Series Moderators

Sara Evans

Sara Evans

Sara Evans is a pioneer in the field of women’s history, which she has taught at the University of Minnesota since 1976.  Her research has focused on the history of feminism as a social movement, motivated by her own involvement in civil rights, anti-war, and women’s rights activism. Her first book, Personal Politics: The Roots of Women’s Liberation in the Civil Rights Movement and the New Left was listed by the NY Times as one of the best books of 1979 and is still in print.  Her most recent book, Tidal Wave: How Women Changed America at Century’s End (2003), picks up that story to explore the history of American feminism from the late sixties to the turn of the century.  Her overview of American women’s history, Born for Liberty (1989, 1997), has been translated into more than 10 languages.  She is co-author of Wage Justice: Comparable Worth and the Paradox of Technocratic Reform (1989, with Barbara J. Nelson, winner of the Policy Studies Organization book award) and Free Spaces: The Sources of Democratic Change in America (1986, 1992 with Harry C. Boyte), and editor of Journeys That Opened Up the World: Women Student Christian Movements, and Social Justice: 1955-1975 (2003).

Named a Regents Professor in 2004 and Distinguished McKnight University Professor in 1997 she has served as Chair of the Department of History and Director of the Center for Advanced Feminist Studies; in editorial positions with Feminist Studies and the Journal of American History; and has received grants from the ACLS, the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Academy of Sciences, the Kellogg Foundation and the Bush Foundation.  She received the University of Minnesota Outstanding Teaching Award in Graduate and Post-Baccalaureate Education in 2003, the President’s Award for Outstanding Service in 1999, and the College of Liberal Arts Dean’s Medal in 1998.

Cheri Register

Cheri Register

Cheri Register is a writer of memoir and essay and the author of six books. Packinghouse Daughter, her memoir about growing up working-class in a Minnesota meatpacking town, won a Minnesota Book Award and an American Book Award in 2001 and was a BookSense 76 selection.  Its opening chapter was listed as a Notable Essay in Best American Essays.  Her most recent book, Beyond Good Intentions:  A Mother Reflects on Raising Internationally Adopted Children, is a collection of essays that challenge the conventional wisdom about international adoption and call for a candid conversation among adult adoptees and adoptive parents.  An earlier book on international adoption, “Are Those Kids Yours?” has been a staple on adoption reading lists since its publication in 1991. She is the author, as well, of The Chronic Illness Experience:  Embracing the Imperfect Life (originally published as Living with Chronic Illness:  Days of Patience and Passion) and of many essays, articles, and book reviews.  She earned a Ph.D. in Germanic Languages and Literatures, specifically Scandinavian languages, from the University of Chicago, previously taught Scandinavian Studies and Women’s Studies at the University of Minnesota, and published work on Swedish women’s literature and feminist literary criticism.  She is now a Loft Teaching Fellow and a Master Track Advisor at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, where she offers courses in creative non-fiction and serves on the Board.  Her work has been supported by grants and fellowships from the Minnesota State Arts Board, the Jerome Foundation, the Dayton-Hudson Foundation, the Minnesota Historical Society, the Loft Literary Center, the American-Scandinavian Foundation, and the Swedish Council on Humanities and Literary Research. 

Madelon Sprengnether

madelon sprengnether

Madelon Sprengnether, Professor of English at the University of Minnesota, is a writer and literary scholar whose work crosses boundaries between genres and disciplines. 

She has published widely and influentially on Shakespeare, contemporary women writers, feminist psychoanalytic theory, and Freud.  Her co-edited collection The (M)other Tongue was the first anthology to bring together essays in feminist psychoanalytic criticism and firmly established the field.  Her book The Spectral Mother: Freud, Feminism and Psychoanalysis analyzed Freud’s avoidance of the figure of the mother in his writing, while offering a new theoretical position regarding the pre-oedipal period.  Other scholarly books include Revising the Word and the World: Essays in Feminist Literary Criticism, and Shakespearean Tragedy and Gender

Her first book of poetry The Normal Heart was a Minnesota Voices Competition winner.  Her book of personal essays Rivers, Stories, Houses, Dreams helped to inaugurate the new (and as-yet-to-be-named) genre of creative nonfiction.  Her memoir Crying at the Movies explores the way that film elicits deep subjective responses and memories.  Currently, she is at work on a memoir titled Great River Road, which incorporates elements of the new neuroscience of memory with insight into the cumulative functions of memory over time.  The Angel of Duluth, her new book of prose poems, has just been released.   

She has received awards from the Bush Foundation, The Loft and the National Endowment for the Arts.  At the University of Minnesota, she has been awarded the Distinguished Women Scholars Award; the Distinguished Teaching Award for Outstanding Contributions to Postbaccalaureate, Graduate and Professional Education; and the Fesler-Lampert Chair in the Humanities.  She is a faculty member of the New Directions Program in Psychoanalytic Thinking, sponsored by the Washington D.C. Psychoanalytic Foundation, and a participant in “The Historiography of Psychoanalysis Study Group,” sponsored by the Anna Freud Foundation and the Sigmund Freud Archives.