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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 621

Additional papers of Ann Hunter Popkin, 1954-1979


Addenda to the papers of educator, sociologist, feminist, and activist Ann Hunter Popkin.


  • Creation: 1954-1979

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Unrestricted, except files containing questionnaire analysis or post-interview notes with identifying information (#12.8-12.10, #13.3-13.4, #13.7, #15.3, #15.8) are closed to research until January 1, 2030; and student recommendations (#18.3) are closed until January 1, 2057.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Ann Hunter Popkin retains her copyright in the papers until January 1, 2020, at which time copyright will be transferred to the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library. Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.

Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.


8.76 linear feet ((21 file boxes) plus 1 card file box, 3 folio folders, 2 folio + folders, 1 oversize folder)

These addenda primarily consist of material gathered by Ann Hunter Popkin during her career as an educator. Included are biographical and personal papers; papers related to her early education, college years, and graduate studies, which form the bulk of the collection; and papers representing various facets of her professional career, including teaching, conferences, photography, and film work. Some material may overlap with earlier records donated in November 1989 (89-M204). Popkin's role as a founding member of Bread and Roses, an early women's liberation organization, is also documented but the material is scattered and incomplete, compared to that available in the earlier collection. Some correspondence, interviews, questionnaire analysis, and response cards used in Popkin's Ph.D. dissertation, "Bread and Roses: An Early Movement in the Development of Socialist Feminism," contain personal information, and are closed until January 1, 2030. Correspondence, newsletters, and papers related to her activism in civil rights, campus unrest and anti-war demonstrations are scattered throughout the collection. For the most part, the archivist created the file arrangement and folder titles. In the few instances where the donor's folders titles were retained, they appear in quotation marks. Loose materials were sorted and interfiled.

Series I, BIOGRAPHICAL AND PERSONAL, 1954-1977, n.d. (#1.1-2.3), includes religious teachings; awards and certificates of recognition; personal correspondence; curricula vitae; personal notebooks and journals; memberships and related papers mainly consisting of newsletters she subscribed to; documents relating to employment and volunteer activities; papers related to her activism; and a poster and other materials related to her civil rights work in Mississippi. For an intellectual autobiography, see #10.6. The papers are arranged with Popkin's curricula vitae first and the remaining folders in alphabetical order.

Series II, PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION, 1954-1963 (#2.4-7.4, FD.2, F+D.2), consists mainly of papers related to Popkin's early education, including school work, correspondence, newsletters, and artwork, which are arranged in three subseries:

Subseries A, Brookside and Centennial Avenue Elementary Schools, 1954-1957 (#2.4-2.8, FD.2, F+D.2 ), contains schoolwork, exams, essays, artwork, report cards and papers related to extra-curricular activities, including the American Junior Red Cross, Girl Scouts, school prom, and camping. The papers are arranged alphabetically.

Subseries B, Baldwin Junior High School, 1957-1960 (#3.1-4.6), includes schoolwork organized by subject, school correspondence, early speeches, artwork, and papers related to her role as editor of the school newsletter. The papers are arranged alphabetically.

Subseries C, Baldwin High School, 1960-1963 (#4.7-7.4), includes schoolwork organized by subject, school correspondence that includes college applications, test scores and related material, exams, essays, artwork, report cards, and diploma. Correspondence, newsletters, and other material related to Popkin's participation in the American Field Service Intercultural Program are also included. The papers are arranged alphabetically.

Series III, RADCLIFFE COLLEGE, 1963-1967 (#7.5-9.2), includes course material organized by subject, academic correspondence, subject files, sketches, grade reports, and college thesis. Papers documenting her involvement as a campus organizer and member of the labor committee of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), and her participation in a American labor history seminar organized by the Radical Education Project, are also included. The papers are arranged alphabetically.

Series IV, BRANDEIS UNIVERSITY, 1968-1977 (#9.3-17.5), contains papers related to Popkin's graduate coursework, and dissertation, including course material, reading lists, radical literature, clippings, draft thesis chapters, journals, and statistical data. The folders are arranged in two subseries.

Subseries A, Graduate coursework, 1968-1977 (#9.3-12.4), contains correspondence, course outlines, essays, reading lists, subject files, radical literature, class notes, and clippings. Some courses and seminars were taken at Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and/or were alternative educational courses created and taught by students. The papers are arranged alphabetically.

Subseries B, Dissertation and related, 1970-1977 (#12.5-17.5), mostly relates to Popkin's dissertation, "Bread and Roses: An Early Movement in the Development of Socialist Feminism," which was published in 1977, and includes her prospectus, chapter outlines, draft chapters, thesis journals, statistical data, articles, and clippings related to the women's liberation movement. Some correspondence, interviews, questionnaires and respondent cards with identifying information are closed to research until January 1, 2030. The papers are arranged chronologically within groupings by types of research materials.

