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Irene Peslikis papers, 1957-2002 and undated 27 Linear Feet — 20,250 Items

Feminist artist, activist, and educator Irene Peslikis (1943-2002) was born in New York, New York, and raised in different locations in Queens, New York. She was instrumental in a number of influential feminist and feminist art groups, including the New York Feminist Art Institute, the journal Women & Art (co-founded with Pat Mainardi), and the group Redstockings. The Irene Peslikis Papers span the years 1957-2002 and document Peslikis's life as a feminist artist, activist, and educator. The collection is organized into nine series: Feminist Activism, Correspondence, Writings, Personal Files, Subject Files, Education, Art, Printed Material, and Audiovisual Material. Materials in this collection include correspondence, essays, personal journals, exhibit files, artwork in a number of media, personal files, her student files, teaching files, clippings, photographs, journals, pamphlets, and audiocassettes. Frequent and/or notable correspondents include her immediate family: her mother, father, and brother, Michael; and friends Ursula Karau, Alix Kates Shulman, Rosalyn Baxandall, Robin Morgan, Carol Hanisch, Lucinda (Cindy) Cisler, Lucia Vernarelli, Pat Mainardi, Judy Chicago, and Shulamith (Shulie) Firestone.

The Irene Peslikis Papers span the years 1957-2002 and document Peslikis's life as a feminist artist, activist, and educator. The collection is organized into nine series: Feminist Activism, Correspondence, Writings, Personal Files, Subject Files, Education, Art, Printed Material, and Audiovisual Material.

The Feminist Activism Series is composed of materials from three key venues for Peslikis's feminist activist work: the New York Feminist Art Institute, the journal Women & Art, and the group Redstockings. This series includes organizational records, related correspondence and articles, exhibition announcements, and grant proposals.

The Correspondence Series contains letters, postcards, and cards received by Peslikis from family and friends. Frequent and/or notable correspondents include her immediate family: her mother, father, and brother, Michael; and friends Ursula Karau, Alix Kates Shulman, Rosalyn Baxandall, Robin Morgan, Carol Hanisch, Lucinda (Cindy) Cisler, Lucia Vernarelli, Pat Mainardi, Judy Chicago, and Shulamith (Shulie) Firestone. A smaller amount of outgoing letters is also included. Correspondence depicts Peslikis's work as an activist and as an artist, as well as her financial and medical difficulties.

Materials in the Writings Series include manuscripts, notes, notebooks, and journals kept by Peslikis. The Manuscripts subseries includes writings by people other than Peslikis which directly impacted her work, as well as drafts and outlines of Peslikis's publications. Notes, notebooks, and journals were all penned by Peslikis. Notebooks are primarily personal journals kept by Peslikis from her teenage years through the early 1980s and again from the early 1990s until the end of her life.

The Personal Files Series depicts the numerous financial, legal, and medical issues confronted by Peslikis over three decades. Peslikis received assistance in the form of Supplemental Security Income (SSI), food stamps, and subsidized housing for artists (at Westbeth Artist Housing), each of which required meticulous documentation in order to retain. A portion of this series is closed until 2099.

The Subject Files Series consists primarily of clippings and notes retained by Peslikis on a number of women- and feminism-related subjects, as well as on art, astrology, United States foreign policy, and Greek politics.

The Education Series is composed of files documenting Peslikis as a student, an instructor, and an instructor in search of employment.

Items in the Art Series include artwork by Peslikis, duplications of her artwork, sketchbooks, and files related to her exhibits, including flyers, reviews, and catalogs.

The Printed Material Series comprises periodicals, pamphlets, and printed essays. Subjects represented include feminism, Marxism, and art.

The Audiovisual Material Series consists of audiocassettes and super 8 film documenting discussions, meetings, and other events. Items are labeled with original descriptions provided by Peslikis. Also included is a VHS tape of a memorial service for Peslikis.

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Leah Fritz is an American feminist poet and author. Although she was born in the United States, Fritz has been active in England since she moved there in 1985. The Leah Fritz papers contain correspondence and subject files; writings, including notebooks and diaries, drafts, published articles, and papers related to the publication of Fritz's prose writings, poetry, and book and article reviews; and audiocassettes of presentations and poetry readings by Fritz and other recordings. Materials range in date from circa 1950 to 2009.

The Leah Fritz papers are organized into three series. The Personal Papers series contains Leah Fritz's correspondence and subject files. The Writings Series contains Fritz's notebooks and diaries as well as drafts, published articles, and papers related to the publication of Fritz's prose writings, poetry, and book and article reviews. The Audiotapes series contains audiocassettes of presentations and poetry readings by Fritz and other recordings.

