Questioning Knowledge: Women's Studies and the Academy
MetadataShow full item record
Women's Studies as a discipline consists of endless paradoxes, multiple identities, and political debates that mark it as one of the youngest and most controversial disciplines in the academy. Often called the "academic arm of feminism," Women's Studies functions as a critical meeting point (or, according to some, an "impasse") of intellectualism and activism as it serves the study of gender and culture. The politics of Women's Studies have reflected the development and appropriation of theory while also diverging from it. Although Women's Studies programs were founded on feminist theory coming out of poststructuralist paradigms, the programs themselves have been forced to inhabit traditional logo and phallocentric organizational paradigms at the university's center. However, by using Occidental College's experience and others to exemplify, my research suggests that such theory has acted as a site for negotiation for the discipline and its pragmatic prognosis, with mixed results. Women's Studies as a subject of inquiry faces the reality of the institutional limitation of programs as it continually reshapes the university in flux towards a hoped for future.