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Release: Immediate

UI Women's Studies Program celebrates first 25 years

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- In the early 1970s, a group of women on the University of Iowa faculty decided it was time to change a long-standing and generally accepted practice in higher education. They were called "radical," their idea termed "a fad." What they wanted was for the curriculum to include a greater depth of information about a segment of the population that the academic world - and society as a whole - had long ignored: women.

They started the UI Women's Studies Program in 1974, and despite skeptics' predictions of failure within a few semesters, the program has endured for 50. The Women's Studies Program celebrates its 25th anniversary during the 1998-99 academic year and is planning a number of events and lectures throughout the year to mark the quarter-century milestone.

The celebration will begin with a lecture and reception Thursday, Sept. 17 in the Senate Chambers of the Old Capitol. Sarah Hanley, UI professor of history who served as chair of women's studies beginning in 1976, will give the lecture, entitled "Fearless Girls, Wise Women, Beloved Sisters." The lecture begins at 4 p.m. with the reception to follow, and the event is free and open to the public.

The year-long celebration of the first quarter-century of women's studies at the UI continues in October and November with three lectures by nationally-recognized feminist scholars. All three lectures will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Room 204 of the Jefferson Building and are free and open to the public.
* Oct. 8, Barrie Thorne, professor of sociology at the University of California-Berkeley, will speak about "Women's Studies and the Disciplines: Transformation? Cooptation? Common Ground?"
* Oct. 28, Adrien Wing, UI professor of law, will discuss "Critical Race Feminism"
* Nov. 12, Margery Wolf, UI professor of anthropology and chair of women's studies will address the question, "Who Owns Feminism?"

For more information, contact the UI Women's Studies Program at (319) 335-0322.