Women's Studies on Its Own: A Next Wave Reader in Institutional Change / Edition 1

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"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

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

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

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Product Details

Meet the Author

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.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: On Location 1
I Histories of the Present
Feminist Cultural Literacy: Translating Differences, Cannibal Options 47
Transnational Practices and Interdisciplinary Feminist Scholarship: Refiguring Women's and Gender Studies 66
Notes from the (Non)Field: Teaching and Theorizing Women of Color 82
The Progress of Gender: Whither "Women"? 106
The Present and Our Past: Simone de Beauvoir, Descartes, and Presentism in the Historiography of Feminism 141
II Institutional Pedagogies (A Forum)
Contending with Disciplinarity 177
The Past in Our Present: Theorizing the Activist Project of Women's Studies 183
Rethinking Collectivity: Chicago Feminism, Athenian Democracy, and the Consumer University 191
From Politics to Professionalism: Cultural Change in Women's Studies 202
Battle-Weary Feminists and Supercharged Girls: Generational Differences and Outsider Status in Women's Studies Administration 211
Taking Account of Women's Studies 218
Nice Work, If You Can Get It - and If You Can't? Building Women's Studies Without Tenure Lines 224
The Politics of "Excellence" 233
III In the Shadow of Capital
Academic Housework: Women's Studies and Second Shifting 245
(In)Different Spaces: Feminist Journeys from the Academy to the Mall 258
Analogy and Complicity: Women's Studies, Lesbian/Gay Studies, and Capitalism 267
Institutional Success and Political Vulnerability: A Lesson in the Importance of Allies 293
Life After Women's Studies: Graduates and the Labor Market 312
IV Critical Classrooms
Strangers in the Classroom 341
"Women of Color in the U.S.": Pedagogical Reflections of the Politics of "the Name" 368
Negotiating the Politics of Experiential Learning in Women's Studies: Lessons from the Community Action Project 383
What Should Every Women's Studies Major Know? Reflections on the Capstone Seminar 416
Subversive Couplings: On Antiracism and Postcolonialism in Graduate Women's Studies 438
Afterword: Continuity and Change in Women's Studies 457
Bibliography: Locating Feminism 465
Contributors 491
Index 499
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