Social activist and influential executive secretary of the National Urban League Eugene Kinckle Jones was born on July 30, 1885.

Felix L. Armfield‘s biography Eugene Kinckle Jones: The National Urban League and Black Social Work, 1910-1940 details the life an impact of this important agent for black social change in the early twentieth century.

In a January, 2012 Q&A with the Press, the late author pointed out some of the achievements of Eugene Kinckle Jones.

“While serving as the executive secretary of the National Urban League, worked to secure adequate jobs and housing for newly arriving southern black migrants to the often urban north,” Armfield noted. “In addition to jobs and housing, Jones continually worked with industry to make sure that sufficient job opportunities were made available to urban black people from 1916 to 1940.”









Answers below.

1. Alta Saunders (nee Gwinn) co-founded the U. of I. chapter of the Delta Gamma sorority. Along with her sister Delta Gammas, Alta spearheaded the purchase of the current sorority house at West Nevada and South Mathews by raising the down payment in which way?

2. Rhetoric 10, initially offered in 1902, offered the first American college-level class in business writing. Taught by Thomas Arkle Clark, Rhetoric 10 was a males-only class due to which of Clark’s personal beliefs?

3. In the 1950s, the University handed freshman girls the publication Illini Wise to teach them the rules for females on campus. Readers learned that the university stipulated a lights-out for women—though not men—built around which school night regulation?




1. Starting, and a year later selling, a popular campus tea room*

2. That the female mind lacked the necessary logic for business communication*

3. A curfew that required women to return to their residence hall by 10:30*

parry-gilesTonight, former U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton will throw down political style as she officially kicks off her bid for the White House. The speech will cap twenty-five years in a national spotlight that at various times lit Clinton in order to transform her into Lady MacBeth or any number of other Shakespearean monstrosities.

In the award-winning Hillary Clinton and the News, Shawn J. Parry-Giles offers a definitive account of Clinton’s fraught journey and her encounters—as a person, an image, an idea, and a symbol—with American journalism and, more often than not, “journamalism.” Take the 1996 presidential, for instance, when the media salivated at the idea of matching up Clinton against the more “traditional” Elizabeth Dole. As Parry-Giles shows, much stupidity was on display:

As in 1992, Hillary Clinton was still framed as a threat to her husband’s candidacy in 1996, eliciting what some in the press suggested was the need for further disciplinary action by the Clinton campaign. Greenfield’s aforementioned reference to Clinton as the “political equivalent of nitroglycerin” framed that danger in very acute terms. Reflecting a linguistic frame from 1992, NBC titled an October 22, 1996, newscast “The Hillary Factor” to underscore the problems that Clinton brought to her husband’s re-election campaign. ABC’s Nightline would revise the linguistic frame and identify this phenomenon as the “Hillary problem,” which, according to Ted Koppel, represented Clinton’s struggle “to deal with a public image . . . of being too strong, too intelligent, too driven.” Because of Clinton’s image problems, Nightline writers claimed that the Dole campaign was debating how Elizabeth Dole could “be seen as a strong partner but not as Hillary Clinton.”

Clinton’s threatening attributes were reinforced with the re-emergence of the “lightning rod” metaphor in 1996. In the context of the 1996 Democratic National Convention, Linda Douglass of CBS News argued that Clinton had become a “lightning rod for conservative wrath.” Lisa Myers also used the same construct for Clinton during the same time period, noting that such controversy was to blame for women’s doubts about her: “Most of these women rooted for Hillary when she became first lady but that was before she became a lightning rod for controversy.”

These stalwart images demonstrated once again the authenticating force of a feminist news frame—a frame with tremendous staying power revealed in the persistence of Clinton’s baseline frames from the first campaign to the second. Once authenticated, the frame made it more difficult for Clinton to move across the fields of career and motherhood/wife or progress and tradition. As Mary Douglas Vavrus explains, “The more naturalized and hegemonic ideologies are, the more difficult their articulations are to challenge.” When Clinton was acknowledged for her outspokenness and for her role as wife, it was still in very incendiary terms as CNN noted her reputation as “the boss’s wife from hell.”

Well, less than 100 years after women won the right to vote, one of them is running for the White as the nominee of a major political party. Tonight, Hillary Clinton will accept the nomination for one of the world’s most difficult jobs after being praised last night by the African American incumbent president. We live in astonishing times.

