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25 Years of Women's Studies

Department Celebrates a Quarter of a Century

The Women's Studies Department at UMD will celebrate its anniversary from October 6-8, 2006 in Duluth. Alumni and friends are invited to attend. Department History

25th Anniversary Events, October 6-8, 2006

Panel Discussion
"Back to the Future: A Quarter Century of Women's Studies at UMD"
will be presented at noon on Friday, October 6 in the Kirby Garden Room. The featured speaker will be Marge Grevatt, long-term feminist community activist from the Center for Cooperative Action, Cleveland, Ohio. Grevatt was one of the people who helped launch Women's Studies at UMD 25 years ago. She will be joined by other faculty and student founders. An anniversary quilt unveiling and reception will follow. Photo below: Women's Studies Faculty, Students, and Advisory Board: Front Row: Mitra Emad, Ana Fish, Stef Morrison, Emily Gaarder, Geraldine Hughes, Second Row: Mary Currin-Percival, Cheryl Reitan, Larry Knopp, Susana Pelayo Woodward, Beth Bartlett, Susan Meyers, Tineke Ritmeester, Elisa Logan. Third Row: Laura Stolle Schmidt, Mary Caprioli, Denise Hesselton, Cherie Suzette, Gesa Zinn, Joan Varney, Kathryn Fuller.

Celebration Concert
A Celebration Concert will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday, October 6 at the North Country Women's Coffeehouse, Building for Women, 32 E. First Street. The featured performer is Kathy McTavish, cellist.

A brunch social with current and former WS students, faculty, and friends will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, October 7 in the conference room at Chester Creek Cafe/At Sara's Table, 1902 E. 8th Street.

Celebration Dinner and Beach Party
A celebration will be held from 6 - 9 p.m. on Saturday, October 7 at the Park Point Beach House at the end of Park Point. The catered dinner will be held at 6 p.m. with a beach bonfire to follow. Wear warm clothing!

A Potluck Brunch will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, October 8 at Chester Creek House, 1306 E. 2nd Street. All are welcome.

For more information contact 726-7953 or see

History of the Department

The first Women's Studies Task Force at UMD formed in 1973 to determine the need for a Women's Studies program at UMD. After several years of investigation, work on the minor began in earnest in 1979. The Women's Coordinating Commmittee, made up of Bilin Tsai, Mary Zimmerman, Marge Grevatt, Julie Westlund, Margaret Morris, and other women on campus, worked to create the Women's Studies program. Women's Studies related courses that were taught in psychology, sociology, English, and political science were combined to form the curriculum for the minor.

The first Women's Studies program began San Diego State in 1970. Today, over 700 WS women's studies programs in the U.S offer minors, majors, and graduate degrees.

Women's studies grew out of the women's movement in the 1970s, when many committed professors and students began to address the sexism they saw in the academy by volunteering to organize courses, forums, and conferences.

Women's studies is a field of inquiry that grew from a concern about the way other academic fields ignored or distorted the concerns, histories, theories, experiences, and perspectives of women. Women's studies scholars, with many different points of interest and with many different methods of conducting research, seek to understand the causes, workings, and effects of power inequalities in societies past and present.

The field of women's studies, then, is closely aligned with the overall project of achieving equality for women in society. That commitment to social change makes women's studies scholarship feminist and links it to social movements across the world to end other forms of discrimination.

UMD home page editor, Cheryl Reitan,
NEW RELEASES, UMD media contact, Susan Latto,, 218-726-8830

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