Explore 1970s

Women’s Studies Program Founding in 1975

WGS Chairs

In Spring 1975, three Brandeis Fellows at the Carnegie Corporation Project on Women & Career Options – Charlotte Weissberg (Soc), Kristine Rosenthal (Soc) and Erica Harth (Comp Lit) – submitted a proposal for a Women’s Studies Program at Brandeis University. It read in part, “an undergraduate program in Women’s Studies is long overdue on the Brandeis […]

Women’s Rights Project Forms in 1970

Women Unite

The Women’s Rights Project was both a feminist-minded community organization and communal space for “those who have, at some time in their lives, awakened to the fact that being a woman in our society imposes a unique set of economic, political, social and intellectual problems which severely inhibits their growth as total human beings.” Said […]

Students Protest the Awarding of “Publisher of the Year” to Penthouse Editor, 1975


Oct. – Nov. 1975:  The Women’s Caucus and Women’s Coalition of Brandeis University led the charge of protest against the University’s awarding of “Publisher of the Year” to Penthouse editor Bob Guccione during a fundraiser event.  “The women of the caucus believe that Penthouse profits from the exploitation of women as sex objects,” says Kathy […]

Women’s Coalition of Brandeis Forms in 1971

Women's Council

Begun as an alliance of students, faculty, administrators and staff, the Women’s Coalition of Brandeis University formed in the Fall of 1971. The group described itself as “a political organization for all Brandeis women” and held its first official meeting on Nov. 10th in the West Lounge of The Student Center. One of the Coalition’s […]

Civil Rights Activist Dolores Huerta Lectures in 1974

Dolores Huerta

In February of 1974, noted feminist, civil rights activist, labor leader, community organizer and founding member of the Agricultural Workers Association, Dolores Huerta (born Dolores Clara Fernandez) spoke at Brandeis University during a United Farmworkers fundraising event. She stressed responding to anti-union and exploitative employers with strikes, picket-lines, mobilizations and (non-violent) demonstrations. “People have got […]

Angela Davis ’65 Speaks on Racism and Injustice, 1976

Angela Davis

Angela Davis ’65 spoke about racism and the injustice of the American prison system in Levin Ballroom in the fall of 1976. To a standing room only crowd of 900 students she proclaimed, “I’m not trying to create a false sense of alarm….I am indeed frightened because I see all over this country signs of […]

American Civil Rights and Women’s Rights Activist Pauli Murray Teaches at Brandeis 1968-1973


Arriving at Brandeis in the fall of 1968, Pauli Murray introduced the first courses at the university in Legal Studies, African-American Studies, and Women’s Studies. Murray was given the Louis Stulberg Chair in Law and Politics in 1971, receiving tenure as Full Professor in American Studies. The courses she regularly taught included “American Legal Systems,”  […]

Letty Cottin Pogrebin class of 1959


WGS Board Member Letty Cottin Pogrebin answers the Brandeis Questionnaire in the Fall 2012 / Winter 2013 issue of Brandeis Magazine: When it was launched in 1971, Ms. magazine heralded a new world for women — and men. It catapulted below-the-radar topics like domestic violence, sexual harassment, the right to abortion and workplace discrimination into […]

Erica Harth, Founding Member of WGS, retires in 2006

Erica Harth's Lecture Poster

On the occasion of her retirement from Brandeis in the spring of 2006, we celebrated the distinguished career of Erica Harth, Professor of Humanities and Women’s and Gender Studies and a founding member of our program. When she came to Brandeis in 1975, Erica was one of three colleagues appointed as fellows for the Carnegie Corporation’s project on Women […]

Gates McFadden Teaches Theater in 1995