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Editoral, The Feminist Press Oct 1981

Editoral, The Feminist Press

Women's Studies Quarterly

Controversy, Crisis, and Commitment within NWSA

The NWSA Convention and the Berkshire Women's History Conference were held on two eastern campuses in June, with approximately 1300 in attendance in each case, mainly but not only academic women. And yet, no two meetings could have been more different. No one expected the Berks , on Vassar College's campus, to solve the endemic problem of racism; no one expected the Berks to discuss, take positions on, much less work to resolve other political questions of the day. People came to the Berks for its program: for history, broadly interpreted, covering almost ...


Consciousness-Raising At The Nwsa Convention: An Overview, Yolanda T. Moses, Peg Strobel Oct 1981

Consciousness-Raising At The Nwsa Convention: An Overview, Yolanda T. Moses, Peg Strobel

Women's Studies Quarterly

In order to add a personal component to the response to racism, this year's Convention included consciousness-raising groups, which, however, proved controversial: some women disputed their composition; some felt they were too elementary; some welcomed them as a way of dealing in small groups with the Convention as a whole—including, but not limited to, the issue of racism.

The Northeast region assumed the responsibility for organizing the CR groups for the Convention. CR facilitators and the structure of the groups came out of the Northeast regional conference held earlier in the spring. At that time, women of color ...


Report From An "Experienced" Cr Group, Pamella Farley Oct 1981

Report From An "Experienced" Cr Group, Pamella Farley

Women's Studies Quarterly

Using the techniques of the consciousness-raising groups of the women's movement from the '60s and '70s, white women in my "Experienced" group worked together to confront elements of racism in our present stages of work and address ourselves to the tasks of moving on. Many of us found that we needed to combat despair and resentment—the effects of being scapegoated, unsuccessful, unsupported, and punished. Each member of the group stated a need, a goal, and a strength in her antiracism work, and in small groups shared feelings about the themes of anger, guilt, fear, and creative energy, and ...


Front Matter, The Feminist Press Oct 1981

Front Matter, The Feminist Press

Women's Studies Quarterly

No abstract provided.


Back Matter, The Feminist Press Oct 1981

Back Matter, The Feminist Press

Women's Studies Quarterly

No abstract provided.


Disobedience Is What Nwsa Is Potentially About, Adrienne Rich Oct 1981

Disobedience Is What Nwsa Is Potentially About, Adrienne Rich

Women's Studies Quarterly

For those of you who are unaware of it, I want to start with the fact that the advance coverage of this Convention by the Hartford Courant on May 19, 1981, was headlined "Lesbian Housing Available for Women's Conference at UConn" and focused entirely on the arrangements for a "lesbian section" of the dormitory, where "between 60 and 75 women" would by request be lodged. Heavy emphasis was laid on alleged difficulties between lesbians and heterosexual women last year in Bloomington, and the issue of "segregated" housing. There was no mention whatsoever of racism as the theme of the ...


Racism And "Universality" In Literature, Sue Gambill Oct 1981

Racism And "Universality" In Literature, Sue Gambill

Women's Studies Quarterly

As a white writer I want to speak to white feminists about the literature we read, write, print, and teach. Robert E. Hemenway, in his book, Zora Neale Hurston: A Literary Biography (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1977), exposes and criticizes the assumption that " ... the Black author must transcend race in order to write universally .... Even such a brilliant poet as Gwendolyn Brooks has been advised that if 'being a Negro' is her subject, then she is somehow prevented from creating great literature ... that the ultimate transcendence is to not write about Black people at all, believing for some reason ...


Newsbriefs, The Feminist Press Oct 1981

Newsbriefs, The Feminist Press

Women's Studies Quarterly

No abstract provided.


An Asian-American Woman's View Of The Cr Sessions, Alice Chai Oct 1981

An Asian-American Woman's View Of The Cr Sessions, Alice Chai

Women's Studies Quarterly

As a resident of Hawaii for almost twenty years and the only Asian and woman of color on the faculty of the Women's Studies Program at the University of Hawaii, I have been isolated from both mainland and Third World, especially Asian, women's studies academicians.... Consequently, when I went to the first meeting of a "women of color" consciousness-raising group, I looked for Asians and was disappointed to find only a few others. There were only six at the "Asian Women Only" workshop, and we formed the Asian caucus.

The first item brought up among us was the ...


A Working-Class Cr Group: One Facilitator's View, Gayle Lauradunn Oct 1981

A Working-Class Cr Group: One Facilitator's View, Gayle Lauradunn

Women's Studies Quarterly

At the NWSA Convention, I facilitated a consciousness-raising group in antiracism for white working-class women. It was difficult, painful work but a rewarding and inspiring experience. I went to the Convention with several positive expectations based upon my objectives, as well as negative anticipations based upon groundless fears about the as-yet unformed group.

