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Campus Women Lead

Winter 2011

Volume 39
Number 3

40 Years of PSEW


Director's Outlook

From Where I Sit

Featured Topic

In Brief

Campus Women Lead

Global Perspectives

Data Connection



For Your Bookshelf

About This Issue

From Where I Sit

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Anita Clair Fellman   Jennifer Fish  
Anita Clair Fellman
Jennifer Fish

Still Courageous after Twenty Years
By Anita Clair Fellman, chair emerita, and Jennifer Fish, chair, Women's Studies Department, Old Dominion University

In 1990, the Women’s Studies Program at Old Dominion University (ODU) was one of ten programs invited by the National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA) to participate in The Courage to Question, a grant written by Caryn McTighe Musil, then NWSA executive director, and awarded by the US Department of Education’s Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE). The grant was designed to help NWSA look closely at student learning outcomes in the often-maligned women’s studies classroom. At that time, ours was the oldest women’s studies program in any publicly supported university in Virginia, but it was also a very modest one: the director was its only faculty member. The program offered a minor—consisting of two core courses supplemented by courses cross-listed by other departments—and a graduate certificate. While this structure encouraged faculty throughout the university to create women’s studies classes, it also gave the Women’s Studies Program very little control over the minor curriculum. Participation in the FIPSE project offered us the opportunity to look more closely at what was actually being taught—and learned—in all our affiliated courses. What we learned in the process shaped our development of a women’s studies major shortly after the project’s completion.

Cathy Middlecamp  
Cathy Middlecamp

If We Aren't Careful, We Will End Up Where We Are Going
By Cathy Middlecamp, Integrated Liberal Studies Program and Chemistry Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison

When I was ten years old, I knew exactly what the future held: I would be taller. On the wooden molding of the closet door in my bedroom, I had evidence to prove this. Now and then, I would stand against the molding, stick a pencil over the top of my head, and draw a black line on the white paint. As expected, the marks got higher with each passing year.

Just as the pencil lines formed a pattern that suggested my future, so did the lines of thought that I pursued in the early years of my career. But unlike the pencil marks, these lines of thought initially did not suggest any particular direction. Only later did I come to recognize how greatly my early explorations into feminism—more specifically, into feminist science studies—influenced my later work.


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