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The collection documents the personal, political, and professional aspects of the life of an important feminist writer of the twentieth century. The largest group of materials consists of documentation on all of Morgan's significant written works: DEMON LOVER; DEPTH PERCEPTION; DRY YOUR SMILE; GOING TOO FAR; A HOT JANUARY; LADY OF THE BEASTS; SATURDAY'S CHILD; her well-known feminist anthologies, SISTERHOOD IS POWERFUL, SISTERHOOD IS GLOBAL and SISTERHOOD IS FOREVER; and other materials on her poems, articles, and other writings. In addition, Morgan's papers hold many items of correspondence with a wide range of individuals, including prominent activists and feminists as well as family members and close friends. There is also a significant amount of correspondence and other material that documents Morgan's role as founder of the Sisterhood is Global Institute, and records related to her role as editor and writer for MS. magazine.

The collection documents the personal, political, and professional aspects of the life of an important feminist writer of the twentieth century. It is organized into the following series: Correspondence, Writings, Speeches and Interviews, Subject Files, Personal Files, Teaching Materials, Audio-Visual Materials, Photographic and Visual Materials, and Oversize Material. The largest group of materials consists of documentation on all of Morgan's significant written works: Demon Lover; Depth Perception; Dry Your Smile; Going Too Far; A Hot January; Lady of the Beasts; Saturday's Child; her well-known feminist anthologies, Sisterhood is Powerful and Sisterhood is Global; and other materials on her poems, articles, and other writings. In addition, Morgan's papers hold many items of correspondence with a wide range of individuals, including prominent activists and feminists as well as family members and close friends. There is also a significant amount of correspondence and other material that documents Morgan's role as founder of the Sisterhood is Global Institute, and records related to her role as editor and writer for Ms. magazine.

Seen in a broader context, the collection provides ample documentation for the study of modern feminism. Morgan's subject files (the second largest in the series) are rich in materials related to the feminist movement in the United States and around the world; and materials concerning sexual health, witchcraft, lesbian feminism, and the social, economic, and political position of women in the world (especially in the Middle East, Russia, and South Africa). There are materials on individual figures such as Bella Abzug, Jane Alpert (imprisoned revolutionary), Patty Hearst, Gloria Steinem, and Marilyn Waring. Other series hold additional materials related to Morgan's career as a writer; several of her speeches and interviews; materials from Morgan's courses she gave on feminism; and photographs and audio-visual materials.

The Correspondence Series spans much of Morgan's adult life. It is divided into two subseries: Correspondence by Name and Correspondence by Decade. The Correspondence by Name Subseries chiefly consists of Morgan's correspondence with family members, friends, fellow feminist activists and contemporary authors and critics. The bulk of the items in the Correspondence by Decade Subseries dates from the 1990s and relates to the production of Ms. magazine. The Correspondence Series is restricted: patrons must sign an Acknowledgment of Legal Rights and Responsibilities form before using the materials.

The Writings Series documents Morgan's career as a poet, novelist, essayist and journalist. Of Morgan's eighteen books, ten are represented in individual subseries. Particularly noteworthy is the material related to Sisterhood is Global, which provides an inside view into the production of the anthology. The series also contains some of Morgan's earliest unpublished writings as well as files containing her comments on other writers' work, and single issues of periodicals in which she published her poetry. The Writings Series is also restricted: patrons must sign an Acknowledgment of Legal Responsibilities and Privacy Rights form before using the materials.

The Speeches and Interviews Series primarily contains peripheral documentation such as contracts, correspondence, and schedules. However, there are drafts of a number of her speeches and interviews.

Materials which Morgan collected over the years concerning American and international feminism are located in the Subject Files Series. The materials cover a number of topics, including women's economic, political, and social status, and feminist action - especially in South Africa, the Soviet Union, and the Middle East; rape, abortion, terrorism, female genital mutilation, and pornography; and the first feminist demonstration against the Miss America Pageant. Significant figures represented in the subject files include Marilyn Waring, Patricia Hearst, and Gloria Steinem. Two subseries contain administrative information about Ms. magazine and the Sisterhood is Global Institute. The Subjects Series is restricted: patrons must sign an Acknowledgment of Legal Rights and Responsibilities form before using the materials.

The smaller Personal Files Series offers materials related to Robin Morgan's education, early critical writing, and her many trips overseas. The series also includes material that Morgan requested under the Freedom of Information Act from the FBI and CIA about her own activities.

The documents in the Teaching Materials Series are primarily related to Morgan's academic positions at New College (Sarasota, Fla.) and the University of Denver, and the courses she taught on feminism and writing. The files include both administrative documentation as well as actual course material, but there are also clippings related to feminist protests on campus.

The Audio-Visual Materials Series contains numerous interviews on cassette tapes that Morgan conducted in the Middle East, a recording of her reading of selected poems from A Hot January, and a videotape about the production of Saturday's Child. Permission is not granted to publish interviews conducted in the Middle East; the researcher is responsible for obtaining permission to publish. Original copies of audiovisual materials are not open to use; however, use copies are available to researchers.

