Women’s History as Personal and Political: An Event in Honor of Jane S. Gould ’40

Louise Bernikow '61, Christina Greene, Temma Kaplan, Elizabeth Minnich, Fanette Pollack '71, and Catharine R. Stimpson

Jane Gould

In honor of both Women’s History Month and one particular woman, Jane S. Gould ’40, first permanent director of the Barnard Center for Research on Women, we present a discussion that remembers Jane and places her life and work in the context of the feminist movements that have improved our lives in so many ways. After graduating from Barnard in 1940, Jane returned to the College to serve as Director of the Barnard Placement and Career Planning Office. She became involved with a group of faculty and staff working to create a Women’s Center at Barnard, and in 1971 they succeeded in establishing the Center, the first organization of its kind. Jane became the first permanent director of the Center in 1973 and held this position until 1983, playing an enormous role in developing the programming and mission of the Center. As Jane wrote in her memoir Juggling: A Memoir of Work, Family, and Feminism, “the Women’s Center’s very existence tapped a great reservoir of feminist energy, which—in turn—helped to shape [the Center’s] identity. It was like opening a floodgate.” These panelists, many of whom were involved during the early days of the Center, will speak about the women’s movement in the U.S. and globally, and situate Jane’s contributions and the history of the Center as an important part of these struggles for justice across lines of race, class, and gender.

Panelists include Louise Bernikow ’61, author of Among Women and The World Split Open, and original member of the BCRW advisory board; Christina Greene, professor of Afro-American Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison; Temma Kaplan, professor of History and a member of the Women’s and Gender Studies Graduate Faculty at Rutgers University; Elizabeth Minnich, senior scholar at the Association of American Colleges and Universities; Fanette Pollack ’71, labor and employment lawyer; and Catharine R. Stimpson, university professor and dean of the Graduate School of Arts & Science, New York University.

Special thanks to Sue Sacks and Lila Braine for their help in planning this event.