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Women of the Hall

Photo Credit: Cynthia MacAdams
Year Honored: 2013
Birth: 1934 -
Born In: Minnesota,
Achievements: Humanities, Arts
Educated In: Minnesota, England, New York
Schools Attended: University of Minnesota, St. Hilda's College, Columbia University, Hunter College
Worked In: North Carolina; New York; Tokyo, Japan; Pennsylvania; California

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Kate Millett

A feminist activist, writer, visual artist, filmmaker, teacher and human rights advocate, Kate Millett has been described as one of the most influential Americans of the twentieth century.

Born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota, Millett studied English Literature at the University of Minnesota (B.A., 1956) and at St. Hilda’s College, Oxford University (B.A., 1958).  In 1970, she received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Columbia University.

Dr. Millett began her academic career as an English instructor at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, and has held several additional teaching positions over the years.  Some of the institutions she has worked for include, Tokyo’s Waseda University, Barnard College, Bryn Mawr College, Sacramento State University, and University of California at Berkeley.

As a political activist, Dr. Millett has long fought for the rights of women, gay liberation, mental patients and the elderly.  Her first significant contribution came in 1966, when she was named as the first Chair of the Education Committee of the newly formed National Organization for Women (NOW).  In 1968, she authored a pioneering report published by NOW, Token Learning: A Study of Women’s Higher Education in America, in which she challenged women’s colleges to provide educational opportunities for women equal to those being provided to men.

A few years after joining NOW, Dr. Millett authored Sexual Politics (1970), a landmark work in feminist theory that fueled the second-wave of the women’s movement in the U.S.  Since then, she has authored numerous articles and essays and ten additional books.

In 1971, Dr. Millett formed Women’s Liberation Cinema and produced the feminist classic, Three Lives.  Between 1963 and 2009, she had several international solo art exhibitions and installations in sculpture, drawing, serigraphs and photography.

She currently serves as the Director of the Millett Center for the Arts, a creative work space that provides artist-in-residence accommodation and studio facilities to women artists from around the world.  Dr. Millett founded the Center in 1978, on her own ten acre farm in LaGrange, New York.

She is the recipient of many awards, including The Yoko Ono Lennon Courage Award for the Arts and The New York Foundation for Contemporary Arts Award.  

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