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Reading Groups

Women, Law, and History Reading Group

The Women, Law and History Reading Group is led by Dr. Sally J. Kenney, Dr. Clare Daniel, and Dr. Karissa Haugeberg, and meets at 4:00 PM at the Newcomb Institute offices in the Commons.

Supreme Ambition: Brett Kavanaugh and the Conservative Takeover by Ruth Marcus
Tuesday, March 31, 2020

In Supreme Ambition, Washington Post journalist and legal expert Ruth Marcus goes behind the scenes to document the thirty-year mission by conservatives to win a majority on the Supreme Court and the lifelong ambition of Brett Kavanaugh to secure his place in that victory. In that sense, Marcus has delivered a master class in how Washington works and an unforgettable case study in supreme ambition.  Marcus answers the most pressing questions surrounding this historical moment: How did Kavanaugh get the nomination? Was Blasey Ford’s testimony credible? What does his confirmation mean for the future of the court? Were the Democrats outgunned from the start? Supreme Ambition is the definitive account of a pivotal moment in modern history, one that was thirty years in the making and that will shape the judicial system of America for generations to come.

Past Reads

  • Babcock, Barbara. Woman Lawyer: The Trials of Clara Foltz. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2011. (August 2013)
  • Bacal, Jessica. The Mistakes I Made at Work: 25 Influential Women Reflect on What They Got Out of Getting It Wrong. New York: Plume, 2014.
  • Baggett, Ashley. Intimate Partner Violence in New Orleans: Gender, Race, and Reform, 1840-1900. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2017. (October 2019)
  • Block, Sharon. Rape and Sexual Power in Early America. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2006. (September 2019)
  • Colman, Penny. A Woman Unafraid: The Achievements Of Frances Perkins. Bloomington: ASJA Press, 1993. (May 2015)
  • Freedman, Estelle. Maternal Justice: Miriam Van Waters and the Female Reform Tradition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996. (November 2014)
  • Gerber, Robin. Leadership the Eleanor Roosevelt Way: Timeless Strategies from the First Lady of Courage. New York: Penguin Group, 2002. (Fall 2014)
  • Gillibrand, Kirsten. Off the Sidelines: Raise Your Voice, Change the World. New York: Ballantine Books, 2014.
  • Hirshman, Linda. Sisters in Law: How Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Went to the Supreme Court and Changed the World. New York: HarperCollins, 2015. (December 2015)
  • Irons, Jenny. Reconstituting Whiteness: The Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission. Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, 2010. (April 2016)
  • Madriz, Esther. Nothing Bad Happens to Good Girls: Fear of Crime in Women’s Lives. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997.
  • Manne, Kate. Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny. New York: Oxford University Press, 2017. (August 2019)
  • Mayeri, Serena. Reasoning from Race: Feminism, Law, and the Civil Rights Revolution. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2011. (September 2015)
  • McCurry, Stephanie. Confederate Reckoning: Power and Politics in the Civil War South. Harvard University Press, 2012. (October 2015)
  • McGuire, Danielle L. At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance – A New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power. Vintage; Reprint edition October 2011. (September 2013)
  • Rathbone, Cristina. A World Apart: Women, Prison, and Life Behind Bars. New York: Random House Publishing Group, 2005. (November 2013)
  • Simmons, LaKisha Michelle. Crescent City Girls: The Lives of Young Black Women in Segregated New Orleans. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2015. (July 2016)
  • Sotomayor, Sonia. My Beloved World. New York: Vintage Books, 2014. (July 2013)
  • Stein, Deborah Jiang. Prison Baby. Boston: Beacon Press, 2014. (Fall 2014)
  • Strebeigh, Fred. Equal: Women Reshape American Law. New York: W.W. Norton, 2009. (October 2013)
  • Taddeo, Lisa. Three Women. New York: Avid Reader Press, 2019. (January 2020)
  • Waldman, Ayelet and Robin Levi. Inside This Place, Not of It: Narratives from Women’s Prisons. San Francisco: McSweeney’s Books, 2011. (Fall 2014)
  • Wheeler, Leigh Ann. How Sex Became a Civil Liberty. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013. (July 2015)


American Studies Reading Group

January 30, 2020, 12:00-1:00 p.m.
Newcomb Institute, Diboll Gallery
Discussion of Beeline: What Spelling Bees Reveal about Generation Z’s New Path to Success by Shalini Shankar. For more information, contact Dr. Aidan Smith at

Reproductive Justice Faculty Reading Group

The Reproductive Justice Faculty Working Group, a group of around 50 Tulane faculty, is dedicated to developing interdisciplinary collaboration, courses, and research relating to reproductive rights and reproductive health. Current members represent Tulane's School of Liberal Arts, Law, Public Health, Social Work, and Science and Engineering. The Reproductive Justice Faculty Working Group meets throughout the school year for reading group discussions and speaker series. Anyone interested in joining can email Dr. Clare Daniel at