Jocelyn Olcott named Co-recipient of the Ida Blom-Karen Offen Prize

Jocelyn Olcott

GSF Director, Professor Jocelyn Olcott has been named a co-recipient of the Ida Blom-Karen Offen Prize in Transnational Women's and Gender History for her book International Women's Year: The Greatest Consciousness-Raising Event in History (Oxford University Press, 2017).  

The citation for Jocelyn’s prize reads as follows:

This engaging history complicates the standard narrative of the 1975 United Nations International Women’s Year (IWY) Conference in Mexico City.  It unpacks some of the oppositions which have shaped previous narratives of the event: economic justice versus sexual freedom, third world versus first world, USSR and non-aligned nations versus US and its Western allies, and the NGO (non-governmental organization) Tribune versus the official UN meeting. Olcott has not only written a definitive study, but her concluding “Notes on Sources, Theories, and Methods” invites us to think about how we narrate the history of events, the role of contingency, and the reliability of multiple witnesses.  This tale of encounters—between North and South, East and West, the grassroots and the bureaucratic—sets a high standard for the practice of transnational history, no less than the history of feminism.

The prize has been instituted this year to honor the founding President and Treasurer of the International Federation for Research in Women's History.   Jolie’s book inaugurates the prize in this important area of research, and undoubtedly sets the bar high for those to follow.