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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Women’s Studies, Students and the Discourse of Crisis


"For its fortieth birthday, Women’s Studies has been given the gift of an impasse. What established, tenured Women’s Studies professors, the ‘foremothers’ turned academic powerbrokers, should do now with their own creation has snowballed into a discourse of crisis. Many Women’s Studies professors continue to support their departments and students. Yet there are a growing number of established scholars who are currently arguing, within a crisis discourse, that the project of Women’s Studies is no longer relevant or even possible. Women’s Studies scholarship has been framed as stagnant and naïve, based on identity politics and revolutionary ideals that no longer make sense in our post-modern, theory-based academy (i.e. Brown, Halley)." This paper addresses these issues with examples of student advocacy and a call for more student focused participation within the academic field of Women's Studies.

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