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Clarissa W. Atkinson

Clarissa Atkinson

In an earlier life, I taught and wrote books and articles about medieval history, including The Oldest Vocation: Christian Motherhood in the Middle Ages and Mystic and Pilgrim: The Book and the World of Margery Kempe. (You can buy my books on Amazon and discuss them on Goodreads.)

More recently I turned my attention to the 1950s and found Claudia Cumberbatch Jones, the black radical feminist who was deported from the U.S. in the McCarthy years. In London she founded and edited the West Indian Gazette. I published an essay about her in the Women’s Review of Books in 2006: “A Strange and Terrible Sight in Our Country.”

In 2008-2009 I was a Fellow at the Charles Warren Center at Harvard University  conducting further research on Claudia Jones (“Claudia Jones on Race and Racism, 1936-1955”) resulting in the paper posted here: “A Pride in Being West Indian”: Claudia Jones and the West Indian Gazette.

Smith College Class of 1954

Smith ’54

Lately I’ve been thinking about coming of age in the 1950s.

My published work includes:

“Fashioning a Conscience”
A Difficult Woman: The Challenging Life and Times of Lillian Hellman By Alice Kessler-Harris (Women’s Review of Books, July/August 2012: print only)

“Total Optimism Reigned”
Decca: The Letters of Jessica Mitford Edited by Peter Y. Sussman (Women’s Review of Books, July/August 2007)

Women's Review of Books Sept/Oct 2006A Strange and Terrible Sight in Our Country
(Women’s Review of Books, Vol. 23, Issue 5, September/October 2006)

The Child in Christian Thought“Authority, Virtue, and Vocation: The Implications of Gender in Two Twelfth-Century English Lives” in Religion, Text, and Society in Medieval Spain and Northern Europe: Essays in Honor of J.N. Hillgarth (Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 2002)

“‘Wonderful Affection’: 17th-Century Missionaries to New France on Children and Childhood” on the Jesuits, the Huron, and corporal punishment in The Child in Christian Thought, Editor Marcia J. Bunge (Eerdman’s, 2001)

The Oldest Vocation: Christian Motherhood in the Middle AgesThe Oldest Vocation: Christian Motherhood in the Middle Ages (Cornell University Press, 1991) [Also: ACLS Humanities E-Book online edition]

“The Modesty of the Elephant: Marriage, Families, and Holiness in the 16th Century” (Reflections: Yale Divinity School, 1991)

Shaping New Vision: Gender and Values in American Culture (Studies in Religion), Co-Editor with Margaret Miles and Constance Buchanan (Umi Research Press, 1987)

Immaculate and PowerfulImmaculate and Powerful: The Female in Sacred Image and Social Reality (The Harvard Women’s Studies in Religion Program), Co-Editor with Margaret Miles and Constance Buchanan (Aquarian Press, 1985)

Mystic and Pilgrim: Mystic and Pilgrim: The Book and the World of Margery Kempe (Cornell University Press, 1983) (also: ACLS Humanities E-Book online edition)

“American Families and ‘The American Family’: Myths and Realities,” (Harvard Divinity Bulletin XII, 1981-82)

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