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Socialist Feminism: What Difference Did It Make to the History of Women's Studies?

IN RECENT WRITING ON THE HISTORY and potential of women's studies, socialist feminism is rarely mentioned, leading Judith Gardiner to ask: "What happened to socialist feminist women's studies programs" of the 1970s? (1) This question leads to two additional kinds of questions. First, what are the histories of these programs; what characterized them in the 1970s, and what happened to them in the 1980s and 1990s? What is their continuing impact if any? Second, how are these programs represented in current histories, analyses, or commentaries on women's studies? What difference does their invisibility make? I see both approaches as dialectically interrelated, and therefore my answers move back and forth between them.

In my mind I am participating in a struggle over whose version of the history of the 1970s women's movement, and in particular of women's studies, predominates. All social movements generate struggle over who gets to tell the story and how different positions are represented. A relevant example for the themes of this article is Ellen DuBois's argument that socialist feminism, which linked women's equality with other struggles for justice, has been written out of women's history of the 1920s in favor of a polarization between the equal rights and separate spheres feminisms. (2) In 1995, Lise Vogel explained why she agreed to write an encyclopedia article on socialist feminism:
  The popular reconstructions of the 1960s and 1970s made little sense
  to me. Where I remembered an exciting jumble of organizations and
  collectives working on behalf of women's liberation, the media
  described white middle-class wives and daughters seeking individual
  fulfillment. Collective struggle vanished from the screen, together
  with voices of working-class women, women of color, lesbian women
  and, of course, socialist-feminist women. (3)

I begin this essay by defining and recovering socialist feminist praxis of the late 1960s and 1970s, Next, I argue that, since its first organizations in 1969, socialist feminist praxis developed theory and practice around race that influenced the agendas of women's liberation and women's studies. Third, I critically evaluate why these struggles around race have been consistently erased. Finally, I consider the contribution of women's liberation, in general, and socialist feminism, in particular, to the institutionalization of women's studies in order to gain fresh understanding about ways that women's studies can combine theory and practice, engage in institutional struggle, and foster participatory democracy. Equally important, but beyond the scope of this article, would be revisionist analyses of class and lesbianism in socialist feminist praxis.

The analysis draws on my own experience in founding women's studies at the State University of New York at Buffalo (SUNY Buffalo) in 1976 and my years as a faculty member and sometime administrator since then, my participation in the discussion group, Marxist Feminist Group 1 from the 1970s through the 1990s, and on recent scholarship on the women's liberation movement and women's studies. My overall goal is to explain why the history of socialist feminism in women's studies is important, challenging current trends in women's studies that implicitly devalue history and dismiss early women's studies as individualist, white, and middle class.


Most courses on feminist theory devote some time to socialist feminist theory, distinguishing it from other forms of feminist theory. (4) However, these analyses of theoretical concepts are not particularly useful for this article, which focuses on the theory and practice of socialist feminist movements and institution building, what I am calling socialist feminist praxis, in a specific period of history, the late 1960s through the 1970s. There is very little written on this topic; for instance, Ruth Rosen's history of the modern women's movement does not even mention socialist feminism in the index. Similarly, socialist feminist praxis remains obscured in The Politics of Women's Studies: Testimony from Thirty Founding Mothers. Of the nine references to socialist feminism in the index, only five are related to women's studies, two by me. Mary Jo Buhle's introduction never mentions the topic, despite the fact that she has herself written a book on U.S. women and socialism. Fortunately, there is a small, but growing, body of scholarship in history and sociology that begins to offer fuller documentation of women's liberation, in general, and socialist feminism, radical feminism, black feminism, and Chicana feminism, in particular, as political tendencies and as organized practice in the late 1960s and 1970s. Rosalyn Baxandall and Linda Gordon make a good start by reprinting documents from all these tendencies within women's liberation. They emphasize the fluid interactions among different tendencies--particularly radical feminist and socialist feminist--in the late 1960s and early 1970s, suggesting that "most members of women's liberation did not identify with any of these tendencies and considered themselves simply feminists, unmodified." Their work helpfully conveys that this was a period of motion, openness, and invention, rather than of ideological exclusion. However, it is misleading in underplaying the organizational forms of these tendencies with which many women's liberationists identified. (5)

Sarah Evans clarifies the importance of distinct organizations, while agreeing that ideological boundaries were fluid. (5) She argues that both radical feminism and socialist feminism developed from the 1967 groups calling themselves Radical Women in New York and Chicago, whose politics were differentiated from both the women's peace movement and from the New Left in not being willing to subordinate women's issues to other causes, but all else was open to debate. As the growth of the women's liberation movement accelerated, both radical feminism and socialist feminism emerged from within this relatively undifferentiated politics. Evans documents the founding of two distinct socialist feminist groups-the Chicago Women's Liberation Union and Bread and Roses of Bostonin 1969, the same year the better-known radical feminist group Redstockings was founded in New York. While radical feminism and other tendencies continued to grow, socialist feminist women's unions also multiplied throughout the country, at one time numbering as many as eighteen. In addition, Evans notes the existence of several Marxist feminist discussion groups by the early 1970s and of women's chapters of the New American Movement, a socialist feminist organization. (6)

Evans astutely suggests that it is hard for people today to understand the vitality of socialist feminism as a political tendency, because with the end of the cold war dominant ideas tend to associate socialism with dogma and totalitarianism. (7) To the contrary, in the early years of women's liberation, socialist feminist praxis did not follow an orthodox set of ideas. Rather it was guided by the social conditions that birthed it. It was in between the emerging radical feminists and the existing Left. Fed up with the sexism on the Left, socialist feminists believed that their practice needed to include the fight for their own liberation. At the same time they did not agree that women's liberation could be achieved separately from other struggles for social and economic justice. Thus, socialist feminists saw the fight to end male supremacy as key for social justice, but it was not the primary contradiction, rather it was one among many. Most commentators on early socialist feminism identify struggles against racism as well as class exploitation as key for women's liberation. (8)

Evans argues that socialist feminism by 1976 began to take on a new shape, losing its grassroots practice with the growing conservatism of the time. Socialist feminists either went to work in more liberal reform organizations or they focused on analyzing women's oppression in the context of capitalism, the family, and sexuality. Evans credits this creative socialist feminist theorizing with stimulating the growth of women's studies by posing questions about institutions and demanding research that aimed at social change. Thus Evans suggests two distinct periods of socialist feminism: one tied closely with mass movement practices and the second, more focused on theory, research, and analysis. It strikes me that feminists are more familiar with the post-1976 period of socialist feminism in part due to Alison Jaggar's analytical framework in Feminist Philosophy and Human Nature (1978) that presents socialist feminism as the most highly evolved version of feminist theory, rather than existing simultaneously with radical feminism in the 1960s and 1970s. (9)

