:The Century of Women
How Women Have Transformed the World since 1900
This innovative text explores the unprecedented changes in the realms of politics, demography, economics, culture, knowledge, and kinship that women have brought about in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Global in reach, the book provides a comparative analysis of developments worldwide to show both progress as well as new tensions and forms of inequality that have emerged out of women’s entry into politics, wage employment, education, and the production of culture. Beginning with suffrage and moving to participation in international movements—such as anti-war, labor, and environmental rights activism—Maria Bucur explores how women have transformed the operation of states and international institutions. She focuses on the radical demographic shifts since 1900 through the prism of changing practices in women’s sexuality, from birth control practices to education. Examining the continuing economic gender gap around the world, Bucur highlights ways women have been both beneficiaries of new economic opportunities and participants in developing new forms of inequality. Considering the remarkable achievements of women in the areas of knowledge making and cultural production, the author shifts her gaze toward the future and what these changes mean in terms of gender norms and evolving kinship relations. She thus presents a new perspective on contemporary world history, centered on how women have become both the subjects and objects of seismic shifts in the political, social, and economic structures of societies across the globe. 

Reviews

Maria Bucur’s bold, brave, broad-ranging, subversively feminist yet inevitably selective world history of women’s agency from 1900 to the present will provoke discussion and debate. This woman-focused interpretation should find a place on every intelligent person’s reading list.
— Karen Offen, Stanford University

Maria Bucur’s brilliant book not only challenges the masculine bias in popular history, it provides an essential international perspective on one of the most significant of social revolutions of our time: the global women’s movement. Her informed and uplifting work should be required reading for anyone disheartened by the growth of contemporary misogyny. Bucur reminds us that things can change despite the resistance of the most reactionary political opponents.
— Kristen R. Ghodsee, University of Pennsylvania


My research interests focus on transnational history in the modern period, especially social and cultural developments in Europe, with a special interest in Romania (geographically) and gender (thematically). I began my intellectual journey by investigating the ways in which cultural producers and social policy makers tried to engineer the future during the first half of the twentieth century. This led to the publication of my first book, Eugenics and Modernization in Interwar Romania. Subsequently I moved on to examine how various local communities and official state institutions in Eastern Europe tried to engineer the past, by constructing representations of wartime violence through monuments and commemorative processes, in Heroes and Victims. Remembering War in Twentieth-Century Romania. I've also published a number of essays on eugenics, philanthropy, the cultural history of the Great War, commemorations of World War II, and gender and war. My book Gendering Modernism: A Reappraisal of the Canon, a provocative synthesis about the revolutionary and not so revolutionary aspects of modernism came out from Bloomsbury Press in 2017.  My forthcoming co-authored monograph, The Birth of Democratic Citizenship: Women in Modern Romania, traces the self-understanding and practices of women from various generations across the twentieth century around the concept of citizen. I will be published by Indiana University Press in November 2018. Finally, my book The Century of Women. How Women Have Changed the World since 1900 is coming out with Rowman and Littlefiled in May 2018.

Maria Bucur
John V. Hill Professor of History and Gender Studies, Indiana University