posted February 22, 2012

Presentations to Celebrate 20th Anniversary of Women’s Studies

A keynote presentation by the program’s founding director and a panel discussion featuring four graduates will help commemorate the 20th anniversary of women’s studies at Hope College.

The events, scheduled in conjunction with national Women’s History Month, will take place on Tuesday, March 6.  Dr. Jane Dickie, professor of psychology, will present the keynote lecture “Love and Everyday Rebellions:  20+ Years of Women’s Studies at Hope” at 4 p.m. in the Maas Center auditorium. The panel discussion “How Women’s Studies Mattered in My Life – A Conversation with Women’s Studies Alumni Janet Swim, Anne Lucas, Anna Cook and Susan Kioko” will take place at 7 p.m., also in the Maas Center auditorium.

The public is invited to both the keynote address and the panel discussion.  Admission is free.

The college’s women’s studies program formally began in 1991 with the establishment of an academic minor, although Hope had started offering courses in women’s studies in the 1980s and students had previously developed composite majors in the discipline.  The interdisciplinary program, which expanded to include a formal major in 2005, includes courses from multiple departments, including art, communication, English, history, modern and classical languages, music, political science, psychology, religion and sociology.

Dickie, a professor of psychology, played a leadership role in establishing the initial courses and was appointed the program’s first director, serving until 2007.  A member of the faculty since 1972, she is retiring at the end of the current school year.

The program was subsequently directed by Dr. Annie Dandavati, professor of political science and director of international studies, from 2007 until 2010, and since 2011 has been directed by Dr. Jeanne Petit, associate professor of history.

The four graduates participating in the panel discussion reflect experience across more than 30 years at the college.

Dr. Janet Swim, who is a 1983 graduate, was the first Hope student to create her own individualized contract-curriculum women’s studies major.  She is now a professor of psychology at Pennsylvania State University.  Her current research deals with how individuals cope with sexism and individual affective responses to issues around climate change.

Anne Lucas graduated from Hope in 1996 with a combined English writing and women’s studies major.  She subsequently graduated from the University of Cincinnati Law School with a dual degree in law and women’s studies, and now serves as a housing attorney for low-income people in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Anna Cook graduated from Hope in 2005 with a double major in history and women’s studies.  She subsequently received a combined master’s degree in library science and history from Simmons College, and is now an assistant reference librarian at the Massachusetts Historical Society.

Susan Kioko graduated from Hope in 2009 with a nursing major and minor in women’s studies.  A registered nurse, she is currently pursuing her doctorate at Columbia University/New York Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan, N.Y., and also working with underserved populations in New York City.

In addition to the public events, the commemoration will include a dinner for invited women’s studies faculty, alumni and current students.

The Maas Center is located at 264 Columbia Ave., on Columbia Avenue at 11th Street.