Notes on Scholar and Feminist Conference, 1974

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Notes on Debriefing from "The Scholar and the Feminist" Conference

Women's Center 5/29/74

Louise Bernikow, Gladys Meyer, Darline Levy, Cynthia Lloyd, Susan Sacks, Jane Gould, Hester Eisenstein, Barbara Miller

Louise: too great a range of issues covered in the workshops

Gladys: need to have two types of workshops; one like ours was, broad; another more focussed

Louise: there is an information gapl: people don't know how to get new sources into print, how to find out feminist bibliography

Darline: we should pre-assign people to workshops and give out a bibliography ahead of time

Louise: I felt my workshop was superficial; I felt intellectually hungry afterwards

Gladys: there was a great range of ages and status

Sue: doing this implies redefining goals and audience, which is OK, but we should be aware of this

Louisezd example -- people talking about the problems of teaching Women's Studies, who have just started teaching this: this does not interest me

Gladys: next year is International Women's Year: why not an international scholars” conference? We need to have a comon, focus. AAUW is part of an international organization, and has money; or the international women's medical association. She knows them. This, for financing.

Jane: yes, but there will be many events this year, and our focus should stay academic

Darline and Barbara: people giving the papers should get together ahead of time. The moderators need to have a clear GOAL/TOPIC.

Gladys: Bell, et. al. saying "this is a private matter", "I just happened to fosus on a woman°s issue" is in sharp contrast to Lee Ehrman, who was very provocative, saying, "You women aren't working hard enough!"

Darline: "Other people's psychological gain isn't necessarily an intellectual gain for anyone."*

Gladys: papers should be publid1ed as a RECORD of where feminist movement stood in 1974. Important even if quality is uneven. "I will be disappointed" if the papers aren't published.

We can publish abstracts of those papers we don't want to publish in full.

Gladys: "For many people, the intellect is a mechanism of de -

fense, and you can reach them through it." Thus, the conference served to raise consciousness for people who wouldn't undertake

this directly.

*Hester: but what about the issue of whether feminism and scholarship are compatible altogether? feminism means giving

up that split between intellect and emotions, that whole

notion of truth as only intellectual. There is also psychological truth.

Sue: truth isn't something in a box that can be dug out. Everyone who learns learns her own truth, depending where she's coming from.

Gladys: but scholarship can adapt to new questions. Otherwise you are taking a Lee Ehrman position, that to be a feminist, you have to give up doing scholarship altogether. This isn't so. But you may have to change the way you are doing scholarship.

Barbara: yes, asking different questions. But some of the papers didn't really focus on this.

Hester: they did in the Weisstein/E1lis/Shuck/Schneir workshop