Inquiry Paper No. 21: An Empty Room of One’s Own

For several decades, women’s studies programs have found comfortable sinecures at publicly funded universities of North Carolina including UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC-Charlotte, UNC-Greensboro, NC State and East Carolina University. Heralded by feminists as the symbols of women’s equality in academe, the programs were set up to offer majors and minors in women’s studies, advance scholarship in the field, host their own special events, and design and teach their own classes. Women’s studies programs also had their own administrators, faculty, and office space. In their way of thinking, feminists had secured in the ivory tower, what Virginia Woolf described as “A Room of One’s Own.”

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