MSNBC launched its first-ever Nerdland Scholar Challenge on March 17.
Host Melissa Harris-Perry led a four-week interactive experience themed around Women’s History Month. Through daily emails and assignments, Melissa guided students through an investigation of how motherhood has been intertwined with women’s status as social and political actors, both historically and today.
The challenge covered topics ranging from temperance to the 2014 elections:
- The first week of the challenge explored women framing themselves as mothers as they advocated for temperance and the right to vote.
- The next week looked at women entering the workplace and how motherhood impacted women’s mobility and workplace protections.
- The third week focused on mothers in public office, examining how parenthood impacts whether or not women decide to run for office.
- The final week of the challenge investigated the politics of reproductive rights.
Along the way, Melissa shared readings and insights from Ida B. Wells, Jennifer Lawless, Patricia Hill Collins and other scholars and activists to help inform the discussion. Melissa also joined participants for discussions on the Nerdland Scholar Challenge group on MSNBC.com, and recognized the most thoughtful comments in response to each week’s featured assignment.
Finishing the challenge earned students the title of official “Nerdland Scholar” – plus, students are now ready to engage with questions of gender, parenthood, and public office just in time for the 2014 elections.