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Dr. Susan Sage Heinzelman, Director 2505 University Avenue, A4900, Burdine Hall 536, Austin Texas 78712 • 512-471-5765

Women's Studies Reading and Resource List


On the Women's Studies Reading and Resource List

(PDF 439 KB)

The Center for Women's Studies at UT Austin is proud to make available a new educational resource - a comprehensive yet selected reading and resource list that reflects the breadth and richness of Women's Studies' teaching and scholarship on our campus. The idea for this resource grew out of a meeting held at UT INTERACTIVE on Saturday, March 6, 1999. This was a time set aside for major interdisciplinary programs on campus to meet to discuss ways to make their respective programs more visible on the campus and to develop important program initiatives. The set of initiatives I proposed for our meeting centered around the WGS Graduate Portfolio Program and our graduate programming. They were: (a) developing an interdisciplinary feminist theory seminar and an interdisciplinary feminist methods seminar for the Graduate Portfolio program and (b) exploring directions for a WS master's program and joint WGS master's and doctoral programs, possibly in association with other degree programs on campus. Invited to the meeting were WGS affiliates from across the campus with particular interests and expertise in these areas.

As is often the case in these kinds of settings, new possibilities emerged and took on a life of their own. Discussions about the interdisciplinary feminist methods seminar led to a suggestion by Katie Arens to develop this Reading and Resource List. A few weeks later, Katie and I prepared a Reading List Solicitation which was sent via e-mail to all WGS affiliates and friends. Many responded. Katie, with the able assistance of Jill Rader in the WGS office, spent the summer of 1999 organizing these responses, filling in the gaps, and putting the readings into an accessible format, available as a printed document and as an electronic document available on the WGS web page.

A large number of WGS faculty affiliates and friends enthusiastically and generously contributed to the project. Appreciation and thanks goes to these many WGS affiliates and friends. Special appreciation goes to Katie Arens and Jill Rader for their vision, hard work, and expertise--and for making the resource a reality. What a fitting tribute to our talented faculty, students, and staff, our vibrant Center, and our great University.

Lucia Albino Gilbert, Ph.D.
Director, Center for Women's Studies, 1994-1999

A User's Guide to the Women's Studies Reading and Resource List

This list was compiled with the help of the affiliates and friends of the Center for Women's Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Their interests and research, like those of their Women's Studies peers across the nation, are diverse and often interdisciplinary.

Any such list is by necessity incomplete. A recent Reader's Guide to Women's Studies (Eleanor B. Amico, ed. Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn, 1988), spans more than 700 pages of text and bibliography surveying the breadth and depth of Women's Studies and feminist research.

This list has a more practical purpose:

(1) to introduce the interdisciplinary practice of Women's Studies at The University of Texas at Austin, and,

(2) to represent the fields and topics that are of particular interest to the Center for Women's Studies.

This is, therefore, not a general list, but a list that profiles the diverse faces of the Center for Women's Studies at UT Austin. Contributors were asked to identify texts that opened their own fields within Women's Studies, as well as a handful of texts that they would take along to the proverbial desert island to teach their fields in lieu of any other materials. They were also asked to identity special resources (journals, web sites, and/or research tools) that they have found to be particularly useful. They offered us, therefore, the names of texts that one can use to find out what's going on in the field of Women's Studies – to check in on "old friends" and their intellectual children.

The result is a varied and diverse list that promises to hold lasting interest within the many areas of Women's Studies, and which we at UT Austin will use as a reference for each other and for our students. Many of the texts included are very accessible, tested by broad readerships; some are less so, but nonetheless reflect significant moments in that particular strain of scholarship. Still, the list by no means exhausts the range of Women's Studies projects at UT Austin.

To facilitate browsing, the list is broken down into areas, often amalgamating two or three different fields because they are either parallel or closely related in style or insight. The areas were put into an order reflecting common associations among scholars and scholarship, to suggest how one area leads into or borders others with common interests. Users of one area of the list thus might find items of particular interest in neighboring lists. Many authors also appear on more than one area's list, further reflecting interconnections in the interdisciplinary field of women's studies.

Within each area, texts are organized chronologically. You will thus find the foundation texts in each area -- the important texts that started it all for scholars in these fields. And beyond that, you'll find a selection of the texts to which current scholars routinely refer as models in their field, including some of the newest and most important for scholars and students on this campus. For the missing spaces, or for more detailed selections, consult the Reader's Guide mentioned above. And for a history of academic Women's Studies, see the recent book by Marilyn Jacoby Boxer, When Women Ask the Questions: Creating Women's Studies in America (Johns Hopkins UP, 1998). At the end of our list, you will find a master, alphabetical index of authors mentioned, along with page numbers, as a cross-reference to the chronological area lists that comprise this resource.

Aside from the area lists, there are a couple of special sections listed in the Table of Contents. One is of historical interest -- "Mothers of Us All: The Feminist's Bookshelf, ca. 1980." Here, we compiled a list of the texts that almost all feminists (academic or activist) read as their introductions to Women's and Gender Studies. Many of these texts seem dated today, but the list remains vibrant, with most of the entries still in print. This section appears first and is the only one that you'll find in alphabetical order -- the texts are very complementary products of that vital first generation, not distinguishable by dates or other criteria.

Of particular interest is the special section devoted to notable overview texts, some historical and some theoretical -- books that are more comprehensive presentations of aspects of Women's Studies. To provoke your historical sense, we also include a special section containing mass-market books on Women's Studies that may or may not represent what scholars do, no matter the impact they have had. Such a short list of texts that have captured the public eye as representing feminist or Women's Studies imperatives can be the basis of many discussions. A first question for discussion might be: Do they represent the work of Women's Studies from within the academy? Finally, we have also appended a brief list of the general journals that publish broadly on Women's Studies; additional journals, more focused on particular disciplines, are noted as part of many specialty area lists.

Compiling this list as a profile of the friends and affiliates of the Center for Women's Studies at the University of Texas at Austin was a challenge. We take pleasure in sharing it with you as an invitation to get to know us better.

Katherine Arens
Affiliate of the Center for Women's Studies
and Professor of Germanic Studies

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