Benita Roth helpfully complicates the emerging picture of women's liberation when she challenges the received wisdom that women of color feminism developed after white feminism; instead, she argues that white feminism, black feminism, and Chicana feminism developed simultaneously but separately. Despite contact between members of these different movements, they remained separate in theory and practice. Although this analysis is still contested, I believe it offers a good interpretation of existing data. Her research emphasizes that in analyzing women's liberation in the 1960s and 1970s, scholars need to ensure that they use a variety of grids--race/ethnicity as well as political tendency--in order to comprehend the full politics of the women's liberation movement. (10)

SUNY Buffalo's women's studies program in the early 1970s gives a good sense of the fluidity of ideas and practice coexisting with named political tendencies and of the distinct divisions and alliances related to race and class. Although we didn't identify our women's studies program as socialist feminist, we recognized that the leadership in the program--three full-time faculty--was socialist feminist. (11) The framework of women's liberation brought people with all sorts of politics and backgrounds together. Students, staff, and faculty came to build women's studies from the National Organization for Women (NOW) and consciousness raising groups as well as from the civil rights, Black Power, American Indian, gay liberation, lesbian feminist, New Left, sectarian Left, and antiwar movements. A small but steady number of the participants were women of color, and at this public university a significant number of students identified as working class, the first generation of their family to go to college. This mixed constituency led to the cross pollination of ideas that Baxandall and Gordon and Evans emphasize, showing that women's liberation was a mass movement.

Even within our faculty, there were different politics. DuBois had participated in the Chicago Women's Liberation Union and advocated a social democratic politics. Lillian Robinson had participated in Bread and Roses and had Leninist leanings. I had participated in the antiwar movement and advocated an anti-imperialist politics. But this openness to different ideas didn't undermine our identification as socialist feminists. Our common political judgments about the connections between our work for women's liberation and other struggles for social justice (for instance, the struggles of Attica prisoners) set us apart and created deep bonds between us and meaningful alliances with working-class students and students of color.

In this situation of multiple feminisms, what does it add to include socialist feminist praxis in the history of women's studies? It would more accurately convey the politics of building women's studies: that there was struggle over ideas and directions; that there was not a homogenous women's studies in the 1970s, nor was there a "golden age" where theory and practice melded seamlessly. But I couldn't have known how important this struggle over versions of the past would be until I saw how recent writings have simplified the relationship between women's studies and social movements. For instance, Ellen Messer Davidow, in her useful book on the institutionalizing of women's studies, idealizes the past while reducing all the politics of women's studies to that of liberal feminism. Robyn Wiegman, who has provided leadership in imagining the possibility of women's studies, understands history primarily as a disciplining force, challenging the relevance of movements for social justice to women's studies. (12) Most importantly, I fear such simplifications negatively affect our students. Upon learning that the demographics of Second Wave women's liberation were primarily white and middle class, they take those identity markers to indicate that the movement had a homogeneous conservative politics irrelevant to most women. This contributes to their dismissing that movement, and I would venture to say themselves, as significant activists, rather than learning about the power of a Left feminism and being inspired by the complexity and richness of those founding years of women's studies.


I am continually puzzled by the phenomenon of every decade of women's studies participants thinking that they are the first people to seriously confront racism in women's studies and to grapple with the interconnections of race, class, and gender. What is the evidence for the counter view that the feminist movement was not all white and middle-class women concerned with their individual advancement in the late 1960s and 1970s? That socialist feminism had some sort of theory and practice against racism and class exploitation?

Reprinted documents of socialist feminist groups of the late 1960s and early 1970s provide references to issues of race and class as well as to collective practice, not to mention radical ideas, capturing the multiple concerns of the times. (13) Written with the same impulse as this article, Winifred Breines's The Trouble between Us also provides a picture of early socialist feminism, probing the relationship between the predominantly white socialist feminist movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s and black feminism and asking why white socialist feminism, despite its theory and practice around race, did not develop an interracial women's movement as it had hoped. Focusing on the socialist feminist organization, Bread and Roses, Breines documents that its members' writing brought together Marxism and feminism and explored the role of race, class and gender in women's oppression. Sharing a few examples is worthwhile, given that they are missing from most contemporary discussions of 1970s feminism. For instance, Meredith Tax, a core leader, wrote: "Class and race are involved in all propaganda and organizing around childcare, abortion and everything else; and should be dealt with openly and specifically." In addition, the organization's practice extended beyond individual betterment to challenge the power hierarchies in society, by participating in the antiwar movement, supporting the Black Panther Party, and challenging violence against women. Despite its relatively low enrollment, they offered a course on black history in a community center. A mimeographed letter to the school's students and teachers explained: "There is a lot the women's movement needs to learn and do in order to bring ourselves into a more conscious and active alliance with the black liberation movement and learning black history is one step in this direction." (14)

Breines argues that despite this manifest practice against racism, the commitment to antiracist work was mainly abstract, rooted in interracial work of the past and in a universalist understanding of women's oppression. Bread and Roses members had little understanding of the concrete differences in women's lives. Their main work with black people was in support of the Black Panther Party, which gave them little contact with black women, much less with black feminism. In Breines's analysis, there was little chance to develop joint activities because black feminists avoided contact with white feminists as evidenced by such comments as Barbara Omolade's that black feminists were "always being contained, discouraged and limited by white women who in spite of their so-called 'feminist politics' replicated existing power relationships, which minimized and subordinated us because of our race." Thus Breines agrees with Roth that black feminism and white feminism were quite separate movements in the early 1970s but disagrees that that is what both movements wanted. In her view that was the vision of black feminists, while white feminists envisioned an interracial movement. Breines credits the Combahee River Collective and other black socialist feminists with educating "all feminists that race, class and gender were indivisible in understanding the lives of the oppressed." With difference on the political agenda, white socialist feminists were able to make more concrete their previously abstract commitment to struggle against racism. (15)

In Breines's analysis, by the mid-1970s white women's learning about difference combined with black women's increased feminist publications set the conditions for black and white feminists to work together on certain projects such as the defense of Joanne Little in 1974-1975 and the 1977 International Women's Year Conference in Houston. Socialist feminist women--black and white--formed the Coalition for Women's Safety in Boston to protest media trivialization and police inaction around the murders of twelve black women and one white woman in 1979, with white women primarily acting as allies under black leadership. By the end of the decade the National Women's Studies Association (NWSA) and its regional organizations, like the New England Women's Studies Association became forums for education about racism. Barbara Smith explains, "Racism is being talked about in the context of women's studies because of its being raised in the women's movement generally, but also because women's studies is a context in which white and Third World women actually come together, a context that should be about studying and learning about all of our lives." (16)

Breines's analysis offers a valuable framework for thinking about socialist feminism's contributions to fighting racism in the 1970s. She introduces the idea of learning through education and practice. White socialist feminist activists had a belief in the universality of women's oppression that was in tension with their abstract understanding of difference. They had to learn the concrete meaning of difference, not simply about race, but also about sexuality and class, which often involved emotional and painful struggles.

