We are so excited about the new endowed chair campaign we launched earlier this summer. For the first time, the University of Minnesota is establishing the Chair in Comparative Women's History.
Women make history every day, and always have. The problem is that their histories have not always been recorded and were therefore rarely taught until the early 1970s. That's when the Department of History launched a new wave of scholarship into women's history, with pioneering scholars such as Professor Sara Evans leading the charge. Today our department is widely viewed as a leader in comparative women's history.
You may be asking at this point, "What do you mean by 'comparative women's history'?"
Comparative women's history explores how gender has shaped the experiences and understandings of people in different cultures and in all walks of life. Comparative women's history has transformed the way we understand not only history but also science, law, political and economic systems, world literatures and cultures, health and medicine, families, workplaces, nature and the environment, and ourselves.
This chair is so important because it recognizes the role Minnesota has played in the research and dissemination of women's history. And once it is endowed, it will enable the Department of History to attract rising stars as well as support mid-career scholars who are working on the myriad issues of women's history. Students, both undergraduate and graduate, will benefit from the scholarship generated here and their interactions with top-notch researchers.
Professor Evans, one of our "founding mothers," put it so well when she explained, "If we don't know our own history, we give away the right to define ourselves. As historians, we must continue to tell the whole story of where we've been and where we are. We must deliver to our sons and daughters the deep knowledge that they can use to produce more knowledge, affect public policy, and educate their sons and daughters. After all, they are tomorrow's leaders."
We need your help now to make the Chair in Comparative Women's History a reality. For more information or to make a gift, please contact me. You may also make a secure gift online at www.hist.umn.edu/gift/.
Eva Widder, development officer