Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Teaching Great Women in Humanities & Science : resources

Hannah Arendt
credits: unknown 
via Google

Today, 14th October, marks the birth dates of three great women of the 19th and 20 centuries: Hannah ArendtMiles Franklin, Katherine Mansfield and great woman of the 19th century Ada Lovelace Day.
These four women have made a big impact on our cultural life and thought and continue to do so.

Google Doodle Stelle Maria Sarah Miles Franklin's 135th Birthday
Google celebrates today three of them : the 108th anniversary of Hannah Arendt, the 135th anniversary of Miles Franklin and the Katherine Mansfield's 125th Birthday.

Google in different countries presents today, 14 October, the Doodles of three important women to mark their birthdays:  Arendt, Franklin and Mansfield.
The 108th birthday of German American political theorist and philosopher Hannah Arendt. In Australian homepage, the search giant celebrates with a Doodle the writer Miles Franklin’s 135th Birthday.
Reading on the Internet, I could know that there are Doodles in different countries to celebrate great women who are writers. The Doodle of Miles Franklin was running on Google Australia. There it is! 
From my desk in Portugal, I opened Google search window and found the Doodle of Hannah Arendt. My favourite.
And something like ‘the banality of evil’ will be forever linked to Hannah Arendt’s name. 
Like Miles Franklin and Katherine Mansfield, Hannah Arendt lived through terrible times in the world history, but Arendt was a target of violence unlike the two antipodean authors.

  • Some biographical notes: 

Stella Maria Miles Franklin
credits: State Library NSW
  • Stella Milles Franklin:
Without an indigenous literature, people can remain alien in their own soil."
Miles Franklin
Miles Franklin, an Australian writer and feminist was born in Talbingo, New South Wales on the 14 October 1879. Franklin was the eldest daughter of her parents. Brent of Bin Bin, Vernacular, Ogniblat are some other names in which the writer was known.

Portrait: Miles Franklin
Novel My Brilliant Career is the most famous of Miles Franklin works. It was published in 1901. The Doodle of Franklin depicts image from this novel. Google logo alphabet is also included in Doodle in a new style.
Miles Franklin’s novel, has a unique place in Australia’s literary canon. This is extraordinary for a book written by a woman, first published in 1901, and coming from the pen of a twenty-one year old girl.

My Brilliant Career
Miles Franklin, 1st edition, 1901
My Brilliant Career, based on the book, was filmed in 1979 by Gillian Armstrong. Many theoretical adaptations and television shows were out based on this novel. 

My Brilliant Career
Gillian Armstrong, 1979
Other most famous works of Franklin are All that Swagger (1936) and My Career goes bungs (1946).

Combining with other writers, Franklin contributed to Australian literature through out her life.
Franklin spent some years in USA and England and returned to Australia where she died on 19 September at the age of 74 in the year 1954. 
After her death, many schools and building were renamed to Miles Franklin’s name in her novel My Biggest Career got many awards. 

Portrait Hannah Arendt
by Fred Stein, 1944
credits: Getty Images
  • Hannah Arendt:
Hannah Arendt, rather than knowing to be a philosopher, she rejected the label, saying that her work focused on the fact that "men, not Man, live on the earth and inhabit the world" as opposed to philosophy, which she felt focused on “man in the singular.” 

Google Doodle for Arendt includes her image at center, sketched as if she is in preparation for work, holding a pen in one hand and paper in other hand.

Hannah Arendt
credits: John Minnion

Hannah Arendt is one of the best of 20th Century America’s imported political philosophers, historians, and brooders of contemporary society. Arendt was one of the most influential political writer of her time.

Johanna "Hannah" Arendt was born on 14 October 1906, in Germany. Arendt was born into a secular family of German Jews in Linden (present-day Hanover), she escaped Europe during the Holocaust and became an American citizen. She 
studied philosophy with Heidegger.

Men in Dark Times
Hannah Arendt
Direct democracy, totalitarianism, modernity everything included in her works. "Men in Dark Times", "The Human Condition", "On Revolution, On Violence", "The Origins of Totalitarianism" are some of  her works which got great influence among people of the time.
"The Life of Mind", Arendt died before completing this work, posthumously, the book was published by her assistant.
She is best remembered for her book, The Human Condition, which explores the historical development of humanity.

Hannah Arendt
credits: Fred Stein
Hannah Arendt was part of man controversies due to content of her works. One of the main criticism Hannah Arendt faced was for her book Eichmann in Jerusalem published in year 1963. 

Eichmann in Jerusalem 
Hannah Arendt, 1st edition, 1963
"Arendt’s account of the trial of Adolf Eichmann, one of the chief architects of the Holocaust, continues to reverberate today. She sought to understand the darkness that led to the Holocaust by examining the person and the morals of one of its chief instigators and opposed the attempt to dismiss someone who committed such a crime against humanity as aberrant. It was the normality of Eichmann that was so disturbing noted Arendt."
Yvonne Perkins, researcher

  • Resource: Biopic 
Hannah Arendt

In 2012 making the Eichmann trail as theme, a film was released in Europe: Hannah Arendt by . The movie and cast got many awards after the release.

Hannah Arendt died on December 4, 1975 in New York. She is recognized with Hannah Arendt Prize, every year. 

The Hannah Arendt Award is a public prize, and therefore not based solely on academic achievement. It is funded by both the state government of Bremen and the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Bremen. 

Many places, asteroids, building and schools were renamed to Hannah Arendt’s name in honor to her after the death.  Forschungsstelle Hannah Arendt-Zentrum!

Google doodle celebrates the 108th Birthday of the political theorist. Honoring her makes, Google users know her and her influence on the politics of the 20th century.

Arendt is a giant intellectual of the 20th century. There are many articles about her work. Still is.


If you teach Philosophy, it will be an important author to include into lyour in-person lessons if you teach Philosophy and History of the second part of the 20th century.

  • Katherine Mansfield:

Google Doodle Katherine Mansfield 125th Birthday
Today is Katherine Mansfield birthday and Ada Lovelace Day as well. Literature and science to include into school curriculum. Two other great women.
Google commemorated Katherine Mansfield with a Doodle in 2013 for her 125th birthday. 

Kathleen Mansfield Murry, née Beauchamp in 14 October 1888. In 1917 she was diagnosed with extrapulmonary tuberculosis, which led to her death at the age of 34 in Fontainebleau, France, aged 34.

Katherine Mansfield, 1912

She was a prominent New Zealand modernist short story writer who was born and brought up in colonial New Zealand and wrote under the pen name of Katherine Mansfield. 

At 19, Mansfield left New Zealand and settled in the United Kingdom, where she became a friend of modernist writers such as D.H. Lawrence and Virginia Woolf.

"She revolutionised the 20th Century English short story. Her best work shakes itself free of plots and endings and gives the story, for the first time, the expansiveness of the interior life, the poetry of feeling, the blurred edges of personality."

Katherine Mansfield
She had a short but productive life. She grew up in Wellington but lived most of her adult life in England where she moved in the same circles as D H Lawrence and Virginia Woolf
Katherine Mansfield’s work is regarded as a significant example of Modernist literature. 
All three writers – Miles Franklin, Katherine Mansfield and Hannah Arendt – lived outside twentieth century notions of womanhood. 
"Their impact demonstrates that the words from a woman’s pen are just as important, vital and resonant as those from the plumes of men."

Ada Lovelace

Coincidentally today is Ada Lovelace DayIt recognizes the considerable achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths. 

On my blog, teachers can find interesting posts and resources about Ada Lovelace: Girls in Science (2012) and Ada Lovelace Day in Education : Girls & STEM (2013)


The discussion of new discoveries and a better understanding of the role of women in many different areas of study such as Humanities or Science, and how their ideas and findings can lead to new markets for humanities and science knowledge are important aims. 

"Through the work of humanities scholars, we learn about the values of different cultures, about what goes into making a work of art, about how history is made. Their efforts preserve the great accomplishments of the past, help us understand the world we live in, and give us tools to imagine the future."

Stanford University

Constantly evolving education at all ages and levels in our ever-changing world is crucial.

"A generation of motivated interdisciplinary young women who are critical thinkers capable of connecting theory and practice with proven experience in conceiving and managing innovative ideas and projects will serve as the backbone for the society of knowledge by integrating and reviving basic and developmental research as well as education at all levels."

The graduate school mentors are to guide the process by providing the appropriate background and filling the gaps where needed through a dialogue with the students rather than through frontal courses.

Girls and women are more and more proving in different situations at school and in business that they are equal to men in intelligence and capacity.

This begins early in school where girls must be encouraged to access to humanities, science and technology.

The aim is to encourage girls and young women creativity in the field of HumanitiesScience and Technology and highlight the importance of developing innovative skills at an early age.

  • Resources: some interesting links about the 3 writers:

To understand how Miles Franklin continues to drive Australia’s literary life, explore the website for the Miles Franklin Literary Award and another significant literary award inspired by her work, The Stella Prize.

Don't forget the film based on true facts Hannah Arendt by Margaretha von Trotta (2012).

Annie Pfeifer writes about Mansfield’s work on the Modernism Lab at Yale University. You can read some reviews of her work at the ANZ Litlovers LitBlog

Read a brief biography of Mansfield on that invaluable New Zealand resource, Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand and The Global Life of Newzealanders

If ever there was a day to remind us of the importance of what can come out of pens and facts/ideas of women, 14th October is indeed one of those days!

"… Because we need a world with both writing and science... and women excel at both."

Yvonne Perkins


update 14.10.2021

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