IN HER OWN WORDS: UNDERSTANDING ACADEMIC TRANSFORMATION THROUGH THE CREATION OF WOMEN'S STUDIES PROGRAMS AT INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION
Fifty years ago, activists and academics created the first Women's Studies Program. This program, and the ones that quickly spread across the country in its wake, radically altered the course of higher education by changing perceptions about who belonged in the classroom as well as who, and what, was considered worthy of study within university gates. While existing scholarship about Women's Studies traces the institutional history of these programs and the extensive bodies of work they have produced, little has been done to examine the controversies and tensions that surrounded the creation of these programs. In Her Own Words attempts to fill that gap by analyzing the written work produced by the women fighting to create these programs between 1969 and 1980, and argues that by moving into the traditional academy, Women's Studies Programs lost the feminist ideals that had undergirded the creation of this curriculum. This project inherently invokes questions about gender, power, and institutions, but also questions the nature, and impossibility, of perfect neutrality in the academy. The Women's Studies discipline was created with the belief that ideology and social change movements should not have to sit at the door of the classroom, but rather, be invited inside. This timely inquiry then, analyzes the creation of this type of study and asks bigger questions about positionality, scholarship, and what it means for something, or someone, to be considered academic.
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Bartlett, Maria C.; Brauner, Daniel J.; Coats, Barbara C.; England, Suzanne E.; Gaibel, Linda; Ganzer, Carol; Gorman, Jane; Graham, Marguerite E.; Marder, Reggie; Miller, Baila; O'Shea, Bernadette; Poirier, Suzanne (1993-12)