Women have, of course, worked hard inside and outside the American political sphere for a long time. Their astonishing life stories feature the frustrations, humiliations, lack of opportunity, and sexism that would no doubt get a sympathetic nod of the head from Clinton. Those same lives followed long, winding roads to triumph in the noble causes of peace and equality, and in the less-celebrated but equally essential opening of doors in the workplace for themselves and for the generations of women that followed.

gwinnEmily Greene Balch: The Long Road to Internationalism, by Kristen E. Gwinn
A well-known American academic and cofounder of Boston’s first settlement house, Emily Greene Balch was an important Progressive Era reformer and advocate for world peace. Balch served as a professor of economics and sociology at Wellesley College for twenty years until her opposition to World War I resulted with the board of trustees refusing to renew her contract. Afterwards, Balch continued to emphasize the importance of international institutions for preventing and reconciling conflicts. She was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 1946 for her efforts in cofounding and leading the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF).

This first scholarly biography of Balch traces her work at Wellesley, for the WILPF, and for other peace movements. Kristen E. Gwinn draws on a rich collection of primary sources such as letters, lectures, a draft of Balch’s autobiography, and proceedings of the WILPF and other organizations in which Balch held leadership roles. Gwinn illuminates Balch’s ideas on negotiated peace, internationalism, global citizenship, and diversity while providing pointed insight into her multifaceted career, philosophy, and temperament. Detailing Balch’s academic research on Slavic immigration and her arguments for greater cultural and monetary cohesion in Europe, Gwinn shows how Balch’s scholarship and teaching reflected her philosophical development.

leeFor Freedom’s Sake: The Life of Fannie Lou Hamer, by Chana Kai Lee
The youngest of twenty children of sharecroppers in rural Mississippi, Fannie Lou Hamer witnessed first-hand the white cruelty, political exclusion, and relentless economic exploitation that defined black existence in the Delta. In this intimate biography, Chana Kai Lee documents Hamer’s lifelong crusade to empower the poor through collective action, her rise to national prominence as a civil rights activist, and the personal costs of her ongoing struggle to win a political voice and economic self-sufficiency for blacks in the segregated South.

Lee traces Hamer’s early work as a field secretary for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in rural Mississippi, documenting the partial blindness she suffered after being arrested and beaten by local officials for leading a group of blacks to register for the vote. Hamer’s dramatic appearance at the 1964 Democratic National Convention, where she led a group from the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party in a bid to unseat the all-white Mississippi delegation, brought both Hamer and the virtual powerlessness of black Mississippians to the nation’s attention; but the convention also marked her first debilitating encounter with the middle class of the national civil rights movement. The definitive biography of one of the most important civil rights activists of the twentieth century, For Freedom’s Sake documents one woman’s lifelong crusade to empower the poor through collective action, her rise to national prominence as a civil rights activist, and the personal costs of her ongoing struggle to win a political voice and economic self-sufficiency for African Americans in the segregated South.

allabackThe First American Women Architects, by Sarah Allaback
By 1920, there were over two hundred women practicing architecture in the United States, actively working on major design and building projects before they were even given the right to vote. These women designed thousands of buildings nationwide: apartments in Kansas City, hotels in the nation’s national parks, churches in Michigan, and mansions on the coast of California, to name a few. In The First American Women Architects, Sarah Allaback chronicles the lives and careers of more than seventy pioneering female architects practicing in the United States in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, nearly all of whom have been forgotten until now.

An invaluable reference guide, the volume provides a biographical sketch of each architect’s life, education, and professional career, and a list of known works and sources for further research. Many of these remarkable women have never before appeared in any other history, making The First American Women Architects a unique and invaluable reference for students and scholars interested in women’s history and architecture. As an instructive record of the legacy of women in architectural history, this book will also serve as a stimulating indicator of the broadening potential for women and other minorities within the field of architecture.

birchallOnoto Watanna: The Story of Winnifred Eaton, by Diana Birchall
In 1901, the young Winnifred Eaton arrived in New York City with literary ambitions, journalistic experience, and the manuscript for A Japanese Nightingale, the novel that would sell many thousands of copies and make her famous. Hers is a real Horatio Alger story, with fascinating added dimensions of race and gender.

While commercially successful women writers were uncommon a century ago, Winnifred Eaton (1875-1954) cultivated a particular persona to set herself apart even within this rare breed. Born to a British father and a Chinese mother, Winnifred decided to capitalize on her exotic appearance while protecting herself from Americans’ scorn of Chinese: she “became” Japanese, assuming the pen name Onoto Watanna. While her eldest sister, Edith Maude Eaton (now acknowledged as the mother of Asian American fiction), was writing stories of downtrodden Chinese immigrants under the name Sui Sin Far, Winnifred’s Japanese romance novels and stories became all the rage, thrusting her into the glittering world of New York literati.