Although Breines's focus for the 1970s is primarily the women's liberation movement in Boston, her description partially, but not completely, resonates with the ideas and practices of women's studies in SUNY Buffalo. My own experience suggests that an understanding of the universality of women's oppression existed in tension with a beginning understanding of difference. However, learning about the concrete meaning of difference began earlier in Buffalo, facilitated by white and Third World women working together within the women's studies framework of learning about all women's lives. Our education started in 1970 when we read Toni Cade's The Black Woman and assigned it in our classes. Frances M. Beale's article, "Double Jeopardy: To Be Black and Female," was a key model for understanding the inseparability of race, gender, and class. In my article, "Dreams of Social Justice," I gave several concrete examples of a socialist feminist women's studies program grappling with issues of race, sex, and class; for instance, in the early 1970s the curriculum committee reviewed new course proposals to see that they were inclusive of all women, and if not, we sent them back. For a predominantly student-run committee to ask for revisions in a faculty course was a controversial and educational process. (17)

Another example of socialist feminist work around the intersections of race, class, and gender in the 1970s highlights the political contrasts between those programs with socialist feminist directions and those without. Women's studies at SUNY Buffalo had, since 1970, an introductory course renowned for its content and collective format and we often presented workshops on the course, thereby putting issues of race, class, and sexuality on the women's studies agenda beyond our program. (18) The course opened with a section called "who are the women of America" that tried to counter from the beginning the hegemony of women's studies being about white women and then moved toward an analysis of race, class, work, family, and sexuality. For us as socialist feminists, understanding sexism in the context of other oppressive systems meant that we valued personal experience but analyzed it in the context of larger social structures. After one workshop a faculty member from another university raised questions about the appropriateness of our introductory course. She felt that by raising issues of race and class from the first day it prevented students from getting in touch with their oppression as women. She didn't conceive that only by linking an analysis of sex, class, and race could women understand their oppression.

My point is not that racial hierarchy was eliminated in women's studies because of these practices or that white socialist feminists had developed an adequate practice against racism; rather that the actions taken in the struggle for racial justice started to reveal how women's studies was implicated in U.S. racial formations and began to build students and faculty better equipped to fight, resist, and challenge racism. These changes helped lay the groundwork for offering a university education that was more useful to all students and for the hiring of faculty from different racial/ ethnic groups.

Although Breines documents that in the late 1960s and early 1970s most black feminists were not interested in relating to white feminism, this was not true at SUNY Buffalo, where students of color reached out to while socialist feminist students and faculty. They wanted feminist courses and therefore challenged the racism in existing courses. Similarly, community women expressed interest in teaching courses. In 1972, Lucy Burney, a welfare rights activist taught a course titled "Black and Female" and a little later added "Black Matriarchy." (19) Even if the numbers were few. there was a constant presence of African American women, American Indian women, and Latina women in building women's studies at SUNY Buffalo. These students and community women had come to feminism in the context of their own communities and at the university wanted to work with other feminists. Feminists of color and white feminists under the leadership of socialist feminists together created a space where both could work, and as a result white feminists were pushed to further develop their ideas and practice around race, while feminists of color gained useful courses for developing their feminisms. Thus, joint work interested feminists of color when they gained something in return.

I want to concretize my learning as a white socialist feminist working with feminists of color, in general, and socialist feminists of color, in particular, to create a feminist education that was antiracist. One of my moments of insight happened in the late 1970s, when I was revising the introductory course syllabus with the teaching collective. We needed to cut two classes. Student assistants of color joined by white working-class students argued that the class on sex role socialization should be eliminated because the focus was primarily the socialization of the middle-class white woman, which was covered in other classes on the women's movement and on the media. I remember thinking, "It is not possible to have an introductory women's studies course without talking directly about sex role socialization." But as I listened to the arguments, that it was more important to have a second class on women's health that allowed a full analysis of middle-class and working-class white, Asian American, Black, and Latina women's interface with the healthcare system, I reluctantly decided that the students might be right. And practice proved this to be correct.

Thus, the 1970s involved learning that my understanding of feminism had limitations, that feminists of color offered different insights based on their intellectual traditions and long experience with the institutional forces of racism. This taught some humility about my intellectual work and encouraged my openness to new models and materials, while also leading me to take direction from feminists of color. Cumulatively, this education gave me glimpses of the essential but difficult reimaginings necessary to make challenging racism central to scholarship and practice. Most importantly for evaluating this article, I became conscious that I often was more optimistic than feminists of color about what had been gained from feminist struggle against racism, most likely due to the factthat I did not suffer as much from the inadequate results. These insights, although starting in the experience of difference, point to the importance of common analytical and political frameworks that transcend experience. They help me to work productively in coalition with women of color.

This learning has always been rewarding but not always painless, which leads to the topic of white resistance to challenging racism, a subject that Breines does not cover, but one that was prominent in my experience at SUNY Buffalo. Some white socialist feminists were committed to moving beyond an abstract understanding of difference to develop an antiracist politics, and others were not, seeing it more as a diversion. Often resistance manifested itself in the form of immobilizing guilt, other times in conscious and unconscious racist practices. Recognition of resistance is key for long-term feminist work against racism as it affirms the importance of white people developing a practice of educating others.


All of the evidence and arguments presented above seem to make a strong case that socialist feminism actively struggled around issues of race and class in the late 1960s and early 1970s. As I say this I fear I am bordering on the nonsensical. Everybody knows about the racism and classism in 1970s women's studies and in "white feminism" in general. I can't blame that simply on media misinformation. Isn't that what our classic women's studies texts by Angela Davis, Cherrie Moraga, Gloria Anzaldua, Chela Sandoval, Barbara Smith, and Audre Lorde are about? Going against the current of received wisdom. I am arguing for a more complex and contextualized reading of these 1970s and 1980s texts, so that we understand not only what they tell us about racism in the white women's movement, but also about struggles against racism.

