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Loyola University Chicago

College of Arts & Sciences

Event: Uncovering Women's Intelligence: Race, Gender, and the Civil War

Uncovering Women


Date: Wednesday, January 23
Time: 4-5:30 p.m.
Location: Information Commons, 4th floor

Mary Bowser was born into slavery in Richmond, Virginia. After being freed by Bet Van Lew, daughter of the family that owner her, and sent North to be educated, Bowser returned to the South, where she and Bet worked together as Union spies during the Civil War. Join Dr. Lois Leveen, author of the novel The Secrets of Mary Bowser, as she discusses Bowser and Van Lew's extraordinary contributions to Civil War experience, and explores what it means to use historical fiction to teach about gender, race, and American history.

Lois Leveen holds degrees in history and literature from Harvard, UCLA, and the University of Southern California. Her first novel, The Secrets of Mary Bowser (HarperCollins/William Morrow), is based on the true story of a free black woman who became a spy for the Union Army during the Civil War--by pretending to be a slave to the family of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. A former faculty member at UCLA and Reed College, Leveen gives talks and leads classes on race, gender, and American history and literature at museums, libraries, and schools throughout the country.

You may also link to the program listing on the University Calendar. This open event is sponsored by the Women Studies & Gender Studies Program, and the English and Sociology Departments.


College of Arts and Sciences
Lake Shore Campus · 1032 W. Sheridan Rd., Sullivan Center 235, Chicago, IL 60660 · 773.508.3500
Water Tower Campus · 820 N. Michigan Ave., Lewis Towers 930, Chicago, IL 60611 · 312.915.6520


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