Fighting with the Sky

When Women Ask the Questions [Women's Studies Wednesday]

Posted on: September 2, 2009

41HCZBA791L._SS500_When Women Ask the Questions by Marilyn Jacoby Boxer

This truly is a Women’s Studies book.  In my Senior Seminar for Women’s and Gender Studies, we examined Women’s Studies as a field of study, questioned if it was a discipline, and looked at the role that it played in a university/college.  The main text for this class (in addition to many articles and chapters) was When Women Ask the Questions by Marilyn Jacoby Boxer.  This text looks at the history and development of Women’s Studies.

From the back cover:

In When Women Ask the Questions, Marilyn Boxer traces the successes and failures of women’s stuides, 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 process and places where knowledge is created, taught, and preserved.

As opposed to studying the history of feminism or the women’s movement, Boxer is looking at the history of women’s studies.  Certainly the history and development of the field of women’s studies is intertwined with feminism and “the” women’s movement, but women’s studies has a history of its own.  This is an important read for anyone invested in the field of women’s studies, whether some who is or has majored in it, professors, or just academically-minded feminists.  But I think this book is also important for people who might not be invested in women’s studies but are interested in the history of women.  This book is not so much about key moments or dates in women’s studies but about how women’s studies came about and developed because of the strong women leading it.

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1 Response to "When Women Ask the Questions [Women's Studies Wednesday]"

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