Sister Speak Records, 1998-2019 *JMU Records*

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Summary Information

Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University
James Madison University Department of English
Sister Speak Records
Collection No.:
UA 0015
2 boxes, .66 Cubic Feet
Language of the Material:
The Sister Speak Records, 1998-2013, include administrative files related to Sister Speak, a feminist literary journal and organization at James Madison University, sponsored by JMU's Department of English.

Preferred Citation

[identification of item], [box #, folder #], Sister Speak Records, 1998-2013, UA 0015, Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA.

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Administrative History

Sister Speak: A Feminist Literary Journal is published twice a year at James Madison University. The first issue was printed in the fall semester of 1998, and it originated from English 467: Feminist Literary Theory, taught by Dr. Suzanne Bost, who served as the first advisor to Sister Speak. The first issue consisted of a photocopied collection of students' favorite response papers from this class. While originally titled Sister, Speak, with a comma to indicate a command, later editors dropped the comma in the title. The publication aims to embrace equality between genders, and the goal of Sister Speak is be an amalgam of information that educates about issues related to feminism. To this end, the publication includes works that focus on women and/or gender and that question or challenge oppressive gender roles. As of 2019, Dr. Mary Thompson currently serves as advisor.

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Scope and Content

The Sister Speak Records, 1998-2013, consist of .66 cubic feet of material, and document the administrative functions of the publication and organization. Types of materials found within the Sister Speak Records include fliers for informational meetings as well as calls for submissions to the publication. Drafts of magazines consist of clippings from magazines and cut paper glued to single pages, bound into one document with glue. Other materials include zines produced by the JMU Feminist Collective, correspondence, and miscellaneous items including but not limited to one button and unaffiliated feminist publications.

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The collection is arranged chronologically.

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Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection open to research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the James Madison University Special Collections Library to use this collection.

Use Restrictions

Copyright for Official University records is held by James Madison University; all other copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library Reference Desk (

Acquisition Information

The records were transferred to Special Collections in 2014 and 2016 by Dr. Mary Thompson, Associate Professor of English at JMU.

Processing Information

Original folder titles were retained; materials housed within zip-up binders were removed and foldered in archival containers. On receipt in Special Collections, the arrangement of the majority of the materials consisted of folders labeled by year. The original order of the materials was maintained, and the collection is arranged chronologically.


Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University

880 Madison DriveMSC 1704Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807library-special@jmu.eduURL:

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Related Materials

Separated Material

Published (non-proof) issues of Sister Speak were removed from collection and cataloged separately as a periodical in Special Collections.

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Index Terms

Genre and Form

  • Administrative records
  • Buttons (information artifacts)
  • Drafts (documents)
  • Fanzines
  • Magazines (periodicals)

Personal Name

  • Thompson, Mary, Dr.


  • James Madison University -- Students -- Periodicals
  • Feminism
  • Feminist theory
  • Feminism and literature
  • Women and literature
  • Equality
  • Gender roles

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Collection Inventory

Title/Description Instances
Sister Speak Origins, 1998-2003, undated box 1 folder 1
Miscellaneous zines (folder 1 of 2), 2001-2005, undated box 1 folder 2
Miscellaneous zines (folder 2 of 2), 2001-2005, undated box 1 folder 3
Sister Speak Fall 2004, 2004, undated box 1 folder 4
Sister Speak Spring 2005, 2004-2005, undated box 1 folder 5
Sister Speak Publication Proof Spring 2005, 2005 box 1 folder 6
Sister Speak Fall 2005, 2005, undated box 1 folder 7
Sister Speak Spring 2006, 2006, undated box 1 folder 8
Sister Speak Fall 2006 [contains media], 2006, undated box 1 folder 9
Sister Speak Spring 2007, 2007, undated box 1 folder 10
Sister Speak Fall 2007, 2007 box 1 folder 11
Sister Speak Publication Proof Spring 2008, 2008 box 1 folder 12
Sister Speak Fall 2008, 2008 box 1 folder 13
Sister Speak Spring 2009, 2009-2010, undated box 1 folder 14
Sister Speak 2010, 2010, undated box 1 folder 15
Sister Speak Publication Proof, ca. 2010 box 2 folder 1
Sister Speak Spring 2011, 2011, undated box 2 folder 2
Sister Speak Spring 2011 Publication Proof, 2011 box 2 folder 3
Sister Speak Fall 2011, 2011-2012, undated box 2 folder 4
Sister Speak Spring 2012 Publication Proof, 2012 box 2 folder 5
Sister Speak Spring 2013, 2013, undated box 2 folder 6