Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
San José State University Women's Studies Program Records
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (95.91 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access Restrictions
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Processing History
  • Administrative History
  • Scope and Content
  • Arrangement

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: SJSU Special Collections & Archives
    Title: San José State University Women's Studies Program Records
    creator: San José State University Women's Studies Program
    Identifier/Call Number: MSS.2005.08
    Physical Description: 12 Box 13.55 linear ft.
    Physical Description: 1 flat file drawer
    Date (inclusive): 1963-2001
    Date (bulk): 1972-1991
    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: Vault 1, Range 20B Bay 1. The posters in Series IV are in located in Vault 1, Drawer 04-06.
    Language of Material: Languages represented in the collection: English

    Access Restrictions

    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.

    Publication Rights

    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 purposes.

    Preferred Citation

    San José State University Women's Studies Program Records, San José State University Library, Special Collections & Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    University Transfer, 2005.

    Processing History

    Processing completed by Karla Aleman, 2006. Reviewed by Danelle Moon, 2006. EAD encoding by Karla Aleman, 2006. Updated by Natalie Sanchez, 2015.

    Administrative History

    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 program material.


    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.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    San José State University -- Curricula
    Women's Studies -- California -- San José
    San José State University Women's Studies Program