On April 11, Dr. Melanie Newport, a history professor at the University of Connecticut, pointed out on Twitter that our penultimate chapter “Triumph of the Right” lists fifteen works as “recommended reading.” All are authored by men.
.@AmericanYawp is usually a source I can recommend, but do you see what’s missing in their recommended readings on the 1980s? pic.twitter.com/sXtwcwx10Z
— melanie (@melanienewport) April 11, 2017
This is a serious flaw. Dr. Newport’s observation inspired us to take a closer look at the rest of our chapters. The results were not encouraging. While no other chapter does the same, our overall numbers are not great. 30% of recommended works in the first half of the project are authored by women; 20% of works in the second half are. And only one of our chapters recommends more women authors than men.
We need to do better.
We will be making improvements this summer and welcome your suggestions. The American Yawp was designed as a collaboratively built textbook that would grow and evolve based on the feedback of the profession. Each chapter has a built-in commenting platform to offer feedback and every year the project is edited to reflect that feedback. We would love for you to review our chapters and post comments and suggestions on our feedback page. Most immediately, we have put together a google doc containing our current recommended reading lists. Anyone with the link can edit the document. Please consider reviewing your areas of expertise and help us better reflect the current state of scholarship. And if you would like to be more directly involved in the project, please get in contact with us!