About The Center

The Alice Paul Center for Research on Gender, Sexuality and Women is an important resource for fulfilling the University of Pennsylvania’s commitment to interdisciplinarity, diversity and problem-solving at the local, national and global level. Our core and affiliated faculty represent more than 20 departments, programs and schools at Penn, and are national and international leaders in the study of gender, sexuality, and women. In partnership with the Program on Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies, our primary mission is to facilitate disciplinary and interdisciplinary feminist scholarship and promote the connections between research and public engagement.

Founded in 1982, the Center provides fellowships for faculty and graduate students, organizes and hosts seminars and conferences, and sponsors lectureships that bring prominent academic, literary, and public figures to campus. The Center draws faculty from humanities and social science departments of the School of Arts and Sciences, as well as from professional schools throughout campus. Our Core Faculty are widely published and compete successfully for national grants and fellowships, including the Guggenheim, the American Council of Learned Societies, The Institute for Advanced Study, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation, among others.

The Center is named for suffragist Alice Paul (Penn Ph.D., 1912), who played an instrumental role in the passage of the 19th amendment. Marking the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment in August 2020, members of the APC/GSWS community ask whether Alice Paul's problematic past, including her role in the exclusion of Black women from the suffrage movement, make her the right namesake for the Center. Below you will find some recent essays on Paul's past, as well as APC/GSWS faculty and staff commentary on what this Centenntial means during the current political moment.

On the Anniversary of the 19th Amendment by Jennifer Reiss

Questioning Alice Paul's Legacy for Penn GSWS by Kathleen Brown

Reflections on Suffrage: The 19th Amendment at 100 in Penn Today