The expectations were clear and straightforward—easy for me, as a teacher, to carry out. They fell neatly into three categories: developing a trusting, supportive atmosphere; assisting people to validate their whiteness, thus diminishing feelings of guilt; and developing strategies for interrupting racism.


On The Representation Of The Visual Arts At Nwsa, Estella Lauter Oct 1981

On The Representation Of The Visual Arts At Nwsa, Estella Lauter

Women's Studies Quarterly

What commitment is the Association prepared to make to women's studies in the visual arts? Judging from the 1981 Convention the question is not an easy one to answer. On the one hand, the program promised several exhibits and eight sessions involving visual materials; on the other, several of these plans were canceled or rendered ineffective by scheduling probl ems. The art gallery was closed, I was told, because the exhibit of tree-spirit masks failed to materialize and the space was too large for Brenda Verner's "Americana." Betty La Duke's etchings and drawings were displayed in the ...


What About "The Rest Of Us?", Leila Ahmed Oct 1981

What About "The Rest Of Us?", Leila Ahmed

Women's Studies Quarterly

One had assumed that it was well known that American history with respect to slavery and race was (apart from South Africa) uniquely racist, and that people from, for instance, Asia or the Middle East perceive human races, human complexions and their significances, in ways that differ profoundly from American perceptions and understandings of race. And so one had assumed too that at a feminist conference on racism, it would not be we non Western peoples who must unlearn our attitudes and speak of races in the terminology of the currently globally powerful and dominant Americans.

Sadly these proved unfounded ...


Politics And Professionalism: Women Historians In The 1980s, Joan W. Scott Oct 1981

Politics And Professionalism: Women Historians In The 1980s, Joan W. Scott

Women's Studies Quarterly

Those of you who think keynote speakers are chosen for their knowledge, wisdom, or fame should be disabused of those beliefs, at least in my case. I was asked to give this talk because I ventured an opinion about the subject that should be addressed in this year's keynote address during a meeting of the program committee over a year ago. At that time the American Historical Association's Committee on Women Historians (CWH) was preparing its update of the 1971 Rose Report on the Status of Women in the Historical Profession and the figures gave little reason for ...


The Feminist Writers' Guild, Rochelle H. Dubois Oct 1981

The Feminist Writers' Guild, Rochelle H. Dubois

Women's Studies Quarterly

Only Your Pen & Page Love You?

(and sometimes your typewriter)

No Longer!

The epigraph above over a sketch of an amazon writer rising from her typewriter has graced the bright orange flyers issued by the Feminist Writers' Guild since 1978 when it first came into being. From a group of women in Berkeley, California, then one in New York City, the national sisterhood of feminist writers has grown to a membership of over 1,000.

The 1981 National Steering Committee met May 8-1O in Milwaukee, site of the third largest chapter, to plan new goals and schedule projects which emphasize ...


Guidelines On Hiring Women Historians In Academia: Committee On Women Historians, American Historical Association, The Feminist Press Oct 1981

Guidelines On Hiring Women Historians In Academia: Committee On Women Historians, American Historical Association, The Feminist Press

Women's Studies Quarterly

The following guidelines, prepared by the Committee on Women Historians of the American Historical Association in consultation with the Professional Division, and endorsed by the Council, were distributed to all history departments in the United States, and to presidents and chancellors of all institutions that have history departments. Designed to provide useful information by which history departments may measure their progress in providing equity for women historians, the guidelines, first of their kind, should be of great interest not only to historians, but to those in other academic disciplines and other professional associations, and to women who are employed or ...


Correction: Women's Studies International At Copenhagen: From Idea To Network, The Feminist Press Oct 1981

Correction: Women's Studies International At Copenhagen: From Idea To Network, The Feminist Press

Women's Studies Quarterly

The report on the "First National Conference on Women's Studies in India" in our Spring issue was incorrectly identified as being by Florence Howe. This report was actually an excerpt from the official press release of the Conference, with additiona l material incorporated from notes written by Maithreyi Krishna Raj. Also, we regret that the photograph on page 21 of that issue was improperly cropped.


A Note On The Perils Of Publicity: The Feminist Studies Program At Stanford, Estelle B. Freedman, Michelle Z. Rosaldo Oct 1981

A Note On The Perils Of Publicity: The Feminist Studies Program At Stanford, Estelle B. Freedman, Michelle Z. Rosaldo

Women's Studies Quarterly

We of the Feminist Studies Committee at Stanford were recently delighted with the interest the announcement of a Program in Feminist Studies evoked in the West Coast media. Having worked hard to put together what we feel will be a stimulating and important program, we took real pleasure in the opportunity to communicate our accomplishments and plans.