One way to read these classic books is as a total criticism of "the white women's movement." But I am suggesting that knowing the history of the period leads to another way. These critical views need to be placed in the context of a mass liberation movement in which antiracism was on the agenda for some white feminists as well as for feminists of color. Early criticisms by women of color, for instance in This Bridge Called My Back, specifically targeted racist practices and thus implied an ongoing dialogue and struggle between some feminists of color and some white women, who practiced some sort of coalition politics, so that the authors were looking for or even expecting better antiracist practice. (20) These very publications therefore indicate a dialogue between white feminists and feminists of color.

Most discussions of the 1970s women's movement does not recognize this complexity and asserts a totalizing critique. For instance, in 2002 Minoo Moallem generally condemned the racism of the 1970s women's movement: "The history of these [Women of Color in the U.S.] courses is connected to women of color's denunciation of racism and classism in 'the unified Women's Movement' between 1972 and 1980." Her source for this condemnation was Sandoval's article on the 1981 NWSA Conference. Although Sandoval's article could be read as offering a total critique of all women's studies, my contextualized reading would emphasize the very specific nature of her criticism and deduce that serious struggle against racism was underway. Her clarity and specificity suggest that there was an audience for such a critique. For myself, having been active building women's studies through the 1970s, that is certainly how I read it, because I knew from the conflicts in my own program that feminists of color and white feminists were in ongoing dialogue about these matters. I was disheartened that this conference, which I didn't attend, did so poorly in furthering practice against racism, but I knew that white resistance to dismantling racism was high and also that paths for developing antiracist practice in a racist society were not straightforward and obvious. I and many others learned from the clarity of Sandoval's critique and felt it was talking directly to my day-to-day work in building women's studies. Breines gives further context for that conference in pointing out that a New England Women's Studies Association conference on racism a few months previously was much more successful. As an isolated attempt at interracial work, the 1981 NWSA conference was a dismal failure, but in the context of several conferences and ongoing work, it became a learning opportunity for many. (21)

On the surface, Sandoval's Methodology of the Oppressed appears to present a major challenge to contextualized readings. It offers a comprehensive critique of "white feminism" as hegemonic from the late 1960s to the 1990s and as ignoring difference and making Third World feminism invisible. She particularly names socialist feminism as a leader in perpetuating this hegemonic feminism. She argues that Jaggar's analysis of socialist feminism as having developed in the late 1970s to deal with racism ironically relegates U.S. Third World feminist writing to the level of description, ignoring its distinct theoretical contributions. Sandoval brings together the views of many feminists of color, who are rightfully angry at having their analyses overlooked. "Although hegemonic feminism has produced enlightening and liberating spaces, these spaces coalesce into what [Gayatry] Spivak characterized as a 'high feminist norm.' This norm reinforces the 'basically isolationist' and narcissitic 'admiration' of hegemonic critical thinkers 'for the literature of the female subject in Europe and Anglo America,' as if such fascination can lead to liberation.'" (22)

Nevertheless, Sandoval's work is conducive to the kind of contextualized reading I propose because she is in obvious dialogue with a range of feminist thinkers and is committed to proposing a more comprehensive feminist theory. She unquestionably offers very specific criticisms of what she calls hegemonic feminist theory, including socialist feminism. However, her analysis highlights the distance between what socialist feminist theorists thought they were doing and how feminists of color evaluated their theories, raising the question of whether we can take seriously socialist feminist theory's engagement with antiracist struggle. I think a contextualized reading can help here as well, by taking into account that Sandoval is dealing with feminist theories of the late 1970s and the 1980s, quite a different time period from the late 1960s and early 1970s for socialist feminism and for social movements in general. This context would encourage asking questions about whether socialist feminist antiracist theory and practice became less effective in the late 1970s and 1980s and, if so, why. Such questions would likely facilitate the deconstruction of hegemonic feminist theory and encourage dialogue between feminist theorists. They would definitely help white feminists to learn about what is effective antiracist practice.

I want to emphasize that by offering these contextualized readings I am not saying that the critiques of racism in women's studies of the 1970s that continue until today were wrong. Unquestionably, these writings by women of color transformed the method and content of women's studies in general and my own work in particular. Nor am I saying that women of color have an obligation to teach white women. But I am criticizing the way feminist scholars generally discuss and teach these texts, removing them from a context of antiracist practice and theory. To acknowledge racism does not require erasing the work against racism by some white women and some women of color that took place in some women's studies programs. And to recognize the struggles of some white women against racism does not belittle the contributions of women of color or undercut the need for white women to continually challenge racism, even if those challenges were pitifully small in relation to what needs to be done or were less effective than in a previous decade; to erase them limits possibilities for change. Knowing this history of struggle by socialist feminists against racism gives a more realistic view of the power of racial formations and the level of struggle required to transform them and encourages evaluations of theory and practice against racism. Women's studies participants and feminist activists in general need to know and learn from the details of these struggles.

What fuels this ongoing denial of 1970s history by women's studies scholarship? It strikes me as a facile enactment of identity politics, deducing politics from whiteness and surface class behavior, rather than recognizing that people consciously chose their politics. The late 1960s and early 1970s were a radical period in U.S. history within which socialist feminists consciously chose to create a politics that supported struggle against racism and class exploitation as well as against sexism. The regular denial of this history is somewhat understandable in the writings of women of color, who have a long history of disappointment, if not betrayal, in their work with white women and who suffer directly from unexamined racist practices in women's studies. But many white students and faculty also regularly deny this history. One recent version is particularly aggressive in that it not only simplifies history, but also directly challenges the veracity of people's first-person accounts. Ann Braithwaite questions the intentions of many of the founders of women's studies who, in their essays for The Politics of Women's Studies, mention their participation in the civil rights movement and/or the New Left and how this led them to consider issues of race, class, and sexual orientation in the early days of women's studies. She argues that by claiming race and class as part of the women's studies agenda in the 1970s, these memoirs exclude dealing with issues of race and class today, "By 'writing in' a particular set of issues as always having been of central concern, the possibility of knowing about or responding to the challenges posed by those points of view that argue the opposite is foreclosed at the outset; the result, ironically, is that those challenges are then 'written out' as not relevant through their very inclusion." (23)

