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Women's Studies Task Force Collection, 1979-1980
2 boxes (1 linear ft.)
Collection number: RG 80

Abstract:
Student Group. The Women's Studies Task Force was formed at a crucial time in the history of the development of women's studies at Smith College. The Task Force, like its parent organization, the Women's Resource Center, played an instrumental, if little recognized role in providing impetus towards a formal women's studies program at the College. The records include administrative records and research materials. The bulk of the collection is research material from the Interterm Project of the Women's Studies Task Force.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

The records are open to public research according to the regulations of the Smith College Archives.

Restrictions on use:

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish or quote from the documents must be obtained from the Smith College Archives.

Smith College Archives
Northampton, MA

Historical Note

The Women's Studies Task Force, a student group, was formed as an operational group of the Women's Resource Center (WRC) in February, 1979. Faith Reidenbach, a member of the Center, served as the group's first chair, and other WRC members formed the bulk of the initial membership of the Task Force. In 1979, the Women's Resource Center (chartered by the College in 1973) supported three task forces, the other two being the ERA Task Force and the Health Task Force.

The Women's Studies Task Force was formed at a crucial time in the history of the development of women's studies at Smith College. The Task Force, like its parent organization, the WRC, played a vitally instrumental, if little recognized role in providing impetus towards a formal women's studies program at the College. The Task Force was formed under the 'pledge' of the WRC to "work with the CEP [Committee on Educational Policy] for as many years as it takes to persuade the administration to recognize a formal women's studies program" (WRC Newsletter, Feb. 16, 1979).

Prior to 1979, women's studies courses at Smith College, instituted formally by a CEP mandate in 1974, were integrated into the various traditional academic departments, for reasons both practical and philosophical (with the latter, much discussion in academia at the time centered around concerns that formal women's studies programs would 'ghetto-ize' women in the curriculum). With the arrival of Jill Ker Conway in 1975 as president, a focus on women's issues and needs in general, as well as within the College curriculum, gained attention and funding. In 1978, President Conway obtained the first of a series of significant grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to form the Project on Women and Social Change, a multi-year research program. This project was funded in answer to a proposal for the creation of a women's studies research center as a part of the College, an idea that was resisted by the majority of the faculty and rejected by the faculty Committee on Research on the Study of Women.

Involved in this committee and in the Women and Social Change Project was Professor Marilyn Schuster of the French Department, also a member of the Committee to Review the Curriculum for the CEP. Professor Schuster was also a part of the initial meeting of the Women's Studies Task Force, as was Professor Susan Van Dyne of the English Department. Both professors acted as mentors to the group. In the spring of 1980, Professors Schuster and Van Dyne recommended, without success, the formation of an ad hoc or advisory committee on Women's Studies to the CEP and the Committee on Committees, with the support of the Women's Studies Task Force. No further records of Task Force activity beyond this time are apparent.

The matter of women's studies was taken up the next academic year by the Project on Women and Social Change Curriculum Group, for which Professor Schuster wrote proposals to coordinate the current women's courses through additional text in the handbook and in student advising. The Committee on Women's Studies was formed in 1982 following a renewed proposal by Professor Schuster and further action in November, 1982, by the WRC in the form of an 'open discussion' on options for women's studies in which both President Conway and Professor Schuster spoke, as well as other key faculty members. A minor in Women's Studies was instituted in 1984 and a major in 1987.

The Women's Studies Task Force's main accomplishment and contribution to the process of formalizing women's studies at Smith College was its research work, primarily accomplished during the Interterm Project it was awarded by the Student Government Association in January, 1980.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Women's Studies Task Force records consist of 1 linear foot (2 boxes) and are the administrative records from 1979-80 and the records and research materials related to the Interterm Project of the Women's Studies Task Force conducted in January 1980. The bulk of the collection is research material from the Interterm Project. The research materials are divided into two sections--Smith College and Other-and date back to the early 1970's. There is no record of the disbandment of the group.

This collection is organized into two series:


Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

The records are open to public research according to the regulations of the Smith College Archives.

Restrictions on use:

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish or quote from the documents must be obtained from the Smith College Archives.

Preferred Citation

Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:

Women's Studies Task Force Collection, Box #, Smith College Archives.

History of the Collection

The Women's Studies Task Force Collection is composed in part from records transferred from the Sophia Smith Collection in the spring of 2003 and in part from donations to the College Archives by alumnae Deborah Levison, Class of 1982.

Processing Information

Processed by Laurie Winslow.


Additional Information
Contact Information
Smith College Special Collections
Young Library
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton, MA 01063

Phone: (413) 585-2970
Fax: (413) 585-2886

Email: specialcollections@smith.edu
URL: https://www.smith.edu/libraries/special-collections
Language
English.
Sponsor
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Contents List
SERIES I. ADMINISTRATION



Meeting minutes
1979

Box 1: folder 1
Correspondence
1979-80

Box 1: folder 2
Women's Studies Questionnaire
n.d.

Box 1: folder 3
Meeting announcements ( Women's Resource Center newsletters)
n.d., 1980

Box 1: folder 4
Flyer for Works in Progress program
1979

Box 1: folder 5
SERIES II. INTERTERM PROJECT



Description and readings
Jan., 1980

Box 1: folder 6
Research



Smith College



Women's courses syllabi
1972-80

Box 1: folder 7
Women's courses evaluations
1977

Box 1: folder 8
Women's courses statistics
1972-80

Box 1: folder 9
Faculty and student research papers
1976-79

Box 1: folder 10
Self-designed, interdisciplinary major by Jennifer Jackman, '82
1979

Box 1: folder 11
Jill Ker Conway articles
1974-79

Box 1: folder 12
1976

Box 1: folder 13
Project on Women and Social Change
1980

Box 1: folder 14
Praxis (feminist publication)
1979

Box 1: folder 15
Freshman Colloquia
1980

Box 1: folder 16
Alumnae Quarterly (Kenneth McCartney article)
Feb., 1980

Box 1: folder 17
Other



UMass Women's Studies program
1977-81

Box 2: folder 18
National Women's Studies Association
1979-80

Box 2: folder 19
Women's Studies journals
1973-80

Box 2: folder 20
Five College Women's Studies program
1976-81

Box 2: folder 21
Bibliographies


Box 2: folder 22
Research on women's studies and gender in the curriculum
1979-80

Box 2: folder 23
Project on the Status and Education of Women internship
1980

Box 2: folder 24
General articles and publications on women


Box 2: folder 25
Other women's studies programs descriptions and syllabi
1972-80

Box 2: folder 26

Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

Subjects
  • Smith College--Students.
  • Women's Studies Task Force (Smith College)
  • Women's studies--Massachusetts--Northampton.
  • Women--Massachusetts--Northampton.

Contributors
  • Women's Resource Center (Smith College)


Questions about this collection? Contact the archives
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