But since news ofte n travels faster than understanding, we feel it necessary to clarify our status. First, the Feminist Studies Program has Non-Degree-Granting Status, meaning that students graduate with what is technically called an Individually Designed Major with a Concentration in Feminist ...


A Cr Group For Jewish Women, Annette Kolodny Oct 1981

A Cr Group For Jewish Women, Annette Kolodny

Women's Studies Quarterly

AUTHOR'S NOTE: Though I have tried to give some sense of the variety of people and attitudes in my CR group, I alone must take full responsibility for the opinions and viewpoints expressed here. I do not wish to suggest that everyone in the group responded as I did; nor do I wish to suggest that our group was in any way representative of the two other CR groups for Jewish Women, since I have no knowledge of what transpired in those groups.

We began as a group of sixteen, ranging in age from twenty-two to sixty-five, and including ...


The Uses Of Anger, Audre Lorde Oct 1981

The Uses Of Anger, Audre Lorde

Women's Studies Quarterly

Racism. The belief in the inherent superiority of one race over all others and thereby the right to dominance, manifest and implied.

Women respond to racism. My response to racism is anger. I have lived with that anger, on that anger, beneath that anger, on top of that anger, ignoring that anger, feeding upon that anger, learning to use that anger before it laid my visions to waste, for most of my life. Once I did it in silence, afraid of the weight of that anger. My fear of that anger taught me nothing. Your fear of that anger will ...


Nwsa News And Views, Pat Gozemba, Barbara Hillyer Davis, Kathy Amato Von-Hemert Oct 1981

Nwsa News And Views, Pat Gozemba, Barbara Hillyer Davis, Kathy Amato Von-Hemert

Women's Studies Quarterly

The $100 Fund: To Sustain and Expand NWSA

The National Women's Studies Association, although strong "in spirit and in truth," is not immune to the reality of inflation. If NWSA is to survive, it is imperative that a large amount of cash begin to flow into the treasury immediately to cover current and ongoing operating expenses.


Reflections On The Birth And Coming Of Age Of Nwsa, Virginia Cyrus Oct 1981

Reflections On The Birth And Coming Of Age Of Nwsa, Virginia Cyrus

Women's Studies Quarterly

Having survived my fourth NWSA Delegate Assembly, as I drove home from Storrs, I felt a real sense of personal accomplishment. At the same time I wondered why, since I am not usually masochistic, I had endured those meetings. Suddenly I realized that my participation produced the same gratifications and frustrations that one gets from mothering a gifted, but somewhat unruly, child. This insight led in turn to my seeing in those four Delegate Assemblies developmental stages not unlike those that are needed to produce a valuable, mature individual....

Although the organization was dreamed of and desired before the 1977 ...


Nwsa As Metaphor For The United States, Dearbhal Nicharthaigh Oct 1981

Nwsa As Metaphor For The United States, Dearbhal Nicharthaigh

Women's Studies Quarterly

The Convention at Storrs was not only my first experience of the NWSA in action but also my first experience of the United States. Having followed Storrs with trips to women's studies centers in New York, Washington, and Boston, I found two facts emerging:

1. There are three estates of persons in the United States: taxi drivers, hotel workers, and feminists. This last is by far the largest of the three.

2. There are very few men in America.

So much for cross-cultural perspectives!

In Irish society there is little racial diversity, though much latent racism. "Otherness" is defined ...


An Asian-American Perspective On The Nwsa Convention, Krishna Lahiri Oct 1981

An Asian-American Perspective On The Nwsa Convention, Krishna Lahiri

Women's Studies Quarterly

Undoubtedly what Asian-American women found most disheartening at the Convention was their lack of visibility. Women of Chinese, Japanese, Hawaiian , Southeast and South Asian heritage clearly felt that they were merely on the periphery of the major issues emphasized. As one woman remarked, "We feel terribly left out."

The critical remark centered around the fact that the Convention planners had failed to motivate representative groups of Asian women to attend. Those Asian women who did attend—and they were not more than thirty in number—were not representative of the entire population of Asian women in America. For example, the ...


An Overview Of The Third Annual Nswa Convention: A Time For Confrontation, Deborah S. Rosenfelt Oct 1981

An Overview Of The Third Annual Nswa Convention: A Time For Confrontation, Deborah S. Rosenfelt

Women's Studies Quarterly

If exhilaration characterized the first annual NWSA Convention in Lawrence, Kansas, and consolidation the second in Bloomington, this third Convention on "Women Respond to Racism" was a time for confrontation. That word, of course, can imply either a squaring-off-against or a facing-together-with. Both processes were enacted at the Convention, perhaps inevitably, given a theme that acknowledged and permitted a certain kind of political struggle. The tone was set in opening addresses by Adrienne Rich and Audre Lorde, which prepared us for the necessary, painful, yet productive expression of anger. Some were disheartened by the speeches, feeling that in these days ...