When faced with contradictory evidence about the 1970s, why does Braithwaite remain invested in this cliched image that women's studies in the 1970s did not consider issues of race or class? For Braithwaite, Smith's statement in 1998 is decisive: "What strikes me hardest about many, although not all, of these accounts is how unwelcoming and even dangerous the early years of the women's movement were for women of color." To move from this statement to a judgment that white women's struggle around racism did not take place and that any mention of it forecloses contemporary work around racism seems a stretch. Braithwaite does not consider that both views could be true: that the depth of racism is so serious, its pervasiveness in U.S. culture so deep, that some white women could be working on it and not make a significant long-term difference. Smith's own assessment is more nuanced: "Like most white feminists, commission members had a theoretical commitment to being racially inclusive, but on a practical level, they were not always conscious of how they excluded our [black feminist] participation." (24)

Janet Jakobsen offers a useful analysis of why the history of women's studies' attention to race in the 1970s is constantly erased. She argues that erasing the women of color and the white women of the 1970s and 1980s who worked against racism allows present-day white participants to believe in a narrative of progress that positions them to solve these issues without ever having to rethink their paradigms of racial hierarchy. (25) To accept that socialist feminist women's studies struggled with understanding racism and the interconnections of sex and race in the 1970s does not mean that women's studies was effective in addressing these problems or that they were central to all practitioners. But recognition of the struggle is critical in establishing a base for understanding racial formations, feminism and women's studies and for thinking about the complexity of maintaining autonomy while building alliance.

Although I am convinced that in women's studies programs influenced by socialist feminism issues of race and class were on the agenda in the early 1970s, I am less clear about socialist feminism's continuing role in shaping women's studies' understanding of racial formations and the interconnections of race, class, and sex. This observation supports Sandoval's critique of the way socialist feminist theory of the 1980s marginalized women of color. Women's studies has by now had more than thirty years of practice in recruiting and retaining faculty and students of color and in transforming curriculum and research to analyze the hierarchies of gender, race, class, ethnicity, nation, and disability. Scholars have produced a wealth of good ideas for thinking through these issues: multiple identities, shifting the core, the outsider within. Poststructuralism challenged the concepts of identity and experience, opening up new pathways for thinking through the persistence of racism. Most recently scholars have turned their attention to the construction of whiteness and to how the structure of the university reproduces a division between racism and sexism. Socialist feminists and their more recent reincarnation, materialist feminists, have contributed to these discussions but as one of many, not as leaders; thus Califia Community, a California-based feminist educational experiment that lasted from 1976 to 1987, emphasized education around racism, while being wary of socialist feminism. (26)

In this context, it is important that women's studies recognize the heritage of socialist feminist ideas and practice about the crucial interconnections between race, class, and sex. This information gives a long-term perspective on the challenges of developing antiracist practices. Given women's studies' origins in a short-lived period of radical struggles for social justice that was soon followed by the rise of neoliberal conservatism, it is not surprising that women's studies practice against racism and class exploitation has not been steadily successful. This understanding directs women's studies participants to using analytical frameworks that address changes in contemporary social institutions and to taking on daily struggles against racism and class exploitation rather than looking to a utopian future.


Restoring the radical ideas and practices of the women's liberation movement to the history of women's studies usefully complicates analyses of the institutionalization of women's studies in the early 1970s. In some sense, all of women's studies in the 1970s had to do with institutional transformation, because to have women's studies courses and women's studies programs required profound change in the university. Usually this history is represented as inevitable, as an undifferentiated movement of women faculty, students, and administrators and their male allies, pushing the university to be more responsive to women's needs. Understanding socialist feminism's contribution helps illuminate how social movements actually effect institutional change, challenging the common myth about the 1970s being a golden age for the integration of theory and practice in women's studies and providing a Left feminist framework for thinking about such issues as institutional transformation and participatory democracy.

A big step for those developing women's studies was to decide to engage the university. From my experience at SUNY Buffalo, those people who had more liberal feminist politics pushed for women to be included in the curriculum and for equal treatment of women students, faculty, and staff throughout the university, while those with women's liberation politics were both more ambitious and more wary. Buoyed by a mass student movement, they envisioned women's studies as changing the basic structures of the university and staking a claim on university resources. However, not all women's liberation activists were convinced that building women's studies was a good investment of time. They judged that working within the university--an institution that is central to the reproduction of social hierarchy--would drain energy from reaching out to masses of women and would lead inevitably to cooptation. In this context, when women's studies at SUNY Buffalo decided to become a named program and to look for a home in the collegiate system, it was a momentous decision for the future of women's studies, creating a university unit committed to fundamental social change. (27) The governance meeting where the final decision was taken and those meetings leading up to it were heated, examining the pros and cons.

When the final vote set the course toward institutionalization, at a time when there were few if any other models, some of those who had been working to develop the women's studies curriculum left, indicating the depth of their political disagreement. The decision to institutionalize women's studies as a named unit within the university with the goal of social transformation was so fraught with contradictions that it was never completely accepted; some version of this debate would emerge and reemerge for decades. In Buffalo, political leanings rather than identification based on race, class, or sexuality seemed to determine people's views on the subject. The socialist feminist tendency within women's liberation was key in the move toward institutionalizing women's studies, and it had solid allies among liberal feminists. In general, Buffalo socialist feminists, with their focus on analyzing institutions, were comfortable negotiating the tensions between the threat of cooptation and the potential for institutional change. In general, radical feminists and later cultural feminists argued against institutionalization; they thought that the patriarchal core of the modern university would not respond to women's needs and that education for women's liberation needed to be done in women-controlled spaces such as the independent feminist educational projects of the Sagaris Institute and the Califia Community developed in the mid-1970s. (28) Some sectarian Marxist feminists also were against institutionalization. In their view, class relations of the university would not accommodate worker liberation and would primarily drain organizers' energy.

Recognizing this social context, I am proposing that one way women's studies programs developed was through a series of compromises forged by socialist feminist praxis in the early 1970s in attempts to link a mass movement with institutional transformation and to connect the desire to do rigorous intellectual work with the desire to change the world. The frequently quoted statement that women's studies is the academic arm of the women's movement cannot be read as if the connection between the two is transparent. Rather it includes tension, negotiation, and conflict. These 1970s compromises were not easy, despite the fact that the period is usually remembered with rose-colored glasses. I tried to capture the difficulties in my memoir on the founding of women's studies, explaining that the young faculty hired in women's studies were in a difficult situation. (29) They wanted both to pursue feminist scholarship and to create feminist change in the university and the world. They had little if any support for this difficult task. The administration was at best suspicious of their scholarship, not to mention of institutional change. They couldn't turn to other feminist colleagues because they had few, if any, and their students constantly pushed them to give activism a priority over scholarship.

