Significant Contemporary American Feminists: A Biographical Sourcebook

By Jennifer Scanlon | Go to book overview

EVELYN FOX KELLER
(1936-)

Anne F. Eisenberg

Evelyn Fox Keller was born on March 20, 1936, in New York, one of three children of Albert and Rachel Fox. Educated in New York City's public school system, she was strongly influenced by her older siblings, Frances, who is a professor of political science, and Maurice, a professor of biology. Frances introduced Keller to the idea of the unconscious, which led to her lifetime fascination with psychoanalysis. Maurice stimulated Keller's interest in science by introducing her to popular science fiction writers. He also encouraged her to transfer to Brandeis University after completing a freshman year at Queens College, where she had started studying physics at the advice of a math instructor.

Keller's goal was to continue studying physics at Brandeis as a way of gaining entrance to medical school to study psychoanalysis. However, theoretical physics captured Keller's imagination in her senior year at Brandeis. A combination of her interest in theoretical physics and the attention paid to her by graduate school recruiters convinced Keller to pursue a doctorate in physics. Keller's decision to attend graduate school in physics at Harvard was an important juncture in her life. Accustomed to receiving accolades for her achievements and expecting to be treated as a scholar joining an elite intellectual community, Keller was surprised to feel isolated and treated as a novice. Although she passed her oral examination at Harvard, Keller found she did not want to stay in physics and decided to find a field of study that would satisfy her intellectually while providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for a woman scientist.

After spending a summer at Cold Spring Harbor with her brother, Keller returned to Harvard having decided to do her thesis work in the area of molecular biology. At the same time Walter Gilbert was switching his research interests from physics to molecular biology and served as official adviser for her work in biology. After completing the Ph.D. in 1963, she conducted research with mathematician Joseph Bishop Keller and married him a year later. Over the next

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Significant Contemporary American Feminists: A Biographical Sourcebook
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Editorial Board ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Copyright Acknowledgments v
  • Contents vii
  • Preface xi
  • Introduction xiii
  • Bella Abzug (1920-1998) 1
  • Paula Gunn Allen (1939-) 8
  • Gloria AnzaldÚa (1942-) 14
  • Frances Beale (1940-) 22
  • Rita Mae Brown (1944-) 28
  • Charlotte Bunch (1944-) 36
  • Pat Califia (1954-) 44
  • Judy Chicago (1939-) 51
  • Shirley Chisholm (1924-) 55
  • Esther Ngan-Ling Chow (1943-) 60
  • Pearl Cleage (1948-) 66
  • Kate Clinton (1945- ) 73
  • Mary Daly (1928- ) 79
  • Angela Davis (1944-) 86
  • Shulamith Firestone (1945-) 98
  • Jo Freeman (1945-) 104
  • Betty Friedan (1921-) 111
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933-) 118
  • Bell Hooks (1952- ) 125
  • Dolores Huerta (1930-) 133
  • June Jordan (1936-) 138
  • Evelyn Fox Keller (1936-) 145
  • Florynce Kennedy (1916-) 150
  • Audre Lorde (1934-1992) 156
  • Catharine Mackinnon (1946-) 163
  • Olga Madar (1915-1996) 174
  • Wilma Mankiller (1945-) 181
  • Del Martin (1921-) 188
  • Kate Millett (1934- ) 194
  • CherrÍe Moraga (1952- ) 201
  • Robin Morgan (1941-) 206
  • Pauli Murray (1910-1985) 213
  • Eleanor Holmes Norton (1937-) 218
  • Alice Paul (1885-1977) 223
  • Anna Quindlen (1952-) 231
  • Adrienne Rich (1929-) 238
  • Faith Ringgold (1930-) 245
  • Rosemary Ruether (1936-) 251
  • Joanna Russ (1937-) 257
  • Patricia Schroeder (1940-) 264
  • Eleanor Smeal (1939-) 271
  • Barbara Smith (1946-) 279
  • Gloria Steinem (1934-) 283
  • Margo St. James (1937-) 290
  • Alice Walker (1944- ) 297
  • Rebecca Walker (1969-) 305
  • Michele Wallace (1952-) 311
  • Sarah Weddington (1945-) 317
  • Ellen Willis (1941-) 327
  • Selected Bibliography 335
  • Index 341
  • About the Editor and Contributors 355
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