Mount Mercy College welcomes guest speaker Renee Schlueter, Ph.D., for a special forum titled “The Revolt of [True] Women – Christina Rossetti and Josephine Butler,” on Tuesday, March 2 at 7:30 p.m. in Flaherty Community Room, Basile Hall as part of Mount Mercy’s Race and Gender Speaker Series.
An Assistant Professor of English at Kirkwood Community College, Schlueter will explore the writings and activism of novelist Josephine Butler and Christina Rossetti, and will reveal how their rejection of female submissive behavior not only challenged patriarchal double standards but also inspired contemporary feminists to advocate for women’s justice.
In "Lovers of the Lost" Josephine Butler awakened the conscience of her middle class female audience, urging women to reject the feminine ideal of "submission" and "domesticity" promulgated in the nineteenth-century cult of true womanhood. The religious convictions of poet Christina Rossetti likewise encouraged sisterly activism and lead her to service as a lay sister for the Magdalene Penitentiary for fallen women.
After completing her Bachelor of Arts in English at Truman State University, Schlueter accepted a teaching fellowship at Saint Louis University, where she taught courses in literature and writing while earning her Master of Arts and Ph.D. in English. While at Saint Louis University, Schlueter received a dissertation fellowship and the Fournier Teaching Excellence award. She has taught courses in British Literature, Women's Studies, Business Writing, composition, and literature.
Mount Mercy’s Race and Gender Speaker Series provides the campus and surrounding community with the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of global trends by providing lectures, scholarship and presentations on race, gender, minorities, and cultural differences. The series, offered every other year at Mount Mercy, offers new perspectives on issues that affect our community and world, both past and present.