Coming of Age at Barnard, 1968

Estelle Freedman '69

Estelle Freedman

1968 was a pivotal year in the history of Columbia University, American politics, and youth movements internationally. Estelle Freedman, American historian and a student at Barnard during that tumultuous era, looks back on 1968 from the perspective of subsequent events and historical interpretations. She places her experience of coming of age at Barnard within the contexts of anti-war protests, racial and ethnic identities, and shifting sexual mores. Freedman, now a Professor of History at Stanford University and the author of several influential books on feminism and on sexuality, explores the life-changing process of questioning authority. Drawing on events on campus, in the world, and in her personal life, she evaluates the liberating opportunities as well as the new vulnerabilities that faced her generation of Barnard students.

Estelle Freedman is a U.S. historian specializing in women’s history and feminist studies. She earned her Ph.D. and M.A. degrees in history from Columbia University and her B.A. in history from Barnard College. She has taught at Stanford University since 1976 and is a co-founder of the Program in Feminist Studies. Her most recent publications include The Essential Feminist Reader; Feminism, Sexuality and Politics; and No Turning Back: The History of Feminim and the Future of Women. Her contributions to teaching have been recognized by the Dinkelspiel Award for outstanding Service to Undergraduate Education, the Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching, the Rhodes Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching at Stanford, and the Kahn-Van Slyke Graduate Mentoring Award at Stanford, as well as the Nancy Lyman Roelker Mentorship Award for graduate mentorship from the American Historical Association.