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Women's Studies Celebrates 10th Year

By K. SANDRA Favelukes

Tracing its roots from the corner of a desk in University Hall to its new home in Warren House, the Committee on Women's Studies celebrated its 10th anniversary with about 100 friends yesterday afternoon.

Flowing champagne, speeches, and toasts from prominent friends and Faculty including President Neil L. Rudenstine marked the festivities.

"Since 1988 Women's Studies has grown enormously in terms of scope, Faculty, core courses, and department courses offered," the president said. "But we still have a long way to go."

But according to Susan Suleiman, professor of romance languages and comparative literatures and former chair of the committee, the program has come a long way already since its birth in 1987.

"What is important is a room of one's own, a phone of one's own--the day we got our own phone line and listing, in January 1985," Suleiman joked, "was the day women's studies made its first strides to establish an institution within the institution of Harvard."

Guests crowded into an upstairs room at Warren House, mingling at the pre-dinner time cocktail party and exchanging congratulatory smiles.

Director of the Bunting Institute Florence Ladd also offered praise for the committee.

"Everyone has been discussing the leadership skills and advocacy that was needed to build the department," she said. "But without the intellectual work, the wonderful Faculty, the research that made the committee, we would not have come as far as we have today."

Wellesley College Professor of History Katherine Park '72 said nurturing a women's studies program is never an easy task, even at an school dedicated solely to women.

"I was recently at Wellesley, celebrating the 15th anniversary of their own women's studies department," said Park, who will soon join Harvard's Faculty, jointly tenured in women's studies and history of science. "In a school where 30 percent of the faculty are women, they still faced enormous challenges. It is 10 times more difficult at Harvard."

Caroline Heilbrun, renowned 1scholar and professor Emeritus at Columbia, had a different kind of praise for the committee.

After reading a quote by a disgruntled, anti-feminist saying "Second rate, traditional scholarship is better than first rate feminist scholarship," she remarked.

"We have developed a backlash.

We have gotten to them. They are afraid that if they don't control women, or women's studies they control nothing."

In addition to celebrating a rich past, those in attendance also recognized a need to remain persistent.

"Until we have an equal number of women Faculty as men, we will have not achieved true co-education at Harvard," Ladd said

After reading a quote by a disgruntled, anti-feminist saying "Second rate, traditional scholarship is better than first rate feminist scholarship," she remarked.

"We have developed a backlash.

We have gotten to them. They are afraid that if they don't control women, or women's studies they control nothing."

In addition to celebrating a rich past, those in attendance also recognized a need to remain persistent.

"Until we have an equal number of women Faculty as men, we will have not achieved true co-education at Harvard," Ladd said

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