Report of the first planning session for The Scholar and the Feminist II, 1974, page 1

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          From: Jane S. Gould, Women's Center

Subject: Plans for Next Academic Conference
Report of the First Planning Session,
September 12, 1974

The first meeting on the next academic conference was held at the
Women's Center on September 12th. Nancy Miller, Barnard '61,
Assistant Professor of French at Columbia, was introduced as co-
ordinator of the conference and chaired the meeting.

As background we reported that the Rubinstein Foundation had renewed
their $5,000 grant to the Women's Center and that the Women's Center
Executive Committee had mandated a second academic conference to be
given in the spring on 1975, with a suggestion that a theme might be
the concept of bias in scholarship. This suggestion stemmed from
the fact that guidelines for the implementation of Title IX of the
Education Amendments of 1972 are currently very much in the public

Nancy Miller reviewed briefly the areas which Title IX covers. It
prohibits discrimination in admission, treatment of students, and
employment practices. She pointed out that there are no provisions
which would prohibit discrimination in textbooks and other curricular
materials. She suggested that we consider carefully this exception
in Title IX in relation to the theme of bias in scholarship.

Since this was the first meeting, the discussion initially focused
on what is meant by bias in scholarship with suggestions of how we
could treat it as a theme- The observation was made that bias in
scholarship is really a problem of objectivity, which raised the
question, "what is it that is called objectivity in present—day
scholarship, and how does it keep out women?" The point was made
that bias can enter into scholarship by way of ideology and methodol-
ogy which led to the suggestion that classics in various fields be
taken and re—analyzed from a feminist viewpoint to demonstrate how
unarticulated bias affects the "truth" of research.

The suggestion was made that we do a conference having three parts:
1) a critique proposing the existence of anti-feminist bias in
scholarship 2) the opposite, which would show what a feminist ap-
proach can do to a standard piece of scholarship — would this re-
veal a feminist bias? — and 3) the theoretical problem of objecti-
vity and feminism. It was the general feeling that the last con-
ference didn't really get into the issue of objectivity so we
wouldn't be repeating ourselves.