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UCSC Feminist Studies Department Records
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Arrangement
  • Administrative History
  • Chronology
  • Preferred Citation
  • Processing Information
  • Related Materials
  • Scope and Content
  • Publication Rights

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: University of California, Santa Cruz
    Title: UCSC Feminist Studies Department records
    creator: University of California, Santa Cruz. Feminist Studies Department
    Identifier/Call Number: UA.097
    Identifier/Call Number: 606
    Physical Description: 25 Linear Feet 26 boxes
    Date (inclusive): 1970-2014
    Date (bulk): 1974-2013
    Language of Material: English


    Collection is open for research. The use of certain media requires advance notice. Contact Special Collections at speccoll@library.ucsc.edu for information regarding access to media.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Inventory created in 2014 by Nicolette M. Czarrunchick, Academic Advisor in the Feminist Studies Department. Transferred to University Archives in 2015.


    This collection is arranged in six series:
    • Series 1: Curriculum
    • Series 2: Initiatives
    • Series 3: Events
    • Series 4: Administrative files
    • Series 5: Subject files
    • Series 6: Media
    Materials within each series are arranged chronologically unless otherwise specified.

    Administrative History

    The UC Santa Cruz Feminist Studies Department is one of the oldest and largest programs of its kind in the United States. Founded in 1974 as the Women's Studies program by student and faculty initiative, it fosters the development of interdisciplinary, transnational, and community-oriented scholarship on the UC Santa Cruz campus and beyond.
    In 1972, 700 students signed a petition in support of the establishment of a Women's Studies program. The Women's Studies Bachelor of Arts degree was approved in 1974, with its first class of students graduating in 1975. The Women's Studies Collective was also established in 1974, whose members joined task forces to create policy for the program, communicate updates, and organize activities in conjunction with the academic Women's Studies major. In 2005, the department name changed from Women's Studies to Feminist Studies in order to "signal [their] commitment to new directions in feminist scholarship and [recognize their] strengths and interests in feminism and transnationalism" ( The Wave, vol. VIII no. 1, 2005). In the fall of 2013, after nearly eighteen years of planning and preparation, the Feminist Studies Department's first PhD cohort began their studies.
    The Feminist Studies Department has actively supported many campus initiatives, including the establishment of the Institute for Advanced Feminist Research (IAFR), the Focused Research Activity/Organized Research Activity (FRA/ORA) in Feminist Studies, and the UC Santa Cruz Women's Center. It also has a long history of engagement in social justice initiatives on local, national, and international scales. The Feminist Studies Department at UC Santa Cruz continues to serve as a model for similar programs around the country.


    Department Timeline

    1971 First Women's Studies course Literature and Society: The Women's Movement offered at Merrill College
    1972 700 students sign a petition endorsing the establishment of a Women's Studies program at UC Santa Cruz
    1973 Academic Senate adopts proposal to establish a Coordinating Council for Women's Studies
      Women's Studies Office opens at Kresge College
    1974 Women's Studies Bachelor of Arts degree approved
      Women's Studies Collective established
    1975 First Women's Studies graduating class
    1979 Restructuring of Women's Studies program by Helene Moglen, dean of humanities; funding increases and curriculum expands
    1980 Bettina Aptheker appointed to teach WMST 1, Introduction to Feminism
    1984 Feminist Studies Focused Research Activity (FRA) established for faculty and graduate student research collaboration
      Helene Moglen becomes chair of Women's Studies program
    1985 UCSC Women's Center established at Cardiff House
    1986 Women's Studies awarded Committee status, i.e., approved for tenure-track faculty appointments
    1992 "Parenthetical Notation" in Women's Studies approved by the Graduate Council
      First Annual Women of Color Film and Video Festival, founded by History of Consciousness graduate student Margaret Daniel
    1993 Five concentrations in the Women's Studies major are established: Representations; Race, Class, and Ethnicity; Nations and Cultures; Movements, Institutions, Policy, and Legal Studies; and Theory
      Women's Studies Library established at Kresge College
    1995 First Women's Studies graduate course, WMST 205: Feminism, Nationalism, and Sexuality in the Third World, taught by Emily Honig
    1996 External review of Women's Studies program
    1998 First issue of The Wave newsletter published in June
    2000 25th Anniversary celebration of Women's Studies at UC Santa Cruz
    2005 Name of department changes to Feminist Studies
    2013 Inaugural cohort of PhD students begin in Fall

    Preferred Citation

    UCSC Feminist Studies Department records. UA 97. University Archives, University Library, University of California, Santa Cruz.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Alina Fernandez in the Center for Archival Research and Training (CART) with assistance from Alix Norton, 2017. Most titles in this collection were derived from the original folder titles as received from the department.

    Related Materials

    The following publications created by or related to the Feminist Studies Department are available via the Library Catalog:

    Scope and Content

    This collection documents the administrative and curricular functions of the Feminist Studies (formerly Women's Studies) Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz, as well as events, initiatives, and lectures sponsored by the department. It includes curriculum planning and advertising materials, staffing reports, professional correspondence, event advertisements, lecture recordings, course syllabi, and collected files on the development of Women's Studies programs outside of UC Santa Cruz. Major topics covered in these papers include the establishment of the department, development of the undergraduate curriculum and PhD program, the Institute of Advanced Feminist Research (IAFR), the Focused Research Activity (FRA) in Women's/Feminist Studies, and the development of similiar women's studies programs around the country.

    Publication Rights

    Property rights for this collection reside with the University of California. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. In some cases, copyright is held by the Regents of the University of California. The publication or use of any work protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use for research or educational purposes requires written permission from the copyright owner. Responsibility for obtaining permissions, and for any use rests exclusively with the user. For more information on copyright or to order a reproduction, please visit guides.library.ucsc.edu/speccoll/reproduction-publication.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Women's studies -- California -- Santa Cruz