Forgetting the Past



Based on arguments developed more fully in the author's History Matters: Patriarchy and the Challenge of Feminism (2006), this article urges historians of women and gender to develop a richer appreciation of the distant past. The article uses data from recent conferences and journals to demonstrate that our field is now overly focused on the modern era, and especially the last century. Then, in the spirit of encouraging further discussion and debate, the article lays out some reasons for this contemporary tilt, some ways we might right the balance and some benefits of doing just that.