Scope and Content
Title: San José State University Women's Studies Program records
Bulk Dates: 1972-1991
Collection number: MSS-2005-08
San José State University Women's Studies Program
10 record cartons and 2 boxes
(13.55 linear feet)
San José State University. Library.
San José, California 95192-0028
Abstract: San José State University's Women's Studies Program was one of the earliest women's studies programs in the United States.
The Women's Studies Program Records document the emergence and development of the Women's Studies Program from 1963 to 2003.
The bulk of these records highlight the program's internal administration and its efforts in community outreach.
Physical location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Languages represented in the collection:
One section of personnel files represented in folders 189-220 is restricted. Written permission is required to access these
materials and is subject to approval by the Director of Special Collections.
Copyright has not been assigned to the San José State University Library Special Collections & Archives. All requests for
permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Special Collections. Permission
for publication is given on behalf of the Special Collections and Archives as the owner of the physical items and is not intended
to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader. Copyright restrictions
also apply to digital reproductions of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational
San José State University Women's Studies Program Records, San José State University Library, Special Collections & Archives.
University Transfer, 2005.
Processing completed by Karla Aleman, 2006. Reviewed by Danelle Moon, 2006. EAD encoding by Karla Aleman, 2006.
In 1972 Academic Vice President Hobert Burns officially established the Women's Studies Program (WSP) at San José State University.
An ad hoc committee was formed and included Dr. Fauneil (Fanny) Rinn of the Political Science Department, Dr. Billie Jensen
of the History Department, and Dr. Sybil Weir of the English Department. With the rise of campus protests against traditional
academic curriculum and the earlier success of the African American Studies Program, the SJSU Administration readily supported
the formation of the WSP. The combined efforts of the Administration, faculty, and students launched one of the first women's
studies programs in the U.S.
Under the administrative authority of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies, the WSP became a multi-disciplinary program, offering
a minor in Women's Studies, a Social Science M.A. with an emphasis in Women's Studies, and a Social Science B.A. with an emphasis
in Women's Studies. As course enrollment continued to grow, the WSP obtained a Teaching Service Area, which led to the appointment
of tenure-track professor, Dr. Carol Christ.
Like other women studies programs, the SJSU program worked to solidify its place as an academic discipline. When the National
Women's Studies Association first formed in San Francisco in 1977, the WSP organized the professional association's founding
convention, which drew close to two thousand participants. The WSP went on to organize and convene other conferences on women's
studies, including the 1982 "Higher Education for Women in the 1980s Conference." This conference brought together educators
from the northern CSU campuses to discuss furthering women's studies education. At the same time, the WSP produced a significant
body of interdisciplinary scholarship, from monographs, newsletters, conference papers, scholarly journal articles, newspaper
articles, textbooks, and children's books.
During the 1980s, the WSP, like many other university programs, felt pressure from increasing financial cutbacks and reduced
faculty allocations, while still attempting to sustain its curricular responsibilities. At this time, the WSP courses included
several general education classes and had high enrollment rates. In 1981 they proposed the establishment of a B.A and, in
1987, an M.A. in women's studies, but without success. In 1987, the WSP, along with African American Studies, Mexican American
Studies, Asian American Studies, and Sociology, were combined together into a working consortium under the administration
of the College of Social Science. Contention soon followed because the new formation did not allow the individual programs
representation in the Academic Senate, and especially on that body's Curriculum Committee. After a series of administrative
realignments, the WSP became a part of the Social Science Department under the College of Social Sciences; though African
American Studies, Mexican American Studies and Sociology formed separate departments.
The Women's Studies Program continues to offer a multidisciplinary curriculum balancing the traditional academic and male-centered
perspective with new research and study in the field of women's experience.
Scope and Content
San José State University's Women's Studies Program Records document the formation of the Women's Studies Program from 1963
to 2003 (bulk 1972-1991). The collection consists of administrative records, correspondence, reports, financial records,
personnel files, course curriculum, programs and outreach literature, student and faculty research, surveys and other related
The collection is organized into four series: Series I. Administrative Records; Series II. Enrollment & Course Records; Series
III. Programs, Outreach & Publicity; and Series IV. Miscellaneous Records.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in
the library's online public access catalog.
San José State University -- Curricula
Women's Studies -- California -- San José