Women′s Studies on Its Own

A Next Wave Reader in Institutional Change

Women′s Studies on Its Own

Next Wave: New Directions in Women's Studies

More about this series

Book Pages: 512 Illustrations: 7 tables Published: November 2002

Cultural Studies, Gender and Sexuality > Feminism and Women’s Studies, Pedagogy and Higher Education

"We thought the study of women would be a temporary phase; eventually we would all go back to our disciplines."—Gloria Bowles, From the Afterword

Since the 1970s, Women's Studies has grown from a volunteerist political project to a full-scale academic enterprise. Women's Studies on Its Own assesses the present and future of the field, demonstrating how institutionalization has extended a vital, ongoing intellectual project for a new generation of scholars and students.

Women’s Studies on Its Own considers the history, pedagogy, and curricula of Women’s Studies programs, as well as the field’s relation to the managed university. Both theoretically and institutionally grounded, the essays examine the pedagogical implications of various divisions of knowledge—racial, sexual, disciplinary, geopolitical, and economic. They look at the institutional practices that challenge and enable Women’s Studies—including interdisciplinarity, governance, administration, faculty review, professionalism, corporatism, fiscal autonomy, and fiscal constraint. Whether thinking about issues of academic labor, the impact of postcolonialism on Women’s Studies curricula, or the relation between education and the state, the contributors bring insight and wit to their theoretical deliberations on the shape of a transforming field.

Dale M. Bauer, Kathleen M. Blee, Gloria Bowles, Denise Cuthbert, Maryanne Dever, Anne Donadey, Laura Donaldson, Diane Elam, Susan Stanford Friedman, Judith Kegan Gardiner, Inderpal Grewal, Sneja Gunew, Miranda Joseph, Caren Kaplan, Rachel Lee, Devoney Looser, Jeanette McVicker, Minoo Moallem, Nancy A. Naples, Jane O. Newman, Lindsey Pollak, Jean C. Robinson, Sabina Sawhney, Jael Silliman, Sivagami Subbaraman, Robyn Warhol, Marcia Westkott, Robyn Wiegman, Bonnie Zimmerman


"This anthology . . . sets a standard for assessing the state of women's studies that is genuinely innovative and desperately needed. Women's Studies on Its Own lays out an important intellectual foundation upon which others already have begun to build." — Catherine M. Orr, Feminist Collections

"This volume provides a rich body of knowledge about the current state of women's studies that increases our understanding of its institutionalization, and simultaneously serves as a source of constructive ideas for how the field can overcome its problems and continue as an academic site of radical politics. I recommend Women's Studies on Its Own not only to all the people involved in women's studies, but to anyone interested in important current issues in higher education." — Jill M. Bystydzienski, Contemporary Sociology

"From the wealth of material and argument in the book, it is possible to construct a model women’s studies program. . . . Women’s Studies on Its Own offers much to ‘change life.’. . ."

— David L. Sterling, History: Reviews of New Books

Women’s Studies on Its Own charts the course academic feminism has taken in the thirty years since the founding of the first Women’s Studies program. Even better, it offers a game plan for the next thirty years. It's indispensable.” — Cathy N. Davidson, coeditor of No More Separate Spheres! A Next Wave American Studies Reader

“As we enter something of a ‘post-identity politics’ era, one in which colleges and universities are increasingly held accountable for the kinds of knowledge they produce (and how and for whom), Women's Studies on Its Own offers both a rationale for and a critical analysis of the state of the field.” — Jill Dolan, author of Geographies of Learning: Theory and Practice, Activism and Performance


Availability: In stock
Price: $32.95

Open Access

Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Robyn Wiegman is Associate Professor of Women’s Studies and the Margaret Taylor Smith Director of Women’s Studies at Duke University. She is the author of American Anatomies: Theorizing Race and Gender and coeditor of The Futures of American Studies, both published by Duke University Press.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Introduction: On Location / Robyn Wiegman 1

I: Histories of the Present

Feminist Cultural Literacy: Translating Differences, Cannibal Options / Sneja Gunew 47

Transnational Practices and Interdisciplinary Feminist Scholarship: Refiguring Women's and Gender Studies / Caren Kaplan and Inderpal Grewal 66

Notes from the (Non)Field: Teaching and Theorizing Women of Color / Rachel Lee 82

The Progress of Gender: Whither "Women"? / Robyn Wiegman 106

The Present and Our Past: Simone de Beauvoir, Descartes, and Presentism in the Historiography of Feminism / Jane O. Newman 141

II: Institutional Pedagogies (A Forum)

Contending with Disciplinarity / Kathleen M. Blee 177

The Past in Our Present: Theorizing the Activist Project of Women's Studies / Bonnie Zimmerman 183

Rethinking Collectivity: Chicago Feminism, Athenian Democracy, and the Consumer University / Judith Kegan Gardiner 191

From Politics to Professionalism: Cultural Change in Women's Studies / Jean C. Robinson 202

Battle-Weary Feminists and Supercharged Grrls: Generational Differences and Outsider Status in Women's Studies Administration / Devoney Looser 211

Taking Account of Women's Studies / Diane Elam 218

Nice Work, If You Can Get It---and If You Can't? Building Women's Studies Without Tenure Lines / Robyn R. Warhol 224

The Politics of "Excellence" / Jeanette McVicker 233

III. In the Shadow of Capital

Academic Housework: Women's Studies and Second Shifting / Dale M. Bauer 245

(In)Different Spaces: Feminist Journeys from the Academy to the Mall / Sivagami Subbaraman 258

Analogy and Complicity: Women's Studies, Lesbian/Gay Studies, and Capitalism / Miranda Joseph 267

Institutional Success and Political Vulnerability: A Lesson in the Importance of Allies / Marcia Westkott 293

Life After Women's Studies: Graduates and the Labor Market / Maryanne Dever, Denise Cuthbert, and Lindsey Pollak 312

IV: Critical Classrooms

Strangers in the Classroom / Sabina Sawhney 341

"Women of Color in the U.S.": Pedagogical Reflections on the Politics of "the Name" / Minoo Moallem 368

Negotiating the Politics of Experiential Learning in Women's Studies: Lessons from the Community Action Project / Nancy A. Naples 383

What Should Every Women's Studies Major Know? Reflections on the Capstone Seminar / Susan Stanford Friedman 416

Subversive Couplings: On Antiracism and Postcolonialism in Graduate Women's Studies / Laura E. Donaldson, Anne Donadey, and Jael Silliman 438

Afterword: Continuity and Change in Women's Studies / Gloria Bowles 457

Bibliography: Locating Feminism 465

Contributors 491

Index 499
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

Rights and licensing
Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-2986-2 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-2950-3
Publicity material