Presentation Title

Gender Specific Steppingstones: A Brief History of Phonographic Shorthand in the Lives of Adventist Reporters and Secretaries

Presenter Status

MA Graduate, Department of Theology and Christian Philosophy

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Session

History

Location

Buller Hall Room 108

Start Date

5-5-2016 2:00 PM

End Date

5-5-2016 2:20 PM

Presentation Abstract

Beginning in the 1850s, Seventh-day Adventists recognized the benefits of learning shorthand, primarily so that sermons could be preserved. Though several early Adventist ministers learned shorthand, they especially desired that someone else learn the art to support their ministry. During the earliest years, several wives chose to assist their husbands in this endeavor. Once Adventist institutions offered instruction upon the subject, however, shorthand became a commodity of the young. As these youthful men and women matured, they began to view shorthand as a steppingstone. Despite this common agreement, the steppingstone idiom was gender specific--there were, in fact, two steppingstones. While one empowered men to step further up to a better position, the other enabled women to step further into the work in which they were already engaged. The purpose of this paper is to briefly chronicle the history of shorthand usage within the Adventist Church and illustrate how a male-dominated profession evolved into a female-dominated job.

Biographical Sketch

Kevin Burton is a graduate of Andrews University with an MA in Historical Theology. He will begin doctoral studies in the Fall of 2016 at Florida State University in the area of American Religious History, with an emphasis on apocalypticism and millenarianism.

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COinS
 
May 5th, 2:00 PM May 5th, 2:20 PM

Gender Specific Steppingstones: A Brief History of Phonographic Shorthand in the Lives of Adventist Reporters and Secretaries

Buller Hall Room 108

Beginning in the 1850s, Seventh-day Adventists recognized the benefits of learning shorthand, primarily so that sermons could be preserved. Though several early Adventist ministers learned shorthand, they especially desired that someone else learn the art to support their ministry. During the earliest years, several wives chose to assist their husbands in this endeavor. Once Adventist institutions offered instruction upon the subject, however, shorthand became a commodity of the young. As these youthful men and women matured, they began to view shorthand as a steppingstone. Despite this common agreement, the steppingstone idiom was gender specific--there were, in fact, two steppingstones. While one empowered men to step further up to a better position, the other enabled women to step further into the work in which they were already engaged. The purpose of this paper is to briefly chronicle the history of shorthand usage within the Adventist Church and illustrate how a male-dominated profession evolved into a female-dominated job.