Diana Birchall chronicles the sometimes desperate, sometimes canny, always bold life of her “bad grandmother,” about whom she knew almost nothing until her own adulthood. Here are the details of an amazing professional career as a journalist, a bestselling novelist, and a Hollywood scriptwriting protégée of Carl Laemmle at Universal Studios.

parry-giles fullOne of the pleasures of reading Hillary Clinton in the News is the trip back to yesteryear to see the freaks and embarrassments who made up the American media’s infotainment complex at the turn of the century—and to wonder that so many remain employed today.

Open to just about any page and you will find the gems of “insight” and “analysis” that author Shawn J. Parry-Giles unearthed in pursuing the story of how the press of the 1990s and early 2000s treated Clinton. Perhaps you will also admire that anyone would willingly submit themselves to long-term exposure to Toby Jugs like Chris Matthews in the name of scholarly research:

Continue reading

bolshevikMeet the UI Press is a recurring feature that delves into issues affecting academic publishing, writing, education, and related topics. Today, industry advice columnist The Bolshevik answers your questions.

Dear Bolshevik,
I read the other day that Amazon intends to install a presence on the University of Illinois campus, specifically within the venerable Illini Union Bookstore, where generations have overpaid for books with no resale value. Even though the company says it’s only a pickup location—how odd, don’t you people have bars and Tinder?—it seems ominous. A paradigm is shifting before our eyes, right? Signed, Fear the Smile

Dear Fear: The Bolshevik is not surprised by the news, as in the era of the corporate university each department must become creative with moneymaking ventures. It’s nothing to worry about, however. The counter at the IUB merely represents another small step toward an inevitable dystopian future with Amazon the crowned emperor of Earth. (Not possible? Corporations are people, too, comrade.) Every university will be an extension of the University of Amazon, i.e. U. of. Zon—Illinois, U. of Zon.—Rutgers, and so on. Our children will receive the surname Amazon and capitalism itself will be rebranded as Amazonism. Ironically, this will happen just as humans log the last stand of trees in the actual Amazon in order to pour the foundations for a new Rainforest Cafe location.

Dear Bolshevik,
Last week TV producer extraordinaire Garry Marshall died. He gave us laughter, he gave us catch phrases, he gave us an entire mini-pop culture that dominated a decade of American life. Whereas you help publish books that pointedly do NOT feature leather-jacketed Jewish hoods explaining the intersection of labor and feminism in a Milwaukee brewery. Do you ever feel frustrated because your stuff fails to reach a mass audience? Have you considered hiring Ted McGinley? Signed, Boulder Mindy

Dear Boulder: The passing away of a pop culture colossus can only force us all to (1) contemplate our own mortality and (2) wish we had spent our time more constructively on Tuesday nights in the Seventies. We here in the hallowed halls and ivory-lined bathrooms of academia concede that even a much-degreed superstar like Thomas Piketty hardly matches the cultural influence of barely sentient fictional constructs named Squiggy. Indeed, when I first heard the news about Comrade Marshall, I lit a pipe to contemplate what his achievements say about intellectual life in fin de siècle America. Then I remembered that terms like fin de siècle—to say nothing of italics—turn people off.

Really, what can you say about this dilemma that my disappointed parents have not already told me? Mr. Marshall and our little collection of exquisitely educated collectivist church mice occupy two difference niches in popular culture. Or, if you prefer, we occupy a niche, while Mr. Marshall’s works and the careers of those he launched make up an ecosystem. We deal in serious ideas, in visions, in contemplations of a better world. He dealt in laffs, humanity’s most powerful weapon for dealing with the harsh reality (redundant?) that maintains when people repeatedly reject a better world.

Yet that seeming contradiction clues us in to the existence of common ground. Yes, as bizarre as it may seem, university press publishing shares a link to Mork and Mindy. (Only that great first season, though.) We, like comedy, are trying to find a way forward by pointing out some problems. We, like comedy, shine a light on marginalized figures like fussbudget photographers while also bringing to light incredible achievements as overlooked as, to mention the classic, jumping a shark on water skis.

Summer is definitely the season for aerial tragedy in the Midwest. On July 26, 1911, Professor Harry Darnell took his place in that sad lore. Darnell stands tall in the history of Plainfield, so tall a local craft brewery named its summer berry ales after him.

Darnell, a veteran of 200 balloon flights, put on his show in and over Plainfield on that faithful July day. It was an era of live spectacle. No radio. No TV. In fact, Plainfield’s Electric Park hosted a lot of hot air ascensions that drew crowds and rotten proto-Little Rascals with slingshots. Of course, for sophisticated entertainment you could go see an elocutionist read poetry over beautiful music. Many did. But the usual mob of thrill-seekers flocked to wide fields to watch stunt fiends like Darnell do their thing.

Darnell’s thing was a trapeze act from a hot air balloon.