Feminist Community Education At The Nwsa Convention, Betsy Brinson Oct 1981

Feminist Community Education At The Nwsa Convention, Betsy Brinson

Women's Studies Quarterly

As a community organizer, I came to Storrs to meet others committed to feminist education in the community. At the same time I hoped to learn from the research and reflections of feminist sisters who teach in college programs and in our public school system....

Films offer a vehicle for community education. In "Fundi" I viewed the story of Ella Baker, a Black woman organizer who has been influential in civil rights struggles since the 1920s. Funded by a variety of sources described in one of the Convention workshops, this documentary can be used as an educational tool to stimulate ...


In Storrs, Connecticut, Without A Pass, Or Why High School Teachers Need Nwsa, Rita M. Kissen Oct 1981

In Storrs, Connecticut, Without A Pass, Or Why High School Teachers Need Nwsa, Rita M. Kissen

Women's Studies Quarterly

Prologue: May 28, 1981. I am standing in the office of my school principal, trying to explain NWSA in terms that will be understandable to him, but not too threatening. I am trying to convince the administration to give me four days of professional leave to attend the Convention. On the desk before us is a two-page letter in which I have stated, as "professionally" as possible, my reasons for wanting these four days of leave—the ideas and materials that the Convention will give me for my twelfth-grade women's studies class (an English elective which will continue to ...


Remarks On Two Literary Sessions At The Nwsa Convention, Jo Gillikin Oct 1981

Remarks On Two Literary Sessions At The Nwsa Convention, Jo Gillikin

Women's Studies Quarterly

...On Tuesday afternoon I attended a session entitled "The Fragmented Ethnic Woman Writer," which included an expert analysis of the search for identity in Crossings, a little-known, though clearly worthy-of-being-fully-known, novel by Chuang Hua (a pseudonym). The main character struggles between two countries—China and America—seeking her identity. As the middle child of seven children, she also struggles for personhood, a true sense of self. In The Narrows, by Ann Petry, Abbie Crunch, a seventy-year-old Black woman, transcends the moral bankruptcy of her time and place through charity. The last presentation of the session, "From Fragmentation to Fulfillment," described ...


Now You See It, Now You Don't: Women's Studies At The Pre-College Level In Ontario, Canada, Anne Chapman Jul 1981

Now You See It, Now You Don't: Women's Studies At The Pre-College Level In Ontario, Canada, Anne Chapman

Women's Studies Quarterly

Women's studies at the college level has taken root, flourished and spread in Canada as in the United States. But information about women's studies at the crucial pre-college level seems to be altogether lacking. The following report, based both on reading and interviews, surveys efforts in Ontario, Canada, to counter the male-biased curriculum, including the establishment of courses in women's studies. Although far from exhaustive, the survey may encourage others to amplify, supplement, correct and update it as well as to extend it to other parts of the world.

The extension of women's studies to the ...


Perspectives On Motherhood: A Report On A Conference, Joan Manheimer Jul 1981

Perspectives On Motherhood: A Report On A Conference, Joan Manheimer

Women's Studies Quarterly

Perspectives on Motherhood, a day-long conference designed to bridge the gap between women's studies scholars and women of the surrounding communities, was held on Saturday, April 4, at Sarah Lawrence College. The teachers and administrators from the Center for Continuing Education and the Women's History Program who co-sponsored the conference saw it as the beginning of a network linking current feminist scholarship and the lived experience of a wide variety of women. Despite these aspirations, we were surprised at the volume and range of concern our subject triggered in the community. The conference attracted enormous attention and a ...


Motherlogues, Barbara Rubin, Doris Friedensohn Jul 1981

Motherlogues, Barbara Rubin, Doris Friedensohn

Women's Studies Quarterly

"Motherlogues," the dramatic reading that follows, is drawn from some 200 tape recorded interviews of mothers by women's studies students at Jersey City State College. In 1979, with a generous grant from The New Jersey Department of Higher Education, Office of Separately Budgeted Research, we launched a two year project entitled "Mothers and Daughters: The Changing Lives of Ethnic Women." Using students as paid researchers, we began exploring the responses of their mothers (ages 40-60) to questions about education, marriage, motherhood, homemaking and employment.

We wanted to find out how a generation of working class and lower middle class ...