The Dinner Party


A Seat at the Table: Women to be celebrated
Note: The women whose names appear below have been selected by an individual or group to be celebrated with a place setting at the “table.” There can only be one place setting per woman, so these women have already been taken. If you have any questions, please contact to Dr. R. Costantino at rxc19@psu.edu.

  • African American women slaves (collectively, anonymously)
  • Joan of Arc, Warrior, French Religious
  • Jennie Augusta Brownscombe, Painter, Designer
  • Wanda Coleman, Poet, Social Activist, Founder Poetry for the People
  • Wendy Davis, Texas State Senator, Defender of Women’s Reproductive Rights
  • Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, 17th C. Genius nun; Feminist, Poet, Scholar of Philosophy, Sciences, Mathematics, Astronomy, Theology
  • Andrea Rita Dworkin, radical feminist & writer
  • Elizabeth Fry, Advocate, Reformer of Women’s Prisons, Mother of 11
  • Leymah Gbowee, Liberian Peace Activist
  • Hannah Höch, Dada Artist
  • bell hooks, Feminist writer, scholar
  • Women of the Industrial Revolution, (Collectively & Anonymously)
  • Andrea James, Filmmaker, Writer, Transgender Activist
  • June Jordan, Poet and activist
  • Tawakkol Karman, 2011 Nobel Peace Laureate, Journalist, Politician
  • Barbara Kruger, Artist
  • Winona LaDuke, Native American Environmental Activist
  • Audre Lorde, Black Feminist, Poet, Lesbian
  • Nellie Y. McKay, Literary scholar
  • Wangari Muta Maathai, 2004 Nobel Peace Laureate. Environmental & Human Rights Activist. Founder, Green Belt Movement
  • Catharine MacKinnon, Legal Scholar & Feminist
  • Arabella Mansfield, Professor, Activist, 1st U.S. Female Lawyer
  • The Maribal Sisters, Human Rights activists; D.R. Insurgents—tortured, assassinated
  • The Virgin Mary
  • Rigoberta Menchú, 1992 Nobel Peace Laureate; Mayan Insurgent; Catechist; Writer and Advocate for Indigenous and Peasant Rights; 2011 Guatemala Presidential Candidate
  • Kari Miller, Soldier, 2006 Silver-Medalist of U.S. Paralympics Sitting Volleyball Team, Advocate, Paralympic Military Program
  • Maria Montessori (by Penn-Mont preschool on campus)
  • Chouchou Namegabe, Women’s Rights Activist
  • Florence Nightingale, Nurse & Health Care Reformer; Writer, founded, Training School for Nurses
  • Emmy Noether
  • Yoko Ono, Visual and Performance Artist
  • Emmeline Pankhurst, British Women´s Suffrage Activist
  • Adrienne Rich, Poet & Feminist
  • Emily Warren Roebling, Engineer, Completed Brooklyn Bridge
  • Clara Schumann, Composer, Pianist, Mother of 8
  • Alice Stebbins Wells, 1st U.S. Policewoman. Founder, International Policewomen’s Assoc., Minister

A Seat at the Table

Penn State Altoona’s Year-Long Project in celebration of artist Judy Chicago’s installation The Dinner Party

The Dinner Party is a mixed-media installation art project that Judy Chicago began in 1974 and, with the collaboration of numerous artists, completed in 1979. It is permanently housed at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. The installation features thirty-nine place settings on a forty-eight foot sided triangular table. Each place setting depicts a mythical or historical famous woman of Western Civilization.

Create Your Seat at the Table!

Call for Student Proposals

Penn State Altoona students of any division or discipline are invited to propose and then create a "Seat at the Table" in celebration of a woman who has made a significant contribution to humankind, especially those who have not been recognized or canonized in mainstream historical records.

Women from any country or region can be honored. We do, however, encourage proposals on women from non-Western cultures and/or locations, including Africa, Latin America, Asia, Eastern Europe, Native American, Canada First Nation, Maya, or other indigenous groups, etc.

Students may write the proposal and create the setting individually or in a small group. Student organizations are encouraged to participate. The proposal process is easy. Details are listed below.

The students' Dinner Table will be on display in the Slep Student Center on Monday, March 3, 2014, and then for the rest of March in other venues around campus. A Women's History Month opening reception will take place on March 3, during which students will be recognized for their contributions.

Proposal Forms will be available on October 25. Students will include on the form:

  • The name(s) and Penn State email(s) of the proposal participant(s).
  • The name of the Woman of Consequence you nominate, her date of birth, date of death (if applicable), and place of origin.
  • A statement of 250-500 words including an explanation of why you chose your nominee, her contribution, and its impact. That is, why you propose giving her a place at the table.
  • A description of the place setting you propose creating. If you have a digital sketch of the proposed place setting, you can email it to Molly Slep at mys6@psu.edu. Examples of place settings are provided below. You can find more exampls online by searching for "Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party." Also, on reserve in the library, under Women’s Studies, is a twenty-nine minute video about Chicago’s work.

Download and complete the application

Important Dates

  • October 25 - November 20: Faculty available to consult on proposal.
    See Women´s Studies Faculty:
    Dr. DeReus - lad12@psu.edu
    Dr. Heidenreich-Findley - bhf2@psu.edu
    Dr. Simpson - mbs12@psu.edu
    Dr. Peterson - lmp28@psu.edu
    Dr. Costantino - rxc19@psu.edu
    Dr. Seymour - ems22@psu.edu
    Dr. Gsoels-Lorensen - jmg35@psu.edu
    or Arts faculty
    Prof. Carlos Ruiz - lcr112@psu.edu
    Prof. Susan Marie Brundage - smb44@psu.edu
  • November 22 - January 30: Accepted proposals announced on rolling basis.
  • January - February 2014: Students prepare their settings. Final project due February 25.
  • March 2014: Women’s History Month
  • March 3 from 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.: Altoona Student Dinner Table on display in the Pond View Lounge of the Slep Student Center.
    • An opening reception for Women’s History Month will be held from 4 - 5:30 p.m. Students will have the opportunity to talk briefly about the creative process and will be recognized for their participation.
  • Roundtable - Is There Feminist Art?: Date, place and time to be announced.
  • April 5-6 at Penn State University Park. Complete a free registration online.

Examples of Place Settings – The Dinner Party

Example 1
Example 1
Example 1
Example 1

Sponsored by Penn State Altoona Women’s Studies Program. Contact Dr. Roselyn Costantino at rxc19@psu.edu for further information.