In When Women Ask the Questions, Marilyn Boxer traces the successes and failures of women's studies, examines the field's enduring impact on the world of higher education, and concludes that the rise of women's studies has challenged the university in the same way that feminism has challenged society at large.
Drawing on her experiences as a historian, feminist, academic administrator, and former chair of a women's studies program, Boxer observes that by working for justice -- and for changes necessary to make the attainment of justice a practical possibility -- women's studies ensures that women are heard in the processes and places where knowledge is created, taught, and preserved. The intellectual transformation behind the emergence of women's studies, Boxer concludes, is one of historic proportions. Like other great moments in human experience, it has given rise to a flowering of art, literature, and science, and to the challenging of previously accepted authorities of text and tradition.
Boxer is well-qualified to write this first comprehensive intellectual history of women's studies. A complex and thoughtful volume accompanied by an enticing bibliography; both should be required reading for graduate students and faculty in many fields. -- Lynn D. Gordon History of Education Quarterly Boxer offers an enlightening examination of the political, social, intellectual, and cultural debates that initiated and informed the institutionalization of women's studies scholarship and programs in American higher education. -- Mary Ann Dzuback Journal of American History This book is enormously valuable as a history of the first twenty-five years of women's studies within the larger context of higher education in the United States. The research is strong, the analysis clear and forceful. -- Mari Jo Buhle American Historical Review Marilyn Boxer brings her vast experience as a founding feminist scholar, women's studies chair, and university provost to her definitive rendering of the history of women's studies within the larger context of late-twentieth-century U.S. higher education. -- Patrice McDermott Signs
Contents:Foreword by Catharine R. Stimpson PrefaceAcknowledgmentsIntroduction Speaking of Women's Studies one Feminist Advocacy, Scholarly Inquiry, and the Experience of Women two Constituting a New Field of Knowledge three Challenging the Traditional Curriculum four Changing the Classroom five Embracing Diversity six The Quest for Theory seven "Knowledge for What?" eight Critics Inside and Outside the Academynine The "Feminist Enlightenment" and the UniversityNotes Bibliography Index