A participatory project to collect and preserve the histories of the City University of New York

Center for Study of Women and Society

The Center for the Study of Women and Society’s collection highlights the history and a few of the many achievements, victories, and struggles of the Center from its inception as an academic resource center in 1975 to the start of its Master’s program in 2015. It contains a wide range of documents including newsletters, grant proposals, meeting agendas, pamphlets, and correspondence.

Since its beginnings, the Center has accomplished much, from putting together the Activist Women’s Voices Oral History Archives (which can be found on CUNY Academic Works) that aimed to document the voices of unsung activist women, to create a handbook on integrating research on women, which was disseminated nationwide in the fall of 1985. This handbook focused on including not only research within the field of Women’s and Gender Studies, but also highlighted the research done by and about women and women of color, and had a significant impact on college curricula and introductory classes in various fields. Much of the Center’s work focused on bringing attention to feminist issues—such as representation, childcare, equal pay, and domestic violence, among many more—integrating more diverse voices and works into academia, and being a medium through which marginalized people could speak up and be heard. The Master of Arts program in Women’s and Gender Studies, which was approved in 2015 and launched in the 2016-17 academic year, is proving itself to be highly successful and has generated informative discussions and experiences, adding more depth to the Center. From 1977, when the field of Women’s Studies was still in its early phase, to the present, the Center for the Study of Women and Society continues to bring interdisciplinary feminist research to the forefront through the many events, talks, and projects taking place under its sponsorship.

The Center was established by a group of Graduate Center faculty members—including Professors Joan Kelly, Gerda Lerner, Cynthia Fuchs-Epstein, Judith Lorber, and Gaye Tuchman—to promote interdisciplinary feminist scholarship by sponsoring conferences, speakers, and individual research. It also provided students and faculty a place to gather and share information, resources, and research in the field of women’s and gender studies. The goals of the Center at its inception included developing, encouraging, and sponsoring research projects in the study of women and society; aiding undergraduate and graduate programs at the various CUNY colleges; and developing and sponsoring community education programs on topics related to women and society. While many of these goals have not changed, they have been revised as time passed, including the successful development in 1990 of the Women’s Studies Certificate Program (WSCP). As such, the Center’s original goals relating to coursework and the development of classes became the responsibility of the WSCP, while the Center was then able to pursue more research projects and work on bringing attention to the voices of women and marginalized communities and groups. Curated by Clarisa Gonzalez and Unnati Guru, this collection offers a glimpse into the conversations, aspirations, and accomplishments of the Center for the Study of Women and Society as it navigated the intersections of feminism and academia from the late 1970s until the early 2010s.

Go to all 57 Items in collection.

5 Featured Items:

Ford Foundation Grant Approval: Mainstream New Research on Women and Minorities into the Liberal Arts Curriculum of NYC's Community Colleges

This June 19, 1984, letter from the assistant secretary of the Ford Foundation, Diane L. Galloway, to the executive director of the Research Foundation of the City University of New York (CUNY) served to inform CUNY of the approval of a $49,850 [...]

Women's Studies Certificate Program (WSCP) Proposal

This proposal for a certificate program in Women's Studies at the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate School and University Center (Graduate Center) provided the purpose and objectives, need, and curriculum for such a program. The [...]

The Center for the Study of Women and Sex Roles Newsletter: Vol. 1, No. 1

The Center for the Study of Women and Sex Roles – now the Center for the Study of Women and Society's (CWSW) – October 1979 Newsletter, was the first issue published for its members and those interested in the Center's activities. [...]

Center for the Study of Women and Society Self Study – 2008

Submitted on May 7, 2008, this report on the Center for the Study of Women and Society (CSWS) was part of the City University of New York (CUNY) Center/Institute Periodic Review. The history section stated that CSWS was founded by CUNY Graduate [...]

Advisory Board Meeting Agenda: Infusing Women of Color Material into CUNY Senior College Curriculum

Dated March 23 and April 6, 1990, this agenda for the Advisory Board meeting for the  Infusing Material on Women of Color into the Liberal Arts Curriculum  of the City University of New York (CUNY) Senior Colleges served as a formal [...]

Go to all 57 Items in collection.

Center for Study of Women and Society