The Enduring Marginalization of Women’s Studies in Academia: A Case Study of Simon Fraser University, 1968-2008

Julia Smith


This paper examines the formation of the Women’s Studies Department at Simon Fraser University. While the struggle to establish this, the first credit Women’s Studies program in Canada, was a significant part of the second wave women’s movement and a crucial step towards achieving the broader goal of reinserting women back into academic discourse, in many disciplines the study of women continues to remain peripheral to “traditional” areas of inquiry. This paper will argue that although the establishment of the Women’s Studies department was a monumental achievement for women at the time and has undoubtedly greatly improved the status of women’s voices within academic research, it is not enough. What is required now is the incorporation of these voices into the mainstream disciplines; the ideal being an academic world that fully reflects the pluralistic society in which we live.

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