Thoughts on "Women's Studies" at Barnard, 1971, page 2
that there is popular interest in it, we are no better than those who wish to abolish those remote or obscure subjects with seemingly little relevance to contemporary interests and needs. The objection may be raised that courses on women are needlessly par- ticularizing and parochial. Might it not be more appropriate to think of such courses as a re-arrangement of familiar materials and an introduction of forgotten or neglected materials. Whether these materials occupy center stage as they would in courses specifically designed to deal with the woman factor in a variety of disciplines such as history, literature, economics, sociology, etc., or whether they are in varying amounts incorporated in existing courses, they heighten our awareness of a whole dimension of human life. Indeed, far from limiting our vision, these courses allow a more com- plete estimate of the range of human experience and accomplishment. The appearance of courses on women at Barnard has been in keeping with Barnard's academic style. Some of our faculty have had a long-standing interest in such materials and, in the present climate of interest in women, have been encouraged to offer courses where they may share this intellectual interest with students. In the case of faculty whose interest has been aroused in relatively recent times, that interest appears against a back- ground of intense involvement with a field where the special experience of women has clearly been ignored or, at the least, neglected, and the faculty member willing to investigate and organize this area as a course is doing so according to responsible canons of scholarly method. Sometimes these courses are presented within the framework of a collo- quium with a changing theme, in which case the "women" theme may he succeeded in some future year by another topic. At other times the course will be added as a regular offering and its fate, like that of other courses, will be 2.