With a reported 3,000 picnickers watching, the Professor lifted skyward in his oval-shaped balloon. At some point Darnell went into his show-stopping Great Swing. Alas, Darnell zigged when he should have zagged, or something, and fell straight into the DuPage River. His next ascension was a purely spiritual one. The death of the so-called aeronaut earned a write-up in the New York Times and headlines nationwide. In Plainfield, locals raised funds to save him from a pauper’s grave. A stone with a carving of a hot air balloon still stands in Plainfield Township Cemetery.

yesilInvestment and expansion have made Turkish media a transnational powerhouse in the Middle East and Central Asia. Yet tensions continue to grow between media outlets and the Islamist AKP party that has governed the country for over a decade.

In Media in New Turkey, Bilge Yesil unlocks the complexities surrounding and penetrating today’s Turkish media. Yesil focuses on a convergence of global and domestic forces that range from the 1980 military coup to globalization’s inroads and the recent resurgence of political Islam. Her analysis foregrounds how these and other forces become intertwined, and she uses Turkey’s media to unpack the ever-more-complex relationships. Yesil confronts essential questions regarding: the role of the state and military in building the structures that shaped Turkey’s media system; media adaptations to ever-shifting contours of political and economic power; how the far-flung economic interests of media conglomerates leave them vulnerable to state pressure; and the ways Turkey’s politicized judiciary criminalizes certain speech.

Drawing on local knowledge and a wealth of Turkish sources, Yesil provides an engrossing look at the fault lines carved by authoritarianism, tradition, neoliberal reform, and globalization within Turkey’s increasingly far-reaching media.

fields game facesSarah K. Fields is an associate professor in communication at the University of Colorado—Denver. She answered some questions about her book Game Faces: Sport Celebrity and the Laws of Reputation.

Q:  How are cases involving sports figures different than those involving other types of celebrities (actors, singers, etc.)?

Sarah Fields: Legally there is no difference between lawsuits involving sports figure and other celebrities. The law doesn’t differentiate between the two groups. I chose to focus on sports figures and their lawsuits in this book because sport is my area of expertise, and I am particularly interested in the evolution of the relationship between sports figures and press.

Q: When and why did sports figures gain this level of celebrity? Was there a turning point in sports history that changed this, or were they always seen as such?

Fields: Sports figures have long been popular figures and celebrities of a sort. W.G. Grace was a great cricket player in the late nineteenth century, and scholars have argued that he was the first celebrity athlete. Newspaper reports from England in that time period said that local soccer players were more famous than politicians. In the United States during the Golden Era of sport in the 1920s and beyond, athletes such as Red Grange and Jack Dempsey received celebrity treatment. At that same time Babe Ruth had an agent who helped him get endorsements, and he was the precursor of the modern celebrity athlete who profits as much from his image as he does from his on-field performance. Tennis player Rene Lacoste created a clothing line while still playing; his nickname was the Crocodile and his signature logo was a small crocodile on his shirts. Today’s athletes are just doing what athletes in the past have done; but because of the rise of consumerism and the increased media presence, more athletes have more opportunities to sell themselves as celebrities and endorsers off the field. Continue reading

Yesterday marked an unusual 97th anniversary. On July 21, 1919, an airship owned by the Goodyear Tire and Rubber cruised over Chicago, a pair of training runs that interested and delighted the people on the ground and in the city’s always-growing number of skyscrapers. The pilots picked up three passengers for a third go-round, including a newspaper shutterbug hoping to get some extremely high angle shots of downtown. The so-called Wingfoot Express reached an altitude of 1,200 feet as it passed overhead just before rush hour.

Then it burst into flame.

The hydrogen-powered blimp went up in seconds. Four of the five passengers aboard, each wearing a parachute, managed to scramble from the gondola. The unfortunate fifth was trapped on the airship as it plunged toward the ground. The burning Wingfoot (also Wing Foot) Express instead shattered the skylight at the Illinois Trust & Savings Bank. The entire blimp crashed among the 150 or so employees–fuselage, engines, and gasoline tanks. The last exploded on impact and sent flaming gas spraying throughout the bank. Bank tellers and clerks fought to escape the caged work area through a pair of doors. In the end, eleven died and twenty-six were injured inside the bank, with two more fatalities among the blimp passengers.

Mayor Anton Cermak demanded a ban on flying over the city. The Council instead passed regulations. An investigation, opened the next day, came to nothing. Also opened the next day: the bank. The Illinois Trust & Savings assured customers the tellers’ cages and vaults remained intact to transact business. Meanwhile, the incredible event scotched plans for passenger blimp service and began a notably disastrous two-week period in Chicago history.