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Grant number like: FT-56922-09

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Jeanne Danielle Petit
Hope College (Holland, MI 49423-3663)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2009 – 7/31/2009

Catholic Women in Modern America: Gender, Race, Religion and the National Council of Catholic Women, 1918-1929

This book traces the history of the creation and first decade of the National Council of Catholic Women (NCCW), the first national Catholic laywomen's political organization in the United States. As Catholics in a Protestant-dominated country and women in a patriarchal Church, the NCCW had to negotiate a tricky political terrain. To do this, they embraced a Catholic ethos that stressed communalism over individualism and women's responsibilities over women's rights. They engaged with the "modern" issues of the 1920s--growing diversity, new ideas about government power, changing views of sexuality--and charted an unconventional political path that straddled left-right political divides. In the process, they participated in the movement of Catholics from the periphery of American political and social power into the mainstream. They helped lay the foundations for distinctive Catholic responses to 20th-century gender and race issues that shape United States politics to this day.