Textbooks will remember Sen. Warren, UTSA historian says

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Guest speaker Dr. Kirsten Gardner, University of Texas at San Antonio history professor and department chair, presents “Historians Locating Women in History.” The March 28 in Chance event was hosted by the Women’s History Month Committee as part of a month-long celebration, “Nevertheless, She Persisted.” Monica Avila Edman

Chair uses historical photos in her research.

By Andrea Moreno


“Nevertheless, she persisted,” the quote that inspired the theme of this year’s Women’s History Month, will put Sen. Elizabeth Warren D- Mass., in history books, the chair of the history department at the University of Texas at San Antonio said March 28 in Chance Academic Center.

 “On Feb. 8, 2017, Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts was giving a speech in Congress,” Dr. Kirsten Gardner said to eight students and three professors. “Sen. (Mitch) McConnell, R-Ky., basically told her to ‘stop — we don’t want you talking anymore.’ She was referring to a historical context of Coretta Scott King when she was speaking.”

Gardner quoted McConnell saying, “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.”

She said McConnell provided the theme for Women’s History Month.

According to CNN politics, Warren used a quote from the context of King, “Mr. Sessions has used the awesome power of his office to chill the free exercise of the vote by black citizens in the district he now seeks to serve as a federal judge.”

The quote caused the Republicans to say that it was violating Senate rules against “impugning another senator.”

For that reason, the senate “shut her up” and rebuked Warren.

“I guarantee that in about 20 years from now, Sen. Warren will be in history textbooks to indicate a moment (she created),” Gardner said.

Gardner has been part of UTSA for over 18 years and she is a member of the UTSA Academy of Distinguished Teaching Scholars.

Her research stories mainly focus on women’s health, technology, health care, and women and the military.

Everyone needs to see how women have been part of history and give credit, Gardner said.

Gardner included historical photographs and asked the audience if they “sparked curiosity.”

 “Thinking about image and imagery, history is a softball,” she said. “History can be so interesting. When you hear the right story, when you see images like this, what are questions that inspire you?”

Gardner shared a photograph of the 1930s of women protesting and said she saw “passion” in the photo. She asked the audience what they saw within the picture.

She gave example questions a historian would ask, such who, what and when and who owns the photo?

“My path to history and stories, I never thought of becoming a historian until my late 20s,” Gardner said. “I had different thoughts of what I wanted to do. I was a business major, EMT pre-med major and later became interested in history.”

She has done research on women and cancer and diabetes.

She said becoming a historian requires critical thinking skills and a curiosity to learn.

 “We have to recreate the stories and retell the stories of the past,” she said.

History Professor Jonathan Lee gave his thoughts over the presentation given by Gardner:

“The research was appropriate. I liked how she involved images for the students to see what they mean in history, and it was great.”


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