More About the Author
Here's where you can learn about me, my two new books on war resisters, and my two older oral histories. If you scroll to the bottom, you'll learn where I'll be traveling and giving readings in the next couple of years. I'll try to update that list regularly so check back often. To schedule a reading, contact me at email@example.com or call 847-644-2281.
My big news for Fall, 2013 is that I received the 2013 Vox Populi Award from the Oral History Association, given for "outstanding achievement in using oral history to create a more just and humane world."
I believe firmly that if we are to make democracy work, we must work politically across the spectrum, both within the system and outside it. Because I wanted to learn more about peaceworkers who are called to civil disobedience, from 2004 through 2007 I interviewed 173 war resisters who have risked arrest and sometimes long prison terms to speak in the loudest way possible against US militarism. The results of this project can be read in my third and fourth oral histories, Doing Time for Peace: Resistance, Family, and Community (Vanderbilt UP, October, 2012) and Crossing the Line: Nonviolent Resisters Speak Out for Peace (Wipf and Stock Cascade, 2013.)
When I speak at booksignings, I talk about the courageous people who shared their stories with me. Audiences and readers tell me the readings give concrete answers to questions of nonviolent direct action and the often-resulting jail time and provide hope at a time when it seems in short supply.
Here's an informal biography, followed by academic details: Born to a political family from Flint, Michigan, I've been drifting to the left ever since I met Catholic Worker co-founder Dorothy Day in 1968. Prior to that, I was a typical Catholic woman--graduating from St. Mary's College in Notre Dame, Indiana; marrying after a short career in retail; and birthing four daughters. Dorothy Day changed my life. I became active in nonviolent resistance to the Vietnam War and helped to found the Saginaw Valley Peace Watch in Saginaw, Michigan, where I lived for forty years.
Oh, those were the days! We were certain our vigils and rallies and visits to the draft board would make a difference, and eventually they did, as the mighty chorus of the antiwar movement helped to end a needless and devastating war. I wish I could regain the hope of those heady years.
The next thirty years found me working with various religious coalitions to rid Michigan of nuclear weapons, co-founding two Catholic Worker communities in Saginaw, completing my doctorate, teaching English and Women's Studies at Saginaw Valley State University, and publishing two oral histories of the Catholic Worker movement. I participated a bit in Catholic Worker nonviolent resistance and was arrested in several low-key actions in Nebraska, Nevada, and Washington, DC.
Overnight, it seems, I was retired and the grandmother of six, all living in the Chicago area. They're the reason I moved to Evanston in 2004. (Grandchildren Jack, Brian, Liam, twins Charlie and Thomas, and Eleanor Rose have been joined by Sophia Marie in Colorado. My hopes that we can give them a better world ground my activism.) In Evanston I quickly found Neighbors for Peace and they helped me to continue my decades-long leafletting about war taxes. I'm also pretty connected with the White Rose Catholic Worker and Voices for Creative Nonviolence and helped to coordinate an Occupation Project all-woman action at Senator Durbin's office in early 2007. (Four of us were arrested for chanting the names of war dead in the lobby of the Federal Building and wonder of wonders, we were acquitted!) I joined St. Nicholas Parish and became active in immigration issues with our parish peace and justice group and with the Iraqi Student Project.
When the Project for Justice, the Environment, and Peace (PJEP) was founded, I became a part of this grass-roots internet endeavor, and now I facilitate three sites within PJEP: the Michigan Peace Network, Florida Action, and Nevada Action Network. In 2011, I was elected to the National Committee of the War Resisters League and was arrested at Creech AFB for protesting the drones; in 2012 I coordinated six nonviolent trainings in Chicago in preparation for the anti-NATO protests.
Academic summary: Rosalie G. Riegle, D.A. is Professor Emerita in English at Saginaw Valley State University, University Center, MI. There she taught Humanities, Composition, and English literature; chaired the Honors Program; and received the Landee Award for Distinguished Teaching, the Ishihara Student Service Award, and the Faculty Research Award, as well as a Rush Distinguished Lectureship. Degrees are from St. Mary's College, Notre Dame, IN; Wayne State University, Detroit, MI; and University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. Professional affiliations include the Peace and Justice Studies Association, the Oral History Association, and the American Catholic Historical Association.