Series V, PROFESSIONAL, 1965-1979, n.d. (#18.1-22.2), contains papers related to Popkin's professional career as an educator; conference papers, which include workshops and meetings; and documents related to her photography and film work. The papers include correspondence, coursework, subject files, flyers and programs, and a film proposal. Folders are arranged in three subseries.

Subseries A, Teaching, 1970-1979, n.d. (#18.1-20.6), contains papers related to Popkin's teaching in both academic and non-academic venues. Popkin began teaching introductory classes in sociology at Brandeis University in 1970 under the terms of her fellowship. She subsequently developed and taught classes that reflected her research interests, including the sociology of women, social movements, social psychology, and the sociology of the family. In addition to teaching at Brandeis, the University of Massachusetts at Boston, and the University of California at Santa Cruz, she also taught at the Women's Center, later renamed the Cambridge Women's Center, which she helped establish and which still remained in operation as of 2010. Popkin also taught courses at the Women's School, the Boston Women's Union, and was a guest lecturer at local academic institutions. The papers include course material created by Popkin and others, including Barrie Thorne, a mentor, sociology professor and author; bibliographic material; reading notes; papers related to course development; and subject files. Student recommendations (#18.3) are closed to research until January 1, 2057. The papers are arranged alphabetically.

Subseries B, Conferences, 1965-1977, n.d. (#20.7-21.4), contains brochures, flyers, announcements, and correspondence related to conferences, seminars, and symposia Popkin attended. Included are brochures for conferences focusing on women's history, and socialist and Marxist feminism. The papers are arranged chronologically.

Subseries C, Photography and films, 1969-1977, n.d. (#21.5-22.2), contains correspondence, flyers and announcements, articles, printed material, clippings, and newsletters related to Popkin's work in photography and films. Popkin's photographs were published in books, newspapers, and periodicals, including "Women's Music" (Sing Out Magazine, 1971), "The Women's Movement in Boston" (Parade Magazine, in the Boston Globe, 1971), and Women and Their Bodies: A Course, published by the Boston Women's Health Book Collective (1970). She also made several films, which explored sociological aspects of women's lives, including Grandma and Charm School. The papers are arranged chronologically.

Series VI, BREAD AND ROSES, 1969-1971, n.d. (#22.3-22.14), includes the organization's declaration of independence; a brief history; flyers and leaflets promoting programs, events, protests and demonstrations; clippings; speeches; newsletters; and printed material related to the women's liberation movement. Founded in 1969, Bread and Roses interacted with and coordinated local women's liberation groups and activities, investigated incidents involving sexism, and launched effective protest rallies and "zap actions." In 1970, members of Bread and Roses organized the first International Women's Day. They targeted a number of organizations for protests, including the Boston Globe, radio station WBCN, and Northeastern University. In 1971, Bread and Roses took over an unoccupied, Harvard-owned building at 888 Memorial Drive. During the occupation, various services were established for women, including free classes and day care, but after 10 days the women were forced to leave. Their actions generated numerous donations from wealthy Boston feminists, which helped them establish a Women's Center at 46 Pleasant Street in Cambridge. The Center was subsequently renamed the Cambridge Women's Center and was still operating in 2010. The papers are arranged alphabetically.

Series VII, OVERSIZED MATERIAL, 1958-1976 (#FD.1-FD.3, F+D.1-F+D.2, OD.1), serves as the shelflist for oversized items listed in previous series, including an honorary certificate; artwork; a photograph and poster related to Popkin's civil rights activities; a poster related to the anti-war movement; course catalogs; and newsletters and songs related to the women's liberation movement.

Most of the photographs in this collection are or will be cataloged in VIA, Harvard University's Visual Information Access database. Others, referred to as "uncataloged" photographs, are not of sufficient research interest to warrant cataloging and are simply treated as part of the documents they accompany; they are marked on the back with an asterisk in square brackets [*].


Educator, sociologist, feminist, and activist Ann Hunter Popkin was born on September 21, 1945, to Sally and George Popkin and raised in Long Island, New York. As a teenager, Popkin won the first of many scholastic awards, including an American Field Service scholarship in 1961, for an intercultural summer program that enabled her to travel to Norway as an exchange student. During the 1960s, she also participated in peace marches, and became involved in the civil rights movement, which included organizing food and clothing drives for freedom workers in the South, and registering voters during Mississippi Freedom Summer of 1964. An essay based on her experience was published in Letters Home (1965). Popkin also attended the Encampment for Citizenship, a summer youth program founded in 1944 to encourage political activism and volunteerism. Her volunteer activities included working with inner city youth in Boston, Philadelphia, and New York.