Although faculty and students knew that they were important allies for one another, the tensions between them were very real, centering on time devoted to political discussion versus time devoted to intellectual work, non-hierarchical education versus professional training, and professional accreditation versus democratic selection. Even in this early period, often depicted as the golden age of women's studies activism, debates emerged over the relevance of scholarship to the movement's concerns. Many SUNY Buffalo students and community activists criticized the faculty for being elitist and not doing "relevant" scholarship, even attacking DuBois's research on nineteenth-century suffrage. Living through these accusations has made me eternally suspicious of arguments that certain scholarship is not relevant to the transformative goals of women's studies.

Memoirs about this period indicate that such tensions between movements for social justice and intellectual work were not unique to us at SUNY Buffalo. At different universities, Gloria Bowles, Margaret Strobel, and Marilyn Boxer all emphasize the time demands on women's studies faculty and the difficulties in meshing professional scholarship and structures with student demands. (30) Stories that do not mention these difficulties seem from a later time, when compromises had already been hammered out, or from liberal programs that did not feel the same contradictions because they kept a distance from a social movement.

My colleague Dubois and I identify our significant accomplishment in the 1970s as establishing a space for feminist intellectual work, for me this means that by negotiating a compromise between feminist scholarship and activism we were able to bring academic legitimacy to both. Curiously, the romanticization of the past has effaced this accomplishment by making it seem self-evident. It also hides the continuing need to still engage in institutional transformation today, forging the best compromise possible. The relationship between theory and practice was no easier then, except in the sense that opportunities for radical practice were available everywhere. It is this version of history that delineates the complex relationship between social movement, educational institutions, and theory that I want to tell, and the addition of socialist feminism into the landscape of 1970s women's studies, by highlighting the complexity of feminist politics, makes this possible.

Two aspects of socialist feminist institutional transformation fuel the tensions between intellectual work and social movement: institutional struggle and participatory democracy. At SUNY Buffalo, we defined institutional struggle as the process of engaging and transforming the university in order to build and legitimize women's studies and feminist ideas. We didn't have a formal plan for changing other areas of the university, but instead supported others' struggles on campus, such as institutionalizing daycare, hiring women faculty, and maintaining African American studies. Understanding the need to transform the entire institution was a consistent part of socialist feminist praxis. (31)

At SUNY Buffalo, institutional struggle involved a set of skills that we developed, carefully guarded, and consciously passed on to new faculty, students, and staff. Faculty and early student coordinators developed a "secret" document that analyzed the university in terms of its funders, political supporters, internal power structure, and the strengths and weaknesses of those in power, modeled on those done for corporations by the North American Congress on Latin America, in order to inform our strategies for gaining recognition and resources. Only two copies existed of this document, which were passed from coordinator to coordinator. Coordinators were encouraged to share the content in discussion but were prohibited from making copies or physically sharing the original. (32) We wanted to limit the risk that our secret weapon--knowledge--would appear on the front page of the university or city newspaper. Years later I still think that the precautions weren't excessive. At that time, and perhaps even today, it was transgressive for women to take control over their lives and plan an effective public strategy, analyzing the economic ties, political allegiances, and foibles of men in charge and pass it on to new generations of leaders.

The work of institutional struggle, including strategic thinking, makes concrete the tensions early women's studies' participants, especially socialist feminists, negotiated in order to engage in both activism and intellectual work. Although institutional change remained part of the women's studies agenda for the next thirty years, it is not clear that socialist feminists retained the lead in this area; visionary thinkers like Adrienne Rich and Lorde held eclectic beliefs while Marilyn Boxer's When Women Ask the Questions and the essays in The Politics of Women's Studies show incontrovertibly the strategic gifts of most women building women's studies. By the late 1970s, institutional struggle became more and more focused on ways to effectively integrate women's studies rather than to transform the university. Jakobsen suggests that in the 1990s women's studies came to see itself as an island, attempting to make life better within its boundaries rather than changing the university around it. (33)

Nevertheless, in the last ten years there has been increasing attention to women's studies relations to the university and the relation of the university to the world by such writers as Chandra Mohanty, Miranda Joseph, Jakobsen, and Biddy Martin. (34) Given the invisibility of socialist feminist praxis in the history of women's studies, it would be hard for these recent authors to connect to this history, even though they draw on intellectual traditions that are critical of capitalism and search for social transformation. The history of socialist feminist institutional struggle encourages women's studies to embrace these analyses of the university in society and have all participants--faculty, staff, and students--engage them, no matter their specialties. In view of the radical changes in the U.S. university as it becomes part of the market economy, a perspective from socialist feminist practice would suggest that women's studies programs might well attempt new analyses of contemporary higher education that generate new strategies for change.

At this moment when women's studies departments at major research institutions are offering Ph.D. degrees, it is tempting to say that women's studies has become fully institutionalized, so that institutional change might not be necessary. But that emphasizes the Ph.D. rather than the feminist components of the degree program. If women's studies still has a critical edge, if the core of its intellectual work is challenging systems of hierarchy, then it inevitably needs to strike a compromise between the institution and pursuit of social justice that is appropriate for this moment in history. Past socialist feminist praxis suggests that women's studies might explicitly state that it has slightly different expectations for faculty, staff, and student service than other departments; this would give recognition to the creative work involved in thinking about how to research, teach, and learn in a hierarchical institution like the university, when you are part of social movements that challenge hierarchy. Minimally, this could entail discussing with new faculty, students, and staff what it means to be involved in a feminist project that interfaces with a bureaucratic institution.

Socialist feminism was from its beginning strongly committed to participatory democracy, but this was not a distinctly socialist feminist concern. Radical feminists also challenged hierarchy and emphasized equal participation. Breines claims the New Left's legacy for the women's movement includes "participatory democracy, small group consciousness raising, and the slogan 'the personal is political.'" She also argues that the women's movement drew from the New Left's idea of building communities that prefigure future societies. In SUNY Buffalo we did not distinguish between socialist feminist and radical feminist governance methods, in keeping with the permeable boundaries between the two tendencies noted above, and we often used radical feminist texts to help us figure out governance. However, Strobel distinguishes socialist feminism as having a clear idea of responsible leadership and structured democracy that was articulated in documents by the Chicago Women's Liberation Union, which most of us, particularly new student coordinators, read. (35) The attention to participatory democracy was critical for encouraging full participation of students, faculty, and staff of differing racial, class, and sexual identification.

