Women's Studies: A Recommended Bibliography

Women's Studies: A Recommended Bibliography

Women's Studies: A Recommended Bibliography

Women's Studies: A Recommended Bibliography

Synopsis

This truly monumental work maps the literature of women's studies, covering thousands of titles and Web sites in 19 subject areas published between 1985 and 1999. Intended as a reference and collection development tool, this bibliography provides a guide for women's studies information for each title along with a detailed, often evaluative review. The annotations summarize each work's content, its importance or contribution to women's studies, and its relationship to other titles on the subject. Core titles and titles that are out of print are noted, and reviews indicate which titles are appropriate as texts or supplemental texts. This definitive guide to the literature of women's studies is a must-purchase for academic libraries that support women's studies programs, and it is a useful addition to any academic or public library that endeavors to represent the field.

A team of subject specialists has taken on the immense task of documenting publications in the area of women's studies in the last decades of the 20th century. The result is this truly monumental work, which maps the field, covering thousands of titles and Web sites in 19 subject areas published between 1985 and 1999. Intended as a reference and collection development tool, this bibliography provides a guide for women's studies information for each title along with a detailed, often evaluative review. The annotations summarize each work's content, its importance or contribution to women's studies, and its relationship to other titles on the subject. Most reviews cite and describe similar and contrasting titles, substantially extending the coverage. Core titles and titles that are out of print are noted, and reviews indicate which titles are appropriate as texts or supplemental texts. Taking up where the previous volume by Loeb, Searing, and Stineman left off, this is the definitive guide to the literature of women's studies. It is a must purchase for academic libraries that support women's studies programs; and a welcome addition to any academic or public library that endeavors to represent the field.

Excerpt

In 1979, Libraries Unlimited published a groundbreaking reference work, Women’s Studies: A Recommended Core Bibliography by Esther F. Stineman. Stineman, with the assistance of Catherine R. Loeb, compiled a core listing of books and periodicals in women’s studies. The bibliography was 670 pages long, with 1,763 entries. At that early stage in the growth of women’s studies as an academic field, a mere list of the best titles would have been invaluable to librarians who sought to fill gaps in their collections, but Stineman and Loeb went further. Their insightful annotations charted the impact of feminist thought on the major disciplines and illuminated the exciting intersections of academic and activist perspectives. The bibliography covered Englishlanguage titles through mid-1979, including classic and rediscovered works as well as new publications.

Later I collaborated with Esther and Cathy to produce the next bibliographical installment: Women’s Studies: A Recommended Core Bibliography, 1980–1985 (Libraries Unlimited, 1987). Covering a mere five years, that volume was nonetheless a hefty 538 pages long and contained 1,211 annotated entries. We explained in our introduction that scholarly output in women’s studies had mushroomed, and we had in fact been “ruthlessly selective.”

Imagine, then, the challenge that Linda Krikos and Cindy Ingold faced in compiling the present volume, which covers 1986 to 1999—a time period three times as long as that of the second volume, encompassing years in which women’s studies publishing grew to unprecedented proportions and moved from the margins to the mainstream of academia. These wise editors did not undertake the task alone, but instead commissioned chapters by other librarians with knowledge of various facets of women’s studies.

Together, these experts have winnowed and described the best printed and Web-based information sources on women and gender. Most helpfully, “best” is broadly defined to include not only well-known works by prominent scholars, but also pathbreaking and provocative titles that push the boundaries of feminist theory and pedagogy.

This bibliography faithfully reflects the shape that the literature of women’s studies has assumed since the 1980–1985 installment. In addition to nurturing the new academic fields of women’s studies, gender studies, and queer studies, feminist perspectives have infused new ways of thinking into all the disciplines. The placement of subject-specific reference works within the topical chapters, instead of lumping them in the “Reference” chapter as the earlier bibliographies did, recognizes the importance of discipline-grounded research. Complementing this new approach, the “Reference” chapter stands on its own as a thorough guide to overarching, interdisciplinary works.

The inclusion of selected Web sites in each chapter is an important new feature, and the choices emphasize stable, reputable information sources. Within chapters, the selection of titles is admirably balanced. Each chapter illustrates the breadth and depth of the field(s) it covers. Studies of women in many regions and cultures are conscientiously included throughout, as are works that shed light on minority women’s lives in the United States. Although core bibliographies inevitably favor wide-ranging surveys and anthologies that present multiple viewpoints, the au-

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