The Oxford Encyclopedia of Women in World History
The Oxford Encyclopedia of Women in World History, edited by Bonnie G. Smith, captures the experiences of women throughout history in a far-reaching, four-volume work. Although there has been extensive research on women in history by region, no other text or reference work has comprehensively covered the role women have played throughout world history. With over 650 biographies of influential women and over 600 topical articles covering topics such as geography and history, culture and society, organizations, movements, and gender studies, Women in World History is the definitive reference work in the field.
In the past thirty years there has been an explosion of research and an effort to present the experiences and contributions of women not only in the Western world, but across the globe. Scholars have investigated women’s daily lives in virtually every area and researched the leadership roles women have filled across times and regions. They have found that there is virtually no historical, social, or demographic change in which women have not been involved and by which their lives have not been affected. Women in World History helps tell this story, illuminating how women worldwide have influenced and been influenced by these historical, social, and demographic changes.
Bonnie G. Smith is Board of Governors Professor of History at Rutgers University and the Director of the Institute for Research on Women at Rutgers University. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Rochester and is the author of The Gender of History: Men, Women, and Historical Practice; Global Feminisms: A Survey of Issues and Controversies; Gendering Disability; and The Medieval and Early Modern World.
e-reference edition ISBN: 9780195337860
Print edition ISBN: 9780195148909
Print edition publication date: 2008
Publishing history: First published 2008
Copyright: © Oxford University Press 2008
The Encyclopedia contains over 1,250 signed articles arranged in an A-Z format for ease of use. The entries cover six main areas: biographies; geography and history; comparative culture and society, including adoption, abortion, performing arts; organizations and movements, such as the Egyptian Uprising, and the Paris Commune; womens' and gender studies; and topics in world history that include slave trade, globalization, and disease. With its rich and insightful entries by leading scholars and experts, this reference work is sure to be a valued, go-to resource for scholars, college and high school students, and general readers alike.
This was selected as an Outstanding Reference Source for 2009.
Editorial Reviews from Amazon
5.0 out of 5 Stars
*Starred Review* Aiming to survey “women’s history in all parts of the world and at all times in the past,” The Oxford Encyclopedia of Women in World History contains nearly 1,250 entries and subentries covering not only individual women but a very wide range of other topics, from Brazil to Buddhism, Feminism to Footbinding, and Welfare state to Witchcraft. Biographical coverage is “representative rather than exhaustive.” The biographical entries are among the shortest—generally less than a page in length—and, with a few exceptions, cover women who are deceased. Among the longest entries are Education (17 pages), Family (15 pages), and Slavery (18 pages). There are also lengthy entries for some nations and geographic regions, most notably China (23 pages) and the U.S. (22 pages). The entry Africa is 12 pages and is supplemented by separate, multipage entries for Central Africa, East Africa, North Africa, Southern Africa, and West Africa as well as for some individual African countries. Under polygamy in the index, readers will find references to the practice in ancient China and Egypt, in Iraq, in Russia, and among the Aztecs, to name just a few. This global perspective, bolstered by the fact that the 900 or so contributors represent “some fifty countries around the world,” is one of the set’s most important contributions. All entries and subentries have bibliographies, and many have see also references. Some 450 black-and-white illustrations accompany the text. An alphabetical list of articles and an extensive chronology can be found in volume 1, and volume 4 contains a “Topical Outline of Entries,” a “Directory of Contributors,” and a very detailed 73-page index. There is no shortage of reference works on women’s history. A number of them, such as A History of Women in the United States: State-by-State Reference (Grolier, 2003) and Women and War: A Historical Encyclopedia from Antiquity to the Present (ABC-CLIO, 2006), are more narrowly focused. The 17-volume Women in World History: A Biographical Encyclopedia (Gale, 2002) covers nearly 10,000 women but has no topical entries. By merging women’s and world history, the impeccably produced Oxford Encyclopedia of Women in World History earns a place on the reference shelves of academic and large public libraries. --Mary Ellen Quinn
"[Its] global perspective, bolstered by the fact that the 900 or so contributors represent 'some fifty countries around the world', is one of the set's most important contributions....By merging women's and world history, the impeccably produced Oxford Encyclopedia of Women in World History earns a place on the reference shelves of academic and large public libraries."--Mary Ellen Quinn, Booklist
5.0 out of 5 Stars
Moon at Midnight Book Store
Although there has been extensive research on women in history by region, no text or reference work has comprehensively covered the role women have played throughout world history. The Encyclopedia of Women in World History assembles the experiences of women throughout world history in this comprehensive, 4-volume work.
