vol 24 - 1998

In the 1990s, many women's studies programs have turned their attention to graduate education. This movement has led scholars to ask old questions in new ways and for new times. Once again, we are struggling with what women's studies is and whether its values will transform or be transformed by traditional disciplines. In the wake of two decades of success for women's studies research and curricula, these concerns raised in the 1970s as abstract quandaries are now concrete realities, especially for those programs sufficiently established to institute M.A. and Ph.D. degrees. At the same time, the conservative resurgence in the United States during the last two decades has made the work of feminist scholars both more critical to forging political agendas and public policies and more vulnerable to challenges from within and without the university.

In this context of growth in the midst of constraint, debates among women's studies practitioners over definitions of feminism, the (inter)disciplinarity of women's studies, and philosophies of doctoral training have gained vigor and significance. This issue of Feminist Studies focuses on dilemmas and opportunities presently facing women's studies in the academy. Our contributors address both long-term debates over feminism and the more recent challenges raised by the possibility of women's studies Ph.D. Scholarly essays focusing directly on women's studies education are complemented by poetry, fiction, and visual art that illuminate the ways learning and power interact in women's daily lives.


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Claire Goldberg Moses
Made in America: "French Feminism" in Academia

Judith A. Allen and Sally L. Kitch
Disciplined by Disciplines? The Need for an Interdisciplinary Research Mission in Women's Studies

Susan Stanford Friedman
(Inter)Disciplinarity and the Question of the Women's Studies Ph.D. Established and Proposed Women's Studies Ph.D. Programs in North America

Beverly Guy-Sheftall
Engaging Difference: Racial and Global Perspectives
in Graduate Women's Studies Education

Jacky Coates, Michelle Dodds, and Jodi Jensen
"Isn't Just Being Here Political Enough?"
Feminist Action-Oriented Research
as a Challenge to Graduate Women's Studies

Kay Armatage
Collaborating on Women's Studies:
The University of Toronto Model

Abigail Stewart, Anne Herrmann, and Sidonie Smith
The Joint Doctoral Program at the University of Michigan

Shirley Yee
Establishing an International Doctoral Program in Women's Studies at the University of Washington

Angela Bowen
Testifying: My Experience in Women's Studies
Doctoral Training at Clark University

Marilyn J Boxer
Remapping the University: The Promise of Women's Studies Ph.D.

Patrice McDermott
The Meaning and Uses of Feminism
in Introductory Women's Studies Textbooks

Chitra Divakaruni
How I Became a Writer

Virginia A.K. Moran
The Algebra of Snow (Fiction)

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