Women's Studies Department records
Collection Scope and Content
This collection includes committee meetings minutes, newsletters, proposals, comprehensive exams, and alumnae surveys. The materials range in date from 1965 to 1998. The collection was transferred to the University Archives by the Women's Studies Department. Formerly RG10.8.
Restrictions on Access
Series 1 box 3 contains student records which are closed for the lifetime of the student, and are presumed open 75 years after date of creation.
Restrictions on Use
Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.
Historical or Biographical Note
The Women's Studies Department at The George Washington University (GW) is responsible for several degrees for undergraduates, masters, and dual degrees.
Founded in 1972, GW Women's Studies Program offered the first interdisciplinary M.A. degree in Women's Studies in the United States. This program grew from a highly successful Continuing Education for Women (CEW) project founded in 1965 and led by Professor Ruth Osborn. These CEW students, many of them college graduates influenced by the Women's Movement, wanted graduate work that would enable them to help other women. With demonstrated student demand, Dr. Osborn persuaded the administration to approve an interdisciplinary M.A. degree comparable to other Special Studies M.A. degrees in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. The first Women's Studies Master's Degree students entered the program in the 1973-1974 academic year.
In 1977, the GW Women's Studies Program took another groundbreaking step: the development of a public policy focus with the hiring of Dr. Virginia Allan, Chair of the 1969 Task Force on Women's Rights and Responsibilities, appointed by President Nixon and a retiring State Department official, joined by Dr. Phyllis Palmer, an American women's historian, and Charlotte Conable, a Women's Studies alumna. The public policy curriculum stressed a grounding in feminist theory, and encouraged student internships and related research projects as the degree's culmination. It trained graduates to change the social policies that constrained women's lives. Since 1982, the GW Women's Studies Program has offered two M.A. degrees sharing the same Women's Studies core courses, the M.A. in Public Policy with a Concentration in Women's Studies, and the M.A. in Women's Studies with a liberal arts concentration.
Recent innovations at the graduate level include the establishment of a field in Gender and Social Policy within the interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Public Policy in 1997, and then, a year later, a Ph.D. in Human Sciences with an M.A. in Women's Studies. In May 1997, the George Washington University Public Policy and Women's Studies programs joined in affiliation with the Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR), an independent, non-profit research organization.
In 2000, the department added several joint degrees between the Law School and Women's Studies, making this department one of two programs nationwide to offers such degrees.
At the undergraduate level, a Women's Studies Minor was inaugurated in 1989 and a major as well as two 5 year M.A./B.A. programs were added in 2000.
N.B. This history note was written in 2005.
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Language of Materials
The Women's Studies Department at The George Washington University (GW) is responsible for several degrees for undergraduates, masters, and dual degrees. This collection includes committee meetings minutes, newsletters, proposals, comprehensive exams, and alumnae surveys. The materials range in date from 1965 to 1998.
Organized in two series of departmental files.
The collection was transferred to the University Archives by the Women's Studies Department.
- Feminist theory Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Foggy Bottom (Washington, D.C.) Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- George Washington University
- George Washington University. Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
- George Washington University. Women's Studies Program and Policy Center
- Institute for Women's Policy Research
- Public policy Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Washington (D.C.) Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Preliminary Guide to the Women's Studies Department records, 1965-1998
- Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English