The College of Saint Benedict has been educating women for over 100 years and I wrote this story of their history -- focusing on the founding generation of sisters, the Catholic context, the changes in women's higher education, the earthquakes that shook college life in the 1960s, the rise of women's sports.
Using letters between adult brothers and sisters in ten families (as well as reflections on my own family of 11 siblings), I explore family life in the context of gender roles, family roles, and social expections. I find few "traditional" families and find, instead, families that feel surprisingly modern in the issues they face and the complexities they have to untangle.
Through the lives of the famous and those only known to their families and neighbors, this book brings Minnesota's past to life.
These essays all come from a 2008 conference on Minnesota at 150.