Popkin graduated cum laude from Radcliffe College in 1967 and took a year off to work with noted sociologist Noam Chomsky researching the American media's coverage of the Viet Nam war. She attended Brandeis University from 1968 to 1977, earning an M.A. and a Ph.D. Beginning in 1970, she taught introductory classes in sociology at Brandeis and subsequently at the University of Massachusetts at Boston, the University of California at Santa Cruz, and for numerous women's organizations.

In 1969, Popkin became a founding member of Bread and Roses in Cambridge, Massachusetts, one of the oldest and largest women's liberation organizations in the United States. Adopting the slogan used by striking textile workers in 1912 for its name, Bread and Roses consisted of standing committees, consciousness-raising collectives, and study groups. Members used public speeches, leafleting, guerilla theater, and other tactics to advocate for a broad range of women's issues, including abortion and reproductive rights, child care, equal employment opportunities, and violence prevention. After the organization disbanded in 1971, Popkin remained active in numerous organizations, including the New England Marxist-Feminist Study Group, the Boston Women's Union, Boston Women in the Social Sciences, and the Socialist Column, a radical faculty group at the University of Massachusetts at Boston.

Popkin wrote about her experience in the women's liberation movement in "Women's Liberation," an article co-authored with Linda Gordon, also a member of Bread and Roses (in Seasons of Rebellion: Protest and Radicalism in Recent America, 1972), and in "The Personal Is Political: The Women's Liberation Movement" (in They Should Have Served that Cup of Coffee, 1979). A number of her photographs were published in local newspapers and various publications, including Women and Their Bodies: A Course, the predecessor publication to Our Bodies, Ourselves, published by the New England Free Press (1970). She also made several films that focused on issues pertinent to women.

In 2003, Popkin was awarded a Women of Achievement award from Oregon State University Women's Center for her role in developing and teaching the Difference, Power and Discrimination Program. She has served as director of the University's Women's Studies department, and taught Unlearning Racism workshops to students and teachers. She currently resides in Eugene, Oregon and is the Diversity Coordinator for the Shambhala Center in Portland.


The collection has been arranged in seven series:

  1. Series I. Biographical and personal, 1954-1977, n.d. (#1.1-2.3)
  2. Series II. Primary and secondary education, 1954-1963 (#2.4-7.4, FD.2, F+D.2)
  3. ___Subseries A. Brookside and Centennial Avenue Elementary Schools, 1954-1957 (#2.4-2.8, FD.2, F+D.2)
  4. ___Subseries B. Baldwin Junior High School, 1957-1960 (#3.1-4.6)
  5. ___Subseries C. Baldwin High School, 1960-1963 (#4.7-7.4)
  6. Series III. Radcliffe College, 1963-1967 (#7.5-9.2)
  7. Series IV. Brandeis University, 1968-1977 (#9.3-17.5)
  8. ___Subseries A. Graduate coursework, 1968-1977 (#9.3-12.4)
  9. ___Subseries B. Dissertation and related, 1970-1977 (#12.5-17.5)
  10. Series V. Professional, 1965-1979, n.d. (#18.1-22.2)
  11. ___Subseries A. Teaching, 1970-1979, n.d. (#18.1-20.6)
  12. ___Subseries B. Conferences, 1965-1977, n.d. (#20.7-21.4)
  13. ___Subseries C. Photography and films, 1969-1977, n.d. (#21.5-22.2)
  14. Series VI. Bread and Roses, 1969-1971, n.d. (#22.3-22.14)
  15. Series VII. Oversized, 1958-1976 (#F.1-FD.3, F+D.1-F+D.2, OD.1)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 2003-M55, 2003-M73

These additional papers of Ann Hunter Popkin were donated to the Schlesinger Library by Ann Hunter Popkin in 2003.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Papers of Ann Hunter Popkin, 1968-1977 (89-M204).


Donors: Ann Hunter Popkin

Accession numbers: 89-M204, 2003-M55, 2003-M73

Processed by: Emilyn L. Brown

Four cartons of schoolwork, printed material, and newspapers covering general topics of activism, labor, war, and imperialism were returned to the donor.

Processing Information

Processed: April 2010

By: Emilyn L. Brown

Popkin, Ann Hunter, 1945- . Additional papers of Ann Hunter Popkin, 1954-1979: A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

The preeminent research library on the history of women in the United States, the Schlesinger Library documents women's lives from the past and present for the future. In addition to its traditional strengths in the history of feminisms, women’s health, and women’s activism, the Schlesinger collections document the intersectional workings of race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class in American history.

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