Revenge of the Women's Studies Professor

Revenge of the Women's Studies Professor

Bonnie J. Morris
Distribution: World
Publication date: 1/26/2009
Format: paper 184 pages, ?
6.125 x 9.25
ISBN: 978-0-253-22062-2
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With sharp wit and keen insight, Bonnie J. Morris opens new perspectives on the gender and generation gaps on campus, exploring the negative stereotypes that keep many students from taking women's studies courses. Since 1993, the George Washington University women's history professor has traveled the globe with her one-woman play, "Revenge of the Women's Studies Professor," engaging audiences from New Zealand to New York in a frank conversation about the backlash against feminism and women's studies. This book presents scenes from the original play along with reflections on changing views of gender and sexuality in American society, politics, and popular culture. The result is part memoir, part history of our times, and part critique of higher education.

Author Bio

Bonnie J. Morris is a scholar, teacher, writer, and performer. Her six books include Eden Built by Eves, Girl Reel, and Lubavitcher Women in America. She lives in Washington, D.C.


"Nowhere have I read the kind of front-line reporting that Bonnie J. Morris foregrounds in her book: the verbatim ongoing insults, challenges, and accusations. This kind of personal testimony puts a human face on the backlash, bringing history to life." —Carolyn Gage, playwright, performer, director, and activist

"Bonnie Morris's book is a wise and witty read—eloquent, passionate, lucidly organized, and wide-ranging. The subject—women's studies and the vexing backlash against the field—is crucially important not only in the academy but for general audiences as well. Morris gives all the issues the intense attention they deserve." —Sandra M. Gilbert, co-author of
The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination

"Although generally buoyant and jovial in tone, Revenge of the Women's Studies Professor addresses serious problems, including sexism in academia, violence against women, and the unceasing backlash against feminism and women's studies in both the academic community and the population at large. Based on her own and her students' actual experiences, Dr. Morris's examination of such concerns is as revealing as it is insightful." —History News Network

"Professor Morris's book, like her play (and indeed her career), seeks to educate as wide an audience as possible about the nature and value of women's studies while using humor to both expose and mitigate the sting of the backlash. . . . Based on her own and her students' actual experiences, Dr. Morris's examination of such concerns is as revealing as it is insightful." —H-Net Reviews , August 2009

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Table of Contents


Introduction: So, What Do You Do for a Living?
1. Scene One, 1973: My First Women's Studies Class
2. Scene Two, 1983: You're Getting a Ph.D. in What?
3. Scene Three, 1986: Exams and Evaluations
4. Scene Four, 1987: Can I Talk to You in Private?
5. Scene Five, 1989: Do We Have to Have So Much Women's History?
6. Scene Six, 1990: Driving a U-Haul to Harvard
7. Scene Seven, 1992: Fear of the Word Woman
8. Scene Eight, 1993: Teaching Where Hell Freezes Over
9. Scene Nine, 1993: Women Studies Goes Global
10. Scene Ten, 1995: Educating President Clinton
Conclusion: Mainstreaming Women's Studies in America