Visiting Assistant Professor of History Einav Rabinovitch-Fox research focuses on women and gender in the United States during the 20th century. She analyzes how visual and material culture has shaped and reflected class, gender, and racial identities—especially how women have used fashion as a form of feminism.
That research extends to how suffragists used clothing as a visual component to their movement—and next semester, she’ll share that knowledge, and much more, in the classroom to mark the 19th Amendment’s 100th anniversary.
In 19th at 100: Commemorating the Suffrage Struggle and Its Legacies in Cleveland (HSTY 317/417), students will learn about the history behind the movement and how it reverberates today in ongoing dialogues surrounding voting rights and women’s equality.
The course also will examine the movement from a local perspective, with an emphasis on Ohio, Cleveland and Case Western Reserve’s role. Rabinovitch-Fox said the course will challenge widely held beliefs about the amendment, including that all women got to vote in 1920.
“I think there is a lot of relevance to look [at] and to learn from the struggles of the past and see how we can utilize them today,” she said.
This course doesn’t just connect Rabinovitch-Fox’s interest in women’s history, though; it also ties in her career working in a museum.
Prior to coming to Case Western Reserve, Rabinovitch-Fox was a postdoctoral scholar at the Western Reserve Historical Society, where she worked on the museum side of the history field. There, she was involved with a project to explore and make accessible the Wade family’s history.
That experience drove an interest in museum work that is another component of her course: Students will curate an exhibition that includes a digital component and academic database, resulting in hands-on experience in museum curation and digital software (though, Rabinovitch-Fox stressed, coding knowledge or digital skills are not required).
To support the course, Rabinovitch-Fox received a Freedman Center for Digital Scholarship fellowship. Both undergraduate and graduate students can enroll in the course, which has no prerequisites. Rabinovitch-Fox said no knowledge of U.S. or women’s history is necessary.
“It’s kind of a unique opportunity,” she said of working on the topic during the amendment’s centennial year.
Interested students can sign up for the course in SIS, but first, find out more about Rabinovitch-Fox in this week’s five questions.
1. What’s something you don’t know how to do but would like to learn?
I want to learn how to code. That’s something I always wanted to learn, but it looks very sophisticated and difficult. It’s like learning another language.
2. Who’s the best teacher you’ve ever had?
I had a great teacher when I did my undergrad studies. He was a teacher for the Middle Ages, which was a period that I did not care at all about. And he made it such a fascinating thing. He was one of the people who really showed me how history can be fascinating and, because it’s the Middle Ages, a lot of the sources were not just written sources, but paintings and objects and things like that. Suddenly, I was like, this is so interesting because you can ask all of those interesting questions on paintings and objects and you can learn so much from maps and from costumes.
3. Where do you most like to travel?
Right now, to somewhere warm. As cliché as it is, I really, really like Paris. I think it’s a wonderful city. It has so much in it and so much to offer with museums and history and food and fashion. But really, what I like to do most in Paris is just to go and buy cheese and a baguette and sit in the Luxembourg Gardens and look at people. Maybe not now because it’s also cold in Paris, but over the summer and spring, it is the perfect city.
4. If you could go back in time and tell a younger version of yourself something, what would you say?
I would tell her to not worry, that things will work out in the end. And to not be afraid to take risks.
5. What’s your favorite thing about Case Western Reserve?
It’s the students, really. I find them smart and engaging. They’re coming from all over the world and they always have interesting perspectives. I learn a lot from my students. They also keep me updated on what’s going on. It helps you feel young.