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For Whose Protection? Black Women and Confinement in the Late-19th Century

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Presenter: Charlene Fletcher, Assistant Professor of History, Butler University

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 15th | 7:00-8:30PM | HP 138

This talk illuminates the lives of confined Black women by examining places like jails, prisons, mental health asylums, and – a site not typically considered confining – the home and related domestic spaces. I explore how Black women defied and defined confinement through their interactions with public, social, and political entities of the period and how they challenged Victorian ideas of race and femininity in the late 19th century.

Charlene J. Fletcher (she/her) is an assistant professor of history at Butler University. She holds a Ph.D. in History from Indiana University, specializing in 19th-century United States and African American history and gender studies. Before returning to Indiana, Charlene led a domestic violence/sexual assault program and one of the most significant prison reentry initiatives in New York City, assisting women and men in transitioning from incarceration to society. Charlene’s first book, Confined Femininity: Race, Gender, and Incarceration in Kentucky, 1865-1920, is under contract with the University of North Carolina Press.