The WVU Center for Women’s Studies continues the yearlong celebration of its 30th anniversary with a reunion and panel discussion.

On Monday, Sept. 13, former Center directors, faculty and staff from several institutions around the country will reunite to lead a panel discussion on the role and importance of women’s and gender studies in the 21st century. Participants will share how women’s and gender studies have shaped their careers and lives.

The event will be held from 7-9 p.m., in the Erickson Alumni Center. It is free and open to the public.

“It will be exciting to hear from women who have been instrumental in the development of women’s studies at WVU,” said Ann Oberhauser, director of the Center for Women’s Studies at WVU. “The event is a great opportunity to reflect on the past and prepare for the continued growth of feminist scholarship and activism in our community and around the world.”

Panelist include Judith Gold Stitzel, founding director of the Center for Women’s Studies at WVU; Helen Bannan, retired director of women’s studies at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh; Jeanne Gerlach, professor and dean of the College of Education at the University of Texas-Arlington; Elizabeth Engelhardt, associate professor in the Department of American Studies at the University of Texas-Austin; Suronda Gonzales, director of Languages Across the Curriculum at SUNY Binghamton University; and Chris Weiss Daugherty, international gender and development consultant.

Panel contributors from WVU include Janice Spleth, the Armand E. and Mary W. Singer Professor in the Humanities; Cathy Jasper, administrative associate at the Center for Women’s Studies; and Lillian Waugh, project director of the WVU Women’s Centenary.

“We are looking forward to a robust conversation with lots of input from the audience,” Judith Gold Stitzel said. “Women’s studies in not merely a compensatory exercise – add a few women here and there to the story and all will be well.

“It calls for transformation, a profound, sometimes disturbing and always stimulating examination of the sources of our knowledge, of our claims to knowledge. It is an examination which insists that women of different races, classes, nationalities and sexual orientations participate fully in defining what is real, what is true, what matters.”

During the day, prior to the panel discussion, the women will visit women’s studies classes and meet with current students and faculty in the program.

In 1980, the Women’s Studies Program was established in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences to address changes within the academy and society as a whole. Currently, the Center for Women’s Studies offers an undergraduate major and minor and several options for graduate certificates in women’s studies. Nearly 100 faculty associates teach 125 courses in over 25 departments and units across the University.

Additional events and activities celebrating the 30th anniversary of women’s studies at WVU are posted online at For more information contact the Center at (304) 293-2339.



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