The Photographic and Visual Materials Series provides a small visual supplement to the other documents in the collection and includes portrait photographs of Morgan taken by the press and by her close friends, as well as snapshots of social gatherings. This series also includes two painted portraits of Morgan. The series is restricted: patrons must sign an Acknowledgment of Legal Rights and Responsibilities form before using the materials.

Later additions (Accessions 2009-0069, 2010-0176, 2015-0060) have not been fully processed, but boxlists are available in the Detailed Description portion of this finding aid. Some portions are restricted or closed.

For collections related to the Robin Morgan Papers, see the Phyllis Chesler, Merle Hoffman, and Kate Millett Papers, all located in the Duke University David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library. In addition to Robin Morgan's own papers, the Library also holds the records of the Sisterhood is Global Institute, founded by Morgan in 1984.

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In response to Robin Morgan's book, Sisterhood is Global, the Sisterhood is Global Institute was founded in 1984 with Karen Berry as its first director. Its purpose was to mobilize international support on women’s rights issues and educate various communities around the world on women's rights and human rights issues. The records of the Sisterhood is Global Institute (SIGI) span the years from 1965 to 2005, with the bulk of the material ranging from 1980 to 2002. Materials such as correspondence, administrative files, publications drafts, manuals, newsletters, flyers, photographs, videos, and sound recordings provide a record of the work and the organizational structure of SIGI from its inception to its present activities at the beginning of the 21st century. The documents in the collection illustrate SIGI's efforts to discuss, debate, and act on a variety of women's issues around the world, including voting rights and political representation; reproductive rights; violence against women; education for women; and the socio-economic status of women.

The records of the Sisterhood is Global Institute (SIGI) span the years from 1965 to 2005, with the bulk of the material documenting the Institute's activities and administration from 1980 to 2002. Through correspondence, administrative files, subject files, drafts of publications, newsletter, manuals, reports, photographs, videos, and sound recordings, the collection provides an in-depth record of the work and the organizational structure of SIGI from its inception in 1984 to its present activities at the beginning of the 21st century, and documents its efforts to discuss, debate, and act on a variety of women's issues around the world, including voting rights and political representation; reproductive rights; violence against women; education for women; and the socio-economic status of women. Subject files created by SIGI researchers provide additional materials on prostitution, rape, the status of women in developing countries and rural areas, the legal status of women, and the concept of human rights. In the 1990s particular emphasis was paid to women's issues in Muslim societies. Much of the Institute's role is an educational one, as evidenced by the many folders of manuals, newsletters, news alerts, workshops, and conferences on women's issues, including materials on two U.N. World Conferences on Women. The collection offers many documents relating to SIGI publications, including the book Sisterhood is Global; and editions in various languages of In Our Own Words, Safe and Secure, and Claiming Our Rights. In addition to documenting SIGI's activism on behalf of women, the collection also provides a record of the Institute's organizational structure and functioning; although there is very little from the earliest years, there are many records for the 1990s, particularly for the years 1999-2002, during Greta Hofmann Nemiroff's tenure as President. Other individuals whose active roles in the development of Sisterhood is Global Institute are documented through correspondence and writings include Marilyn Waring, Robin Morgan, and Tatiana Mamonova. Many smaller files of correspondence and writings from individual members offer a profile of SIGI's international constituency drawn from over 70 countries.

One of the smallest folder groups, the Correspondence Series offers a sampling of routine requests and expressions of interest from individuals writing to the Sisterhood is Global Institute. Several folders house petitions and protest letters initiated by SIGI. There is also a group of exchanges related to the New Zealand "girlcott" organized in part by Marilyn Waring, president of SIGI at the time.

The largest series in the collection, the Administrative Files Series is divided into five subseries: Membership Files, Greta Hofmann Nemiroff, Financial Papers, Funding Files, and Other Records. The series offers an extensive profile of SIGI’s international constituency which in 2002 included members from over 70 countries worldwide. More extensive records are available for some eminent international figures such as Robin Morgan and Tatyana Mamonova, as well as for Marilyn Waring who acted as Executive Director of SIGI in New Zealand. The files of Greta Hofmann Nemiroff, the Financial Files, and the Other Records Subseries provide a record of the administrative management of SIGI’s resources, with the most detailed records dating from the period between 1996 and 2002. The funding history of SIGI, together with the documentation of grants and donors, is located in the Funding Files subseries, which also contains correspondence and financial reports on SIGI’s core projects like the Human Rights Education Program (HRE) and the Project on Eliminating the Violence Against Women (VAW).

