist movements. In particular, the materials document debates and disagreements among those active in the movement with regard to sexuality, marriage and domestic relations, women's financial situation and careers, health care, civil rights and cultural expression. Many of these issues are raised in Shulman's own work, including her novels, essays, short fiction, personal letters and her teaching materials.
The collection is divided into seven series. The Personal Papers Series contains Shulman's family history papers, photographs, biographical papers, and her personal correspondence (with writers, academics, political activists and family members). Notable correspondents include Ros Baxandall, Jay Bolotin, Kay Boyle, Rita Mae Brown, Phyllis Chesler, Judy Chicago, Andrea Dworkin, Candace Falk, Marilyn French, Lori Ginzberg, Hannah Green, Erica Jong, Kate Millett, Honor Moore, Robin Morgan, Tillie Olson, Lillian Rubin, Sue Standing, and Meredith Tax. The Political Work Series contains material relating to Shulman's involvement with feminist and other liberal political groups, including Redstockings, New York Radical Women, the PEN Women's Committee, No More Nice Girls, the Women's Action Coalition, and Women Against Government Surveillance
The Literary Work Series contains a variety of materials relating to Shulman's literary career, including financial and other dealings with publishing houses, notes and research, photocopies of publications, reviews of her work, articles and notes she collected regarding the literary scene, and original manuscripts. This series contains information about her early children's books; several books she edited of Emma Goldman's writings; her essays and short fiction; her novels Memoirs of an Ex-Prom Queen (1972), Burning Questions (1975), On the Stroll (1977), In Every Woman's Life . . . (1980); and her memoirs Drinking the Rain (1995) and A Good Enough Daughter (1999). A small amount of correspondence regarding book reviews of other authors' work is also included.
The Academic Work Series contains materials relating to Shulman's graduate work at NYU; her teaching at Yale, the University of Colorado at Boulder, NYU, and the University of Hawaii at Manoa; as well as her relationships with her students. The Public Speaking Series contains materials relating to Shulman's participation in literary and political conferences and gatherings, personal interviews, lectures and book talks.
Portions of the Restricted Materials Series either may not be photocopied without prior permission of Ms. Shulman or the relevant author, or may not be accessed until a future date. The same organizational categories have been applied to the restricted materials as were used in the unrestricted materials to help researchers easily access overlapping and related materials that have been boxed separately due to the restrictions. The Oversize Materials Series contains miscellaneous oversize materials of a biographical and literary nature.
Acquired as part of the Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture.