Abigail Sara Lewis, Athena Scholars Program Director, Publishes Research in New Anthology

Abigail Sara Lewis is the Program Director for the Athena Center's Scholars Program. Her work on the YWCA's Multiracial Activism in the immediate post WWII era was recently published in the anthology, Freedom Rights: New Perspectives on the Civil Rights Movement, (University of Kentucky Press: 2012).

About the Book:

In his seminal article “Freedom Then, Freedom Now,” renowned civil rights historian Steven F. Lawson described his vision for the future study of the civil rights movement. Lawson called for a deeper examination of the social, economic, and political factors that influenced the movement’s development and growth. He urged his fellow scholars to connect the “local with the national, the political with the social,” and to investigate the ideological origins of the civil rights movement, its internal dynamics, the role of women, and the significance of gender and sexuality.

In Freedom Rights: New Perspectives on the Civil Rights Movement, editors Danielle L. McGuire and John Dittmer follow Lawson’s example, bringing together the best new scholarship on the modern civil rights movement. The work expands our understanding of the movement by engaging issues of local and national politics, gender and race relations, family, community, and sexuality. The volume addresses cultural, legal, and social developments and also investigates the roots of the movement. Each essay highlights important moments in the history of the struggle, from the impact of the Young Women’s Christian Association on integration to the use of the arts as a form of activism. Freedom Rights not only answers Lawson’s call for a more dynamic, interactive history of the civil rights movement, but it also helps redefine the field.
About Abigail Sara Lewis:
Abigail Sara Lewis

In addition to advising all the students in the Program, she also runs the Athena Mentoring Program, oversees the summer fellowship programs, and is working on creating an entrepreneurial program for the students. Starting in Spring 2012, Abigail will be teaching both Athena required courses, Women and Leadership and the Senior Seminar (with Kathryn Kolbert).

Prior to Athena, Abigail was Assistant Director of Pathways Advising at Douglass Residential College, Rutgers University. She taught in both the History and Women's Studies departments at Rutgers, and worked at New York University, the CUNY Graduate Center, and the NYC Department of Education. Abigail received her B.A. and M.A. in African American Studies from Columbia and U.C.L.A. respectively. She completed her Ph.D. in History at Rutgers in 2008.