The university of the 1970s was strongly resistant to collective forms of governance, coleadership, and challenges to bureaucratic hierarchy. Slowly, our attempts at participatory democracy, which included teaching collectives and student leadership in governance, were eroded, turned into teaching techniques rather than strategies for radical change. (36) By the 1990s, we were only able to hold on to the basics of faculty governance. In this situation, some forms of traditional university governance offered an attractive, if minimalist, version of participatory democracy: valuing due process and emphasizing clear and transparent procedures that are followed for everyone. The challenge remained of balancing bureaucratization with the involvement of as many women's studies participants as possible.

There is very little written post-1970s on appropriate governing methods for women's studies, even though this is an area of constant complaint: graduate students complain that faculty don't listen; people of color raise concerns about tokenization; junior faculty and adjuncts claim that their voices aren't heard; and senior faculty feel that they receive inadequate recognition. Knowledge of experimental governance forms in the 1970s suggests that we should self-consciously develop governance forms that can function in this radically different historical moment--a conservative environment where many people are both ignorant about and suspicious of participatory democracy and where many of women's studies governance matters center on personnel or on the administering of complex degree programs. This is a moment of eroding faculty power in the university as a whole, and therefore faculty need to work together, affirming the directions that they think are important. As Gardiner argues, we need to develop collective governance forms to challenge the hegemonic values of our individualist consumer society "with models of the productive, active, imperfect participation of people working together for common ideas." (37)


For socialist feminists the relationships between theory and practice and between scholarship and social movements for justice in women's studies have always been challenging and based on compromise. But they have taken very different shapes in different social contexts. In the 1970s, the women's liberation movement was very powerful. To have lived through that period and be buoyed by its force was a life-changing experience. It is that force that made it possible to imagine and work toward an antiracist feminism and that opened up space in universities and colleges for women's studies. And in relation to that force, feminist scholars claimed a space for feminist intellectual work and succeeded in building women's studies.

Today, although there seems to be a mass women's movement internationally, it does not exist in the United States. Rather, there is a small feminist movement that is part of a larger although fragmented movement for social justice. On the surface it appears that U.S. women's studies can continue its bureaucratic form quite well without a social movement. It is widely accepted in universities and seems unlikely to be challenged, although the history of feminism after suffrage makes me cautious about such a statement. In this situation many scholars have begun to argue that there is no need to conceptualize women's studies as having a relation to a movement and no need to know its history, which might shape it according to a past that is no longer applicable, rather than encourage all possibilities. Perhaps the most interesting and complex of this line of thinking is Robyn Wiegman's:
  [T]he knowledge that academic feminists will need in different
  futures is not "our" knowledge. ... [A]ny particular future and our
  knowledge will have no necessarily productive relationships. ... What
  this means for women's studies is that it is time to rearticulate the
  content and scope of the field by thinking, as Elizabeth Grosz puts
  it ... of "the radical openness of the future," which entails a turn
  away from "time, memory, and history" to "conceptions of duration and
  becoming." (38)

I concur with Wiegman's emphasis that repeating the analyses, tactics, and strategies of 1970 will not move us closer to either original scholarship or social justice now. However, restoring socialist feminist praxis to the history of women's studies helps also to highlight my differences with Wiegman, clarifying that what is at stake here is not only history but politics. Students, faculty, and staff need to know that the story of the women's movement of the 1970s as all white and middle class erases its transformative power and the interest it held for many women who participated in the complex politics of the time, and is a deliberate ploy of the establishment. There was no ideal past when the relationship between intellectual work and social movement was transparent. Socialist feminist praxis of the 1970s suggests that there is a necessary tension between intellectual work in a university and movements for social justice. Although women's studies should indeed be open to multiple new developments in ideas and direction, it needs to do so in relationship to movements for social justice. Without that, how will women's studies avoid reproducing ideas based in a racist capitalist patriarchal hierarchy that separate the economy and identity? We live in a moment of ruthless capitalism, which the university is unquestionably serving as it becomes more market driven. Lone scholars will not be able to resist reproducing these ideas. Although there needs to be space for exploring a women's studies that is based on duration and becoming, women's studies also needs to create spaces where questions of social justice are debated, examined, and explored in relation to scholarship. Finding an uneasy compromise between intellectual work and social justice movements should still be a priority for the women's studies agenda.


This article is dedicated to the memory of Lillian Robinson whose untimely death in October 2006 I am still mourning. Her commitment to developing socialist feminism was a constant source of inspiration. The article also benefitted from the feedback of Lisa Albrecht, Laura Briggs, Ellen DuBois, Caryl Flinn, Miranda Joseph, Judith McDaniel, Melinda Plastas. Clark Pomerleau, Margaret Randall, Judith Smith, Sandra Soto, Barbara Winkler, and women's studies audiences at the University of Missouri, Columbia, and the University of Georgia, Athens.

(1.) Judith Gardiner used the question, What happened to socialist feminist women's studies programs? to organize a panel for the 2006 National Women's Studies Association meeting.

(2.) Ellen Carol DuBois, Harriot Stanton Blatch and the Winning of Woman Suffrage (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997), 274-78.

(3.) Lise Vogel, "Socialist Feminism," in Woman Questions: Essays for a Materialist Feminism (London: Pluto Press, 1995), 40.

(4.) See for instance, Rosemary Putnam Tong, Feminist Thought: A More Comprehensive Introduction, 2d ed. (Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1998) as an example of a textbook framed by distinguishing various tendencies.

(5.) Ruth Rosen, The World Split Open: How the Modern Women's Movement Changed America (New York: Viking, 2000); Florence Howe, ed., The Politics of Women's Studies: Testimony from Thirty Founding Mothers (New York: Feminist Press, 2000); Rosalyn Baxandall and Linda Gordon, eds., Dear Sisters: Dispatches from the Women's Liberation Movement (New York: Basic Books, 2000), quote on 13. Finally I admit to a similar failure: in the introduction to our recent edited collection. Women's Studies for the Future: Foundations. Interrogations, Politics (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 2005), Agatha Beins and I never mentioned socialist feminism, despite the fact we attempted to give a complex analysis of the development of women's studies.

(6.) Sarah M. Evans, Tidal Wave: How Women Changed America at Century's End (New York: Free Press, 2003), 27-30, 47, 85, 105, 158-61.

(7.) Ibid., 158-59.

