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dc.contributor.authorDillard-Wright, Jessica Susan
dc.date.accessioned2020-12-02T14:02:02Z
dc.date.available2020-12-02T14:02:02Z
dc.date.issued2020-12
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10675.2/623716
dc.descriptionRecord is embargoed until 12/31/2025
dc.description.abstractAs the last light of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) faded in 1982, a group of radical feminist nurses coalesced around their shared outrage at nursing’s disciplinary failure to engage deeply with feminist causes. The 1982 American Nurses Convention coincided with this last gasp of the ERA, held in a hotel in Washington, D.C. where thousands of nurses, overwhelmingly women, converged for professional development and camaraderie. And although the city outside the hotel roiled in protest, the Convention unfurled with nary a mention of the constitutional amendment that would secure legal equality irrespective of gender. Incensed by this omission, and with nursing’s general resistance to political engagement, these radical nurses descended on the hotel bar and began organizing what would become Cassandra Radical Feminist Nurses Network. Cassandra Radical Feminist Nurses Network (“CASSANDRA” hereafter, in the convention established by the organization in their Newsjournal) was an activist network active from 1982 until 1991. This study used historical research methods to document CASSANDRA’s legacy while unpacking the complex interrelationship between nursing and feminism. This includes examining the influences of race, gender, and sexuality, influences that shapes normative understandings of nursing from its Victorian origins to the present. CASSANDRA was unusual in its overt affiliation as a nurses’ organization with a radical feminist allegiance during an era when feminism and nursing were frequently at odds. As a decentralized, radical feminist “web,” the aim of CASSANDRA was to “create and develop a group that would truly provide an open forum for feminist nurses from all walks of life and how to avoid the usual male-oriented hierarchy and rigidity of most national organizations” (LaGodna, 1982, p. 1). In unfurling the nuances of gender and sexuality that CASSANDRA navigated, it is clear that the work of CASSANDRA envisioned a radical space for collective resistance and connection, reflecting the normative expectations in nursing that stemmed from nursing’s Victorian imaginary. Even while CASSANDRA’s work around gender and sexuality was bold and transgressive, their engagement with race was poorly articulated. Because of this, the organization’s work reinforced white normativity. Ultimately, like mythological Cassandra, CASSNADRA would eventually quiet to a whisper. What understanding the thrums of CASSANDRA, of nursing’s rich and complex history can do is provide a clear view of nursing’s disciplinary history. This is a fundamental prerequisite for a more just, equitable nursing future.
dc.publisherAugusta University
dc.subjectHistory
dc.subjectNursing
dc.subjectWomen's studies
dc.subjectCASSANDRA Radical Feminist Nurses Network, feminism, gender, history, nursing, race
dc.titleCassandra Radical Feminist Nurses Network: Feminism, Nursing, and a History for the Present
dc.typedissertationen_US
dc.contributor.departmentNursing
dc.language.rfc3066en
dc.date.updated2020-12-02T14:02:03Z
dc.description.advisorZadinsky, Julie K.
dc.description.committeeBratton, Angela
dc.description.committeeInglett, Sandra
dc.description.committeeMarion, Lucy
dc.description.committeeSmith, Kylie
dc.description.committeeLinville, Darla
dc.description.committeeQuinn, Molly
dc.description.degreePh.D.
dc.description.embargo12/02/2025


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