Tiya Miles at Harvard Book Store
How the Outdoors Shaped
the Women Who Challenged a Nation
September 18, 2023
7:00 PM ET
Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138
This event is free; no tickets are required.
Harvard Book Store welcomes TIYA MILES—professor of history at Harvard University and prize-winning author—for a discussion of her new book Wild Girls: How the Outdoors Shaped the Women Who Challenged a Nation.
About Wild Girls
Harriet Tubman, forced to labor outdoors on a Maryland plantation, learned a terrain for escape. Louisa May Alcott ran wild, eluding gendered expectations in New England. The Indigenous women’s basketball team from Fort Shaw, Montana, recaptured a sense of pride in physical prowess as they trounced the white teams of the 1904 World’s Fair. Celebrating women like these who acted on their confidence outdoors, Wild Girls also brings new context to misunderstood icons like Sakakawea and Pocahontas, and to underappreciated figures like Gertrude Bonin, Dolores Huerta, and Grace Lee Boggs.
For the girls at the center of this book, woods, prairies, rivers, ball courts, and streets provided not just escape from degrees of servitude, but also space to envision new spheres of action. Lyrically written and full of archival discoveries, this book evokes landscapes as richly as the girls who roamed in them—and argues for equal access to outdoor spaces for girls of every race and class today.
Praise for Wild Girls
"A moving meditation on race, history, and possibility; an enticing invitation to seek renewal in green spaces; a rousing exhortation to women and girls to claim freedom in the wild. Tiya Miles offers us a rhapsodic account of nature as a respite from, and remedy for, the failings of society and culture." ―Nicole Eustace, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Covered with Night
"Wild Girls invites readers on a crucial journey of insight and humanity, reminding us how each life―whether enslaved or dispossessed, marginalized or privileged―takes place on this Earth. This reckoning with their pasts illuminates possibilities for our future." ―Lauret Savoy, author of Trace
"Through incredible storytelling and study, Tiya Miles uncovers how girls and women learned new skills and, ultimately, empowerment and peace through their experiences in the natural world." —Brenda J. Child, author of My Grandfather’s Knocking Sticks
Masks are encouraged but not required for this event.
Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes
As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.
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