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Letters from alumni about women's studies at P.U.

June 14, 2003

I found Professor Stansell's article interesting, informative, and impressive until I read the last paragraph.

Apparently, she considers a lecture on "early modern witchcraft" to be one of the significant events in the history of women's studies at Princeton. It took me a while to figure out what early modern witchcraft might be, but when I realized that Charmed and the lesbian witches on Buffy represent late modern witchcraft, it was easy to see that Elizabeth Montgomery, Agnes Moorehead, et al, on Bewitched were the pioneers of early modern witchcraft.

Stanley G. Kalemaris '64
Melville, N.Y.

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June 8, 2003

I was glad to read Professor Christine Stansell ‘71’s account of her experience as a young woman and developing scholar at Princeton in her piece marking 20 years of women’s studies at Princeton.

When Professor Stansell returned in the early ’80s, I was among the students who were lucky enough to study with her and to be at Princeton as the Program in Women’s Studies was beginning under the direction of a bright, energetic anthropologist, Professor Kay B. Warren *74.

Professor Warren managed, with irrepressible optimism, amazing determination, and great sensitivity to the complex Princeton context, to build a program that has endured. I remember the new appointments of distinguished scholars such as Elaine Showalter and Sandra Gilbert; the many programs and lectures that built an open intellectual climate around the study of women, gende,r and sexuality; and the extraordinary interdisciplinarity that has now become the gold standard of scholarly inquiry but was once an odd way to do intellectual work.

Professor Warren appeared to make all the work of steering a ship whose course was anything but steady like the best job in town. That enthusiasm made the women’ s studies program a wonderful environment in which students could think through a feminist lens at Princeton. I presume to speak for many of my cohort when I say that the founding of the program and its activities made a world of difference, in our undergraduate educations and in our lives after Princeton.

Vanessa R. Schwartz ‘86
Associate Professor of History, USC
Santa Monica, Calif.

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