Changing Our Minds: Feminist Transformations of Knowledge

By Susan Hardy Aiken; Karen Anderson et al. | Go to book overview
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LESLIE A. FLEMMING


3. New Visions, New Methods:
The Mainstreaming Experience
in Retrospect

Without quite knowing what awaited me, I agreed to participate in the NEH-sponsored curriculum integration project at the University of Arizona during the summer of 1982. I had been generally aware of the women's movement, and, having had a graduate student interested in contemporary women's literature in India, I had been casually reading in feminist literary criticism. However, I had not, up to that time, been seriously involved with women's materials in either my research or teaching. In fact, when the formal part of the project began in late May, I had just returned from India, where I had spent four months conducting research on a well-known Urdu writer and filmmaker. I was anxious to work on the materials I had brought back about him and other Urdu writers in the Bombay film industry. On the other hand, I wanted to be able to guide my graduate student in women's literature more effectively, and I was genuinely curious about the discoveries made by "the new scholarship on women," as Catharine Stimpson had phrased it in a kick-off address for the project. With mixed feelings, therefore, I put aside my Urdu materials and plunged into the work of the project.

We began with an all-day opening workshop, in which Women's Studies faculty members associated with the project introduced some of the broader issues generated by recent scholarship on women. Of the readings we had been asked to prepare in advance of that session, Michelle Rosaldo's "Woman, Culture and Society: A Theoretical Overview"1 provided a good general survey

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