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Professing Feminism

Daphne Patai and  Noretta Koertge (Lexington Books: January 29, 2003), 426 pages.

Feminists have often called Women’s Studies the “academic arm of the women’s movement.” But Daphne Patai and Noretta Koertge charge that the attempt to make Women’s Studies serve a political agenda has led to deeply problematic results: dubious scholarship, pedagogical practices that resemble indoctrination more than education, and the alienation of countless potential supporters. In this new and expanded edition of their controversial 1994 book, the authors update their analysis of what’s gone wrong with Women’s Studies programs. Original chapters feature interviews with professors, students, and staffers who invested much time and effort in Women’s Studies, and new chapters look primarily at documents recently generated from within Women’s Studies itself. Through critiques of actual program mission statements, course descriptions, newsletters, and e-mail lists devoted to feminist pedagogy and Women’s Studies, and, not least, the writings of well-known feminist scholars, Patai and Koertge provide a detailed and devastating examination of the routine practices found in feminist teaching and research. ~ Publisher’s Description

Table of Contents

    • Chapter 1 Introduction to the New Expanded Edition
  • Part 2 Cautionary Tales from the Strange World of Women’s Studies
    • Chapter 3 Prologue: On Airing Dirty Linen
    • Chapter 4 Introduction to the World of Women’s Studies
    • Chapter 5 Cautionary Tales from Women Who Walked Away
    • Chapter 6 Ideology and Identity: Playing the Oppression Sweepstakes
    • Chapter 7 Proselytizing and Policing in the Feminist Classroom
    • Chapter 8 Semantic Sorcery: Rhetoric Overtakes Reality
    • Chapter 9 BIODENIAL and Other Subversive Stratagems
    • Chapter 10 “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall”: Feminist Self-Scrutiny
    • Chapter 11 Cults, Communes, and Clicks
    • Chapter 12 From Dogma to Dialogue: The Importance of Liberal Values
  • Part 13 Women’s Studies in the New Millennium
    • Chapter 14 Rhetoric and Reality in Women’s Studies
    • Chapter 15 Policing the Academy
    • Chapter 16 Feminists Take on Science: Tilting with the Evil Empire
    • Chapter 17 Conclusion