Florence Howe

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Florence Howe
Florence Howe square.png
Florence Howe
Born Florence Rosenfeld
(1929-03-17) March 17, 1929 (age 88)
Brooklyn, New York
Academic background
Alma mater Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts
Academic work
Main interests Feminist author, publisher, literary scholar and historian

Florence Rosenfeld Howe (born March 17, 1929), is an American author, publisher, literary scholar and historian who is considered a leader of the contemporary feminist movement.[1]

Early life[edit]

Born in Brooklyn, New York on March 17, 1929,[2] Florence was the daughter of Samuel and Frances Stilly Rosenfeld. Florence loved learning from a young age. Her mother, Frances, a bookkeeper, encouraged her daughter to follow a teaching career.[1]


In 1946, at age 16, Howe entered Hunter College High School. She was one of only five young women from Brooklyn to do so. In 1949, she was awarded entrance to Phi Beta Kappa, the elite academic organization which commends superlative academic achievement. Various people in power encouraged her to take graduate courses in literature and to become a college professor. After receiving a BA in English in 1950 from Hunter College, Howe entered Smith College and earned an MA in English in 1951.[1] She was awarded an honorary doctorate by DePauw University in 1987.[3]


She taught black children in a Mississippi freedom school during 1964 and chaired the Modern Language Association commission on the Status of Women in the Profession. In 1967, she signed a public statement declaring her intention to refuse to pay income taxes in protest against the U.S. war against Vietnam.[4] Howe also founded The Feminist Press in 1970,[5] "an educational nonprofit organization founded to advance women's rights and amplify feminist perspectives",[6] the organization had published three books by 1973.[7]

The Florence Howe Award[edit]

The Florence Howe Award for feminist scholarship of the Women's Caucus for the Modern Languages is named in her honor.[8]

Selected bibliography[edit]


Chapters in books[edit]


She contributed the piece "The Proper Study of Womankind: Women's Studies" to the 2003 anthology Sisterhood Is Forever: The Women's Anthology for a New Millennium, edited by Robin Morgan.[9]


  1. ^ a b c "Gale Encyclopedia of Biography: Florence Rosenfeld Howe". biography.yourdictionary.com. The Gale Group. Retrieved 9 March 2015. 
  2. ^ "Howe, Florence". Library of Congress. Retrieved 9 March 2015. CIP data sheet (b. 3/17/29) 
  3. ^ http://www.depauw.edu/news-media/latest-news/details/31788/
  4. ^ "Newspaper clipping of open letter to the U.S. War Committee, 11 March 1967". Letter to Mr. W. Walter Boyd from Herbert Sonthoff, March 28, 1967 (archive pdf). Penn State University Libraries: Horowitz Transaction Publishers Archive. 28 March 1967. p. 4. No income tax for war! Now particularly the U.S. war in Vietnam. STATEMENT: Because so much of the tax paid the federal government goes for poisoning food crops, blasting of villages, napalming and killing of thousands upon thousands of people, as in Vietnam at the present time, I am not going to pay taxes on 1966 income. 
  5. ^ "Authors: Florence Howe". feministpress.org. The Feminist Press at City University of New York. Retrieved 9 March 2015. 
  6. ^ "About FP". feministpress.org. The Feminist Press at City University of New York. Retrieved 9 March 2015. 
  7. ^ Howe, Florence (July 2014). "Lost and found – and what happened next: some reflections on the search for women writers begun by The Feminist Press in 1970". Contemporary Women's Writing, special issue: The Body. Oxford Journals. 8 (2): 136–153. doi:10.1093/cww/vpt022. 
  8. ^ Glasgow, Joanne; Ingram, Angela (1990). Courage and tools: the Florence Howe Award for Feminist Scholarship, 1974-1989. New York: Modern Language Association of America. ISBN 9780873523455. 
  9. ^ "Library Resource Finder: Table of Contents for: Sisterhood is forever : the women's anth". Vufind.carli.illinois.edu. Retrieved 2015-10-15. 

External links[edit]

Secondary sources[edit]