During AY 2023-24, the Center for the Study of Women and Society (CSWS) celebrates its 50th anniversary with speakers, symposia, exhibits, performances, and more programming that speak to the theme of “Feminist Futures.”
“At the Center, we have always believed that the project of feminism is unfinished and boundless,” says Sangita Gopal, CSWS director and associate professor of cinema studies. “CSWS and its mission is now more urgent than ever as we contend with the grave situations that women and their allies are confronting worldwide—from reproductive injustice, statist repression, the growing war on LGBTQIA+ populations, and escalating domestic violence to economic precarity and climate catastrophe. Feminists everywhere, every day, are working to ameliorate these conditions even as they strive to find joy in collectivity and creativity.”
Founded in 1973 as the Center for the Sociological Study of Women, the center expanded and became CSWS in in 1983 when financial analyst and Fortune editor William B. Harris willed $3.5 million to the UO Foundation, which at the time was the largest single gift the University had ever received from a single donor. Harris’s gift established the “University of Oregon Fund for the Study of Women” in honor of his wife Jane Grant, a pioneer second-wave feminist and co-founder of The New Yorker.
Today, CSWS has more than 200 affiliated UO faculty and graduate students who generate and share research with other scholars and educators, the public, policy makers, and activists. This vibrant community of feminist and allied researchers come from a broad range of fields in arts and humanities, law and policy, social sciences, physical and life sciences, and the professional schools. Over the last five decades, the Center has awarded more than $2 million in research grant funding to UO researchers, including the prestigious and highly competitive Jane Grant Dissertation Fellowship that supports doctoral candidates in their final year of research and writing.
“Our task at the Center is to promote and disseminate intersectional research across the disciplines that supports the struggles of women and their allies by producing knowledges and practices to contextualize, historicize, and direct such actions,” Gopal says. “We hope our communities in the University and beyond will stand with us as we imagine, debate, and present a year of programming celebrating feminist futures.”
While 50th anniversary programming for the coming year is still in development, CSWS will be collaborating with schools, departments, programs, and centers across campus to present a variety of events linked to the theme of “Feminist Futures.” All events are free and open to the public. See the 50th Anniversary page for schedule updates: