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Loyola celebrates 20th anniversary of women's studies

Loyola press release - October 5, 2009

Loyola University New Orleans will celebrate its 20th anniversary of women’s studies on Oct. 8, in the J. Edgar and Louise S. Monroe Library on Loyola’s main campus. The celebration will also launch a fundraising campaign to create an endowed scholarship in the discipline.

Nancy Fix Anderson, Ph.D., will present “Women at Loyola University New Orleans: A History” at 5 p.m., in Multimedia Room 2, which will be followed by a reception in the Diboll Gallery.

The lecture and reception is sponsored by the Biever Guest Lecture Series and the Office of the Provost.

Fix Anderson, a former Loyola history professor and author of “Woman Against Women in Victorian England: A Life of Eliza Lynn Linton,” was one of the driving forces behind bringing women’s studies to the university in the late 1980s. She was joined in her efforts by a determined group of faculty members, Barbara Ewell, Lydia Voigt, Connie Mui and Cathy Wessinger, who continue today to offer women’s studies courses in their fields of research. Loyola’s women’s studies minor, which incorporates a wide range of disciplines taught by dedicated faculty, has grown over the years and now has 25 students.

The mission of Loyola’s women’s studies minor is to educate the whole person in a critical and analytical understanding of women and gender across history and cultures and the promotion of social justice in both an intellectual and an activist context.

Karen Reichard, Ph.D., director of Loyola’s Women’s Resource Center said women’s studies has enhanced the scholarship produced at universities in a wide spectrum of fields.

“As the study considers power structures and issues of inequality, it questions all systems of inequality including racism and classism,” Reichard said. “Further, women’s studies has advanced academic inquiry in the ways that it has transformed knowledge. It has prompted a questioning of the very nature of knowledge: ‘how do we know what we know.’ A strong, thriving women’s studies program is an integral part to realizing the Jesuit commitment to a humanistic education focused on social justice.”

For more information on the event or the women’s studies minor, contact Reichard at 504-864-7881 or reichard@loyno.edu or Sara Butler, Ph.D., at 504-865-2099 or subtler@loyno.edu.

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