A Written History
Professor Arlene Avakian (pictured) began working with the newly formed Women's Studies Program at UMass in 1974 and retired from WGSS in 2011. Prior to retirement she agreed to work, in collaboration with Erika Arthur (a department alum who, at the time, was pursuing her advanced feminist studies graduate certificate) on a narrative history of the department, its origin as a program, the twists, turns, changes, and challenges along the way. The final draft of this document was finalized in early 2012.
We have many pictures saved and scanned back until 1974. Check our Photos page to check them out.
History keeps moving, of course, and many changes have happened since. Below is the history as they wrote it. Read it all or click to the section that most interests you.