1st Edition

Theories of Women's Studies

Edited By Gloria Bowles, Renate Klein Copyright 1983
    294 Pages
    by Routledge

    Women’s Studies investigates the world from women-centred perspectives which cross the boundaries of traditional academic disciplines. Thus every issue, every question is material for Women’s Studies. The worldwide development of Women’s Studies during the 1970s and 1980s presented a radical challenge to the male-centred bias which dominated knowledge-making at the time.

    Originally published in 1983, in this book feminist scholars discuss the assumptions and aims of Women’s Studies, its connections with the women’s movement, its research, its teaching and its emerging methodologies.

    The contributors come from a range of disciplines: the humanities, the social and natural sciences, and from international backgrounds, primarily the USA, and Britain, Germany and Switzerland. They are united in working to develop a trans-disciplinary approach to the generation and distribution of knowledge and it is these new questions and their implications that demonstrate the exciting potential of a feminist education in women’s international quest for social change.

    Acknowledgments.  Notes on Contributors.  1. Introduction: Theories of Women’s Studies and the Autonomy/Integration Debate Gloria Bowles and Renate Duelli Klein  2. Theorising about Theorising Dale Spender  3. Is Women’s Studies an Academic Discipline? Gloria Bowles  4. Women’s Studies as an Academic Discipline: Why and How to Do It Sandra Coyner  5. Learning Women’s Studies Taly Rutenberg  6. Feminism: A Last Chance for the Humanities? Bari Watkins  7.  How to Do What We Want to Do: Thoughts about Feminist Methodology Renate Duelli Klein  8. Passionate Scholarship: Notes on Values, Knowing and Method in Feminist Social Science Barbara Du Bois  9. Towards a Methodology for Feminist Research Maria Mies  10. The Value of Quantitative Methodology for Feminist Research Toby Epstein Jayaratne  11. Experiential Analysis: A Contribution to Feminist Research Shulamit Reinharz  12. ‘Back into the Personal’ Or: Our Attempt to Construct ‘Feminist Research’ Liz Stanley and Sue Wise  13. Women’s Studies as a Strategy for Change: Between Criticism and Vision Marcia Westkott  14. In Praise of Theory: The Case for Women’s Studies Mary Evans  15. Selected Annotated Bibliography of Articles on Theories of Women’s Studies Gloria Bowles, Renate Duelli Klein and Taly Rutenberg.  Index.


    Gloria Bowles is the founding coordinator of UC Berkeley women’s studies, which was formed in the mid 1970s after she and other women in the graduate program in Comparative Literature at Berkeley realized there were no women on the voluminous reading lists for their Ph.D. exams in the mid 1970s. She and Renate Klein, then a student, edited Theories, essays on how to form programs and do feminist research. 

    Dr Renate Klein is a Swiss-Australian biologist and social scientist who has been a feminist women’s health activist since the early 1980s. She was Associate Professor of Women’s Studies at Deakin University, Melbourne until 2006. She is the (co) editor/(co) author of 19 books, among them Theories of Women’s Studies, Test-Tube Women, Infertility, Radically Speaking and Surrogacy: A Human Rights Violation. Since 1991, she is also Director and Publisher at Spinifex Press.

    Reviews for the original edition:

    ‘An important collection for all who are concerned with Women’s Studies as an area of Higher Education in its own right and with enriching the traditional disciplines through feminism.’ – Diana Leonard, Chair of the Women’s Studies Course Team, Open University, England

    ‘This book extends the project of the definition of Women’s Studies to a new level of complexity and sophistication.’ – Deborah Rosenfelt, Coordinator, Women’s Studies, San Francisco State University