(8.) Winifred Breines, The Trouble between Us: An Uneasy History of White and Black Women in the Feminist Movement (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006), 6; Baxandall and Gordon, Dear Sisters, 33; and Evans, Tidal Wave, 163-65.

(9.) Evans, Tidal Wave, 158; Alison M. Jaggar, Feminist Politics and Human Nature (Totowa, N.J.: Rowman and Allanheld, 1983), 123.

(10.) Benita Roth, Separate Roads to Feminism: Black, Chicana, and White Feminist Movements in America's Second Wave (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2004).

(11.) In an e-mail exchange, September 2007, Barbara Winkler notes that more often programs had a mixture of faculty-radical feminist, socialist feminist, Black feminist, lesbian feminist-exchanging ideas; see Barbara Scott Winkler, "A Comparative History of Four Women's Studies Programs: 1970-1985" (Ph.D. diss., University of Michigan, 1992).

(12.) Ellen Messer Davidow, Disciplining Feminism: From Social Activism to Academic Discourse (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2003); Robyn Wiegman, "The Possibility of Women's Studies," in Women's Studies for the Future, 40-60.

(13.) See, for instance, "Women Unite! Free the Panthers!" "Analysis of Chicago Women's Liberation School," and "Socialist Feminism," all in Dear Sisters, 44, 82, 96.

(14.) Breines, The Trouble between Us, 6, Tax quoted on 99, mimeographed letter on 104.

(15.) Ibid., 138, 149.

(16.) Ibid., 178.

(17.) Frances M. Beale, "Double Jeopardy," in Toni Cade, ed., The Black Woman: An Anthology (New York: New American Library, 1970), 90-100; Elizabeth Lapovsky Kennedy, "Dreams of Social Justice: Building Women's Studies at the State University of New York, Buffalo," in The Politics of Women's Studies, 255.

(18.) Kennedy, "Dreams of Social Justice," 254-55, 257.

(19.) Barbara Shircliffe, "The History of a Student-Run Women's Studies Program, 1971-1985" (Ph.D. diss., State University of New York/Buffalo, 1996), 188-232, esp. 199.

(20.) See, for instance, Cherrie Moraga, "Preface," and Barbara Smith and Beverly Smith, "'Across the Kitchen Table': A Sister to Sister Dialogue," both in Cherrie Moraga and Gloria Anzaldua, eds., This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color, 2d. ed. (New York: Kitchen Table/Women of Color Press, 1983), xiii-xx, 113-27. (The first edition was published by Persephone Press, 1981.)

(21.) Minoo Moallem, '"Women of Color in the U.S.': Pedagological Reflections on the Politics of 'the Name,'" in Women's Studies on its Own, 372; Chela Sandoval, "Feminism and Racism: A Report on the 1981 National Women's Studies Association Conference," in Making Face, Making Soul, Haciendo Caras: Creative and Critical Perspectives by Women of Color, ed. Gloria Anzaldua (San Francisco: Aunt Lute, 1990), 55-71; Breines, The Trouble between Us, 178-90.

(22.) Chela Sandoval, Methodology of the Oppressed (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2000), 40-64, 49-52, quote on 51-52. These ideas circulated in an earlier form in her, "U.S. Third World Feminism: The Theory and Method of Oppositional Consciousness in the Post Modern World," Genders 20 (Spring 1991): 1-24.

(23.) Ann Braithwaite, "'Where We've Been' and 'Where We're Going': Reflecting on Reflections of Women's Studies and 'the Women's Movement,'" in Ann Braithwaite, Susan Heald, Susanne Luhmann, and Sharon Rosenberg, Troubling Women's Studies: Past, Presents, and Possibilities (Toronto: Sumach Press, 2004), 128.

(24.) Barbara Smith, quoted in Braithwaite, "Where We've Been," 128; Barbara Smith, "Building Black Women's Studies," in The Politics of Women's Studies, 200.

(25.) Janet R. Jakobsen, Working Alliances and the Politics of Difference (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1998), 60-66.

(26.) Clark A. Pomerleau, "Among and Between Women: Califia Community, Grassroots Feminist Education, and the Politics of Difference, 1975-1987" (Ph.D. diss., University of Arizona, 2004), 154-213.

(27.) Shircliffe, "The History of a Student-Run Women's Studies Program," 74.

(28.) Pomerleau, "Among and Between Women," 97-151.

(29.) Kennedy, "Dreams of Social Justice," 260.

(30.) Gloria Bowles, "From the Bottom Up: The Students' Initiative" (142-54), and Margaret Strobel, "The Academy and the Activist: Collective Practice and Multicultural Focus" (155-69), both in The Politics of Women's Studies; Marilyn Jacoby Boxer, When Women Ask the Questions Creating Women's Studies in America (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998), 160-90.

(31.) Shircliffe, "The History of a Student-Run Women's Studies Program," 68. See also Strobel, "The Academy and the Activist," 160.

(32.) The document was so well guarded that no copies exist today.

(33.) Adrienne Rich, "Toward a Woman-Centered University," in Women and the Power to Change, ed. Florence Howe (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1975), 15-46; Audre Lorde, "The Master's Tools Will Not Dismantle the Master's House," in her Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches by Audre Lorde (Trumansburg, N.J.: Crossing Press, 1984), 110-13; Janet R. Jakobsen, "Different Differences: Theory and the Practice of Women's Studies," in Women's Studies for the Future, 126.

(34.) Jacobsen, "Different Differences," 125-42; Miranda Joseph, "Analogy and Complicity: Women's Studies, Lesbian/Gay Studies, and Capitalism," in Women's Studies on Its Own, 267-92; Biddy Martin, "Success and Its Failures," Differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies 9 (Fall 1997): 102-31; and Chandra Mohanty, "On Race and Voice: Challenges for Liberal Education in the 1990s," in Between Borders: Pedagogy and the Politics of Cultural Studies, ed. Henry Giroux and Peter McLaren (New York: Routledge, 1994), 145-66.

(35.) Margaret Strobel, "Organizational Learning in the Chicago Women's Liberation Union," in Feminist Organization: Harvest of the New Women's Movement, ed. Myra Marx Ferree and Patricia Yancy Martin (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1995), 150.

(36.) Shircliffe, "The History of a Student-Run Women's Studies Program," 233-77.

(37.) Judith Kegan Gardiner, "Rethinking Collectivity: Chicago Feminism, Athenian Democracy, and the Consumer University," in Women's Studies on Its Own, 200.

(38.) Robyn Wiegman, "The Possibility of Women's Studies," in Women's Studies for the Future, 37.
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Date:Sep 22, 2008
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