With an explosion in the past 30 years in both research and the effort to present the experiences and contributions of women not only in the Western world but across the globe. Historians have scrutinized women's daily lives in essentially every region and researched the leadership roles women have filled across centuries and regions. The results demonstrate that there is virtually no historical, social, or demographic change in which women have not been involved and consequently by which their lives have not been affected. The Oxford Encyclopedia of Women in World History benefits greatly from these efforts and experiences by illuminating how women worldwide have influenced and been influenced by these historical, social, and demographic changes.
With more than 1,250 signed articles arranged in an A-Z format for ease of use, the Encyclopedia's entries cover six main areas:
- geography and history
- comparative culture and society, which includes adoption, abortion, performing arts
- organizations and movements, such as the the Paris Commune or the Egyptian Uprising
- womens and gender studies
- world history including slave trade, globalization, and disease.
With its rich and insightful entries by leading scholars and experts, The Encyclopedia of Women in World History as a reference work is sure to be a valued, go-to resource for scholars, college and high school students, and general readers alike.
Having poured over this enriching book for three weeks in Maui, I can certainly say it is engaging. Most people searching for vacation condos on Maui would not conceive of reading a 4-volume encyclopedia during their stay on this tropical paradise. I enjoyed plenty of sun and water. Snorkeling everyday for an hour was my exercise, and then reclining in a comfortable lounge on the condo's lania to peruse the Encyclopedia of Women in World History was certainly not tedious. I was thoroughly engaged. You really can't complain that the view from one's work space was boring.
I must say our rental was furnished with some extraordinarily gorgeous cast iron skillets. I think we used their 9" skillet every day. At breakfast it was perfect for our hearty eggs, bacon, fresh fruit, & toast. At dinner, when we did eat in, it cooked our steaks perfectly. The kitchen had a complete set of designer cast iron cookware including a dutch oven and a 12" braising pan. My wife was so taken with them that we emailed the owner to find out where they were purchased. You might think I am talking about the typical cast iron frying pan our mothers and gram mothers used. You might have one yourself. But these cast iron cooking pans are designed with a unique handle that captures the gesture of a branch from a cherry tree, abstracted of course that is pleasing to the eye and but is also ergonomically comfortable for both right and left handed cooks. The set of cookware was rather new since its machined smooth interior was still a bronzy hue that is the result of its pre-season treatment with two rounds of organic flaxseed oil at a temperature of 425º. I learned that from the NestHomeware website where they are sold. The color will change, deepening and darkening over time as layers of seasoning build, eventually reaching a rich black. We were smitten with this lovely set of cast iron cookware and I plan to buy it as a Christmas gift to my wife.
The west coast of Maui is beautiful and the sunsets are dazzling. I was not under any hardship while reviewing this comprehensive history of women socially, politically and economically. Believe me.
"Smith does an admirable job of summarizing and synthesizing a vast academic literature in clear, jargon-free language that will engage scholars and general readers alike....Highly recommended for academic and public libraries."—CHOICE
5.0 out of 5 stars
Deserves more than 5 stars
By Walah Azzam Al Sabah on June 27, 2008
This product deserves more than 5 stars. Simply excellent, this 4-volume encyclopedia has made its reader comprehend the history of women socially, politically and economically.
This book, although simple and easy to read, would be very beneficial to people specialized in women's studies. If you are interested in women's studies, or would like to achieve a professional career in the sphere, you have got to purchase this Superb 4-volume encyclopedia.
If you want to understand how women have fared throughout history in an economic, political and social sense, this 4-volume encyclopedia will help you comprehend just that. It is very helpful.