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Professor Arlene Avakian

Professor Arlene Avakian (left) 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. 

History keeps moving, of course, and many changes have happened since. Here is the history as they wrote it. Read it all or click to the section that most interests you.