Women’s Studies Celebrates 40 Years at UWM


Women’s Studies “Founding Mothers”, as pictured in the UWM Report, Oct. 1977: Front row, l-r: Janet Dunleavy, Jane Crisler, Lenore Harmon, Carole Shammas Back row, l-r: Mary Conway, Cecilia Ridgeway, Marilyn Moon, Ethel Sloane, Marian Swoboda, Rachel Skalitzky

Coinciding with Women’s History Month, UWM’s Women’s Studies Program is celebrating its 40th anniversary this spring. (Download the anniversary poster.)

Women's-Studies2UWM was the first campus in the UW System to initiate a Women’s Studies program in 1974. Over the years, the program has grown from its initial offerings of an undergraduate and graduate certificate to today where students have numerous options including an undergraduate major and minor, a Masters degree, graduate-level certificate, and two joint Masters programs with Library and Information Studies and with Social Work.

Currently, Women’s Studies offers more than 100 core and cross-listed courses drawn from over thirty departments on campus taught by more than 90 affiliated faculty and staff members. Almost 3,000 students enroll in Women’s Studies courses each year.

The program emphasizes global feminisms and transnational issues reflecting our faculty’s research interests in gender in China and Asia broadly, gender in Islam and Islamic feminism, women/gender and imperialism, women’s social movements, and feminist theories of autonomy and agency.

Anniversary events include a Student Poster Exhibition on March 6, 2014, highlighting 40 years of feminist activism and scholarship at UWM and in the surrounding Milwaukee community. This exhibition is a joint effort between instructors and students in Introduction to Women’s Studies and staff in the Golda Meir Library Archives and Special Collections.

Astrid Henry

Astrid Henry

On March 7, 2014, distinguished UWM alumna Astrid Henry (’00, PhD, English) will be the keynote speaker for the annual Feminist Lecture, speaking on “Women’s Studies Became My Way of Practicing Feminism: Memoirs and Generations of the Discipline.” She is the Louise R. Noun Chair of Women’s Studies, and Associate Professor and Chair of Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies at Grinnell College, and author of Not My Mother’s Sister: Generational Conflict and Third-Wave Feminism (Indiana University Press, 2004) and the forthcoming Feminism Unfinished: A Short, Surprising History of American Women’s Movements (W.W. Norton, 2014), a book co-written with historians Dorothy Sue Cobble and Linda Gordon. (Download the event flyer.)

For more information about the UWM Women’s Studies Program or its anniversary events, see http://www4.uwm.edu/letsci/womensstudies/  or call 414-229-5918.