SUSAN HARDY AIKEN, KAREN ANDERSON,
MYRA DINNERSTEIN, JUDY NOLTE LENSINK,
The Problematics of Curriculum Integration
The preceding essays speak eloquently of the successes of curriculum integration. Their authors, through the quality of their intellectual efforts and the depth of their commitment, discovered in feminist scholarship a basis for a profound reconceptualization of their disciplinary tenets, their course structures and content, their research agendas, and the academic and cultural institutions that shape and are shaped by these constructs. As we had hoped, feminist paradigms enabled these scholars and others like them to understand what had previously seemed like anomalous data, reinterpret traditional texts, and expand the canons in their fields to include materials whose significance had earlier eluded them. In the best sense they became our colleagues and comrades, enhancing our knowledge and understanding of the feminist project as they developed their own.
The legacy of our project, however, was contradictory. While it furthered curricular reform in many important ways, it also revealed to us the magnitude and intractability of resistance to genuine feminist transformation of the academy. In order for curriculum transformation projects to be most effective, their directors need to be forewarned of the potential pitfalls they are likely to encounter. In this essay, therefore, we present an overview of the positive changes effected by our project, some speculations about the conditions that helped bring them about, and a more detailed analysis of the most significant sources and implications of the resistances we encoun