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University of Massachusetts Boston. Women’s Studies Program : Records, 1972-2006 (bulk, 1972-1990)


9 cartons


The collection was donated to the Archives and Special Collections Department by Ann Froines and Jean Humez in two parts, September 28, 2004, and August 22, 2008.


Professors Ann Froines and Jean Humez conceived of offering students at the University of Massachusetts Boston a series of courses that would address issues related to women’s history, women and the law, women and science, women and health and many other topics. What began in 1972 as an idea, developed first into a program of study, and eventually, in the 1980s, into an academic major recognized and approved by the university administration.

Not only did Froines and Humez create what would become the Women’s Studies Program, they also initiated a series of discussions that confronted issues of sexual discrimination and harassment, as well as the effects of affirmative action on campus. These conversations evolved into numerous articles and more organically, into student projects that attempted to bridge the gap between academic theory and its practical applications.
Perhaps most interestingly, being one of the first Women’s Studies Programs to develop in the United States, many faculty members at other institutions corresponded with Froines and Humez to learn how to duplicate such a successful course of study at their own universities.
As the Women’s Studies Program developed, the chairwomen conducted “Self Study” surveys nearly every academic year to gather information as to the positive and negative aspects of the program, as perceived by both faculty and students at the University. Froines and Humez were equally interested in blazing a trail that compelled students and faculty to consider how women’s issues and the study of women’s history affected academic learning, as well as improving the Program to ensure its longevity.

Scope and Content

The collection is organized into five series:

I.                   Governance and Program Growth
Ia. Faculty Appointments
Ib. Student Enrollment
II.                Curriculum Development
III.             Special Projects and Associated Organizational Work
The records document the beginning and the development of the Women’s Studies Program from 1972 through 2006. The bulk of the material dates between 1972 and 1990. Froines and Humez organized the documents in the collection prior to donating them to the archives. Overall, the collection maintains the original order Froines and Humez created, and unless illegible or damaged, documents have remained in their original folders with label supplied by the donors.
Series I. Governance and Program Growth. (1972-2006) This series includes the proposals to develop a Women’s Studies curriculum, by-laws, minutes from advisory board meetings, correspondence with university deans, and budget proposals, and records justifying the Program’s existence and importance within the university.
Subseries Ia. Faculty Appointments. These records reflect the recruitment and
hiring practices of the Women’s Studies Program of both tenured and non-tenured faculty members.
Subseries Ib. Student Enrollment and Work. This subseries includes enrollment statistic and samples of student work.
Series II. Curriculum Development(1975-2003) These materials document the course bulletins, course syllabi, course readings, program booklets, and the requirements necessary to pursue a Women’s Studies major or minor.
Series III. Special Projects and Associated Organizational Work(1972-1991) These documents include records from the National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA) and the program’s involvement with that organization, as well as copies of NWSA’s publication: Perspectives, articles from newspapers addressing issues in women’s lives or women’s studies, media coverage of events hosted by the Women’s Studies Program, and copies of publications that address women’s issues: Radical Teacher and Women’s Health.