In October 2020, the IU Department of History in the College of Arts and Sciences virtually hosted its 33rd annual Paul V. McNutt Lecture with University of Maryland Professor Robyn Muncy.
Since 1920, many journalists, activists, and even historians have celebrated the ratification of the 19th Amendment as the moment when American women won the vote. Professor Muncy asks whether that makes sense: Did the 19th Amendment actually enfranchise American women? To answer, she explores state-level victories of women’s suffrage before 1920 and ongoing struggles of women for admittance to the polls after 1920. In the process of revealing the raggedy, piecemeal process by which women have won access to the ballot, she illuminates how American democracy works and what it demands of us today.
The Department of History’s annual McNutt Lecture honors Paul V. McNutt, who was dean of the IU School of Law from 1925 to 1933, then became Indiana's governor and later served as U.S. High Commissioner to the Philippines, director of the Federal Security Agency, and chairman of the War Manpower Commission during World War II.