Sally Roesch Wagner

Dr. Sally Roesch Wagner, the executive director of the Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation in Fayetteville, New York, is a nationally recognized lecturer, author and performance interpreter of woman’s rights history. One of the first women to receive a doctorate in the United States for work in women’s studies (UC Santa Cruz), and a founder of one of the counimagestry’s first college women’s studies programs, (CSU Sacramento). Dr. Wagner has taught in women’s studies for forty-three years. She currently serves as adjunct faculty in the Honors Program at Syracuse University.

Wagner appeared as a “talking head” in the Ken Burns PBS documentary, “Not for Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony” for which she wrote the accompanying faculty guide for PBS. She was also an historian in the PBS special, “One Woman, One Vote” and has been interviewed several times on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” and “Democracy Now.”

The theme of Dr. Wagner’s work has been telling the untold stories. Her monograph, She Who Holds the Sky: Matilda Joslyn Gage (Sky Carrier Press, 2003) reveals a suffragist written out of history because of her stand against the religious right over 100 years ago (the woman Gloria Steinem describes as “ahead of the women who were ahead of their time) while Wagner’s Sisters in Spirit: Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Influence on Early American Feminists (Native Voices, 2001) documents the surprisingly unrecognized authority of native women, which inspired the suffrage movement of the 19th century.

The Jeanette K. Watson Women’s Studies Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Humanities at Syracuse University in 1997, Wagner has been a Research Affiliate of the Women’s Resources and Research Center at the University of California, Davis and a consultant to the National Women’s History Project.

Wagner’s essays have appeared in: Museums of Ideas: Commitment and Conflict; Encyclopedia of American Indian History; Feminist Politics, Activism and Vision: Local and Global Challenge; Women Public Speakers in the United States, 1800-1925; Indian Roots of American Democracy; and Handbook of American Women’s History. Published articles include: National Women’s Studies Association Journal, On the Issues, Northeast Indian Quarterly, Indian Country Today, Hartford Courant, Women’s History Network News, National NOW Times and the Sacramento Bee.