Education, Experience, and Exchange: The Hull House Women, an International Network, and Chicago’s Immigrant Population


  • Alice Bailey Cheylan



international network, women, Hull House, immigrants, community service


This paper explores the creation and purpose of Chicago’s Hull House. It provides an overview of volunteer work by women in the US and addresses the European influence on Jane Addams’s idea for Hull House and the various educational aspects and approaches used by the Hull House educators.

Founded, funded, and administered by women, the Hull House settlement is shown as a prime example of the nascent spirit of American volunteerism that epitomized that era. Women were able to participate in the settlement because of the evolving perception of their role in society. It was possible to devote one’s life to charity and not to marriage and child-raising. The force of the Hull House residents was to combine their individual skills and strengths to work as a united group of very dynamic and talented women. Education, experience, and exchange were the three pillars of their very successful settlement home. In their efforts to reform and better the living conditions in the rundown Chicago neighborhood, the Hull House women became involved in politics and policymaking. Thereby, they began to have a voice which became louder and louder and could not be silenced.

Author Biography

Alice Bailey Cheylan

Alice Bailey Cheylan received a B.A. from Northwestern University, a Master's degree from Middlebury College, and a doctorate with high honors in Modern French Literature from the Université de Provence. She recently retired from teaching in the English and Applied Foreign Languages departments at the Université de Toulon, France where she is still a member of the Babel Research Laboratory. Her main fields of interest include bilingualism, expatriate writers, feminism, surrealism and translation. She has published articles on Aldous Huxley, Lawrence Durrell, Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, Gertrude Stein, Edith Wharton, Richard Aldington, Ford Madox Ford, and Amy Lowell. She is currently working on a book of essays on Katherine Anne Porter and a collection of articles on Aldous Huxley.




How to Cite

Bailey Cheylan, A. “Education, Experience, and Exchange: The Hull House Women, an International Network, and Chicago’s Immigrant Population”. New American Studies Journal: A Forum, vol. 74, Sept. 2023,