The Project Files Series documents the stages and implementation of the HRE Program and the development of new projects, among which VAW, the Learning Partnership Projects, and the Building Local Leaders Initiative. The HRE Program, a reflection of the continuous work of SIGI on the issue of women’s human rights, is a series of 12 workshops whose aim is to promote the concept of women’s rights in Islamic cultures and provide women strategies and networking skills for the assertion of these rights. The series contains reports and correspondence with facilitators from nine countries where these workshops have been conducted, as well as materials on other countries considered for the extension of the project. Included in the series is also a record of SIGI Urgent Action Alerts, a system of immediate alerts and global calls for actions in response to discriminatory practices and cases of abuse in different regions of the world.

The Publications Series contains drafts, editions, and translations of workshop manuals, part of SIGI programs, as well as records related to anthologies edited by SIGI members, such as the volumes Muslim Women and the Politics of Participation and Strategizing for Safety. A large portion of the series is comprised of various translations of Claiming Our Rights, a manual containing definitions and learning exercises designed to illustrate the concept of women’s rights in different social contexts and to stimulate discussions on the status of women in Muslim societies. Other publications presented in the series include Safe and Secure, a manual designed for SIGI workshops on violence against women, and In Our Own Words, a companion guide with strategies for workshop facilitators. The series also contains all the issues of SIGI News, a biannual newsletter covering SIGI’s activities and providing a venue for announcements of different events.

The Conferences and Programs Series is divided into SIGI and Other Events subseries and contains records of the preparation and logistics for conferences organized by SIGI, as well as materials from major international meetings on subjects related to women’s rights. SIGI’s two conferences "Religion, Culture, and Women’s Rights in the Muslim World" (1994) and "Beijing and Beyond" (1996) were specifically organized in connection to the 4th World Conference on Women which took place in Beijing, which is also covered in the series. Other SIGI conferences extensively represented in the series include "Rights of Passage" (1997) and the Expert Group Meeting on Eliminating Violence against Girls and Women (1998) which evolved from the preparation for a conference with the same title, initially scheduled to take place in Jordan. Materials on the two World Conferences on Women, in Nairobi and Beijing, as well as other global events such as the UN conference on human rights in 1993 and the World March of Women in 2000, is found in the Other Events Subseries.

The Photographic Materials Series depicts moments from conferences attended or organized by SIGI, visits, and some of the workshops conducted by SIGI in different countries.

The Subject Files Series contains materials collected by SIGI on a wide range of subjects related to women, from reproductive rights and motherhood to the consequences of armed conflicts. A large section of papers and studies in the series, mostly dating from the late 1980s and early 1990s, is devoted to the socio-economic status of women and their situation in developing countries and rural areas. Another large group of materials, whose time range extends beyond the 1990s, reflects on SIGI’s development of new projects, and the materials focus increasingly on the legal status of women, the concept of women’s human rights, and the subject of violence against women which includes extensive collection of reports and article on domestic violence, prostitution, rape, and war crimes.

The Organizations Series contains information gathered by SIGI staff about numerous international and regional organizations and networks working in the sphere of women’s and human rights, development, and law. Highlighted organizations include the Association of Women in Development, the Canadian Council for Refugees, Equality Now, Feminist Majority, Isis International, the International Women's Health Coalition, the National Council for Research on Women, the Women's Environment and Development Organization, and the United Nations. There is some correspondence with former First Lady Hilary Clinton.

Like the Subject Files Series, the Geographic Files Series also functions as a vertical file created by SIGI staff for internal use, containing informative articles, clippings, reports, many newsletters, and other materials on women's issues in over 100 countries from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. Countries with the most materials are Pakistan, Phillippines, and Malaysia.

The Audiovisual Materials Series contains over 20 videocassettes and audio recordings of SIGI events or programs originating in other countries. Topics and events include a forum on "feminist family values," conferences on women's issues, women's rights in Muslim societies, domestic violence, politics and power in the Phillippines and in other countries, and educational programming on money and job training. Use copies are available for most of these items; otherwise Technical Services staff will need to arrange to have use copies made. Please contact reference staff before coming to use this series.

Finally, the boxes in the Memorabilia Series house several large and small protest banners.

The collection includes some financial records, webpage content, and translations of published material in electronic form, found listed in the Electronic Formats Series under the appropriate series. The documents are maintained on the electronic records server. Consult a reference archivist for access to them.

Addition (2009-0070) (5850 items; 7.8 lin. ft.; dated 1985-2003) contains administrative records and correspondence, financial reports and documents, legal documents, membership information, annual reports, and publicity files. Also included are 20 cassette tapes recording the Sisterhood is Global Strategy Meeting (1984), founding the Institute, and 11 floppy discs that have been transferred to Duke's Electronic Records server. This addition has not been processed; materials have been reboxed but not incorporated into the remainder of the collection. Please see a reference archivist if you have questions.

Addition (2015-01480) (1500 items; 3 lin. ft.; dated 1982-2010) contains administrative records and correspondence.