Women’s Studies at Bloomfield College

Feminism is:

A complex way of thinking about, and thus more responsibly acting upon, the conditions of human life…”
(From Adrienne Rich, “Conditions for Work”)

The Women’s Studies Program at Bloomfield College was created as a multi-disciplinary program with academic and co-curricular components. Based in the Humanities Division and the Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences, The Program was officially approved by the Faculty in April 1995. Guided by feminist perspectives and by collective experiences in the Women’s Movement and in Women’s Studies Programs at various other colleges and universities, Barbara Machtinger (History) and Erica Polakoff (Sociology), developed the Program according to the principles of mutuality, reciprocity and inclusivity. From the time of its inception, the Progam has emphasized partnerships and non-hierarchical, collaborative work, and has committed itself to sponsoring ad co-sponsoring educational, cultural and consciousness-raising programs for the college-community and the community-at-large.

> Bloomfield College Women's Studies Faculty

The Women’s Studies Minor

The Women’s Studies Minor is an academic program consisting of two required courses and four electives. The required courses are:

WMS/SOC/HUM 255: Changing Women’s Lives
WMS/SOC 417: Feminism: Theory and Practice

The four electives must be from among cross-listed courses in at least three of the following different departments: Africana Studies, English, History, Nursing, Philosophy, Psychology, and Sociology. Cross-listed courses include:

AFS/HIS/WMS 207: African/American History to 1877
AFS/HIS/WMS 208: African/American History since 1877
AFS/HIS/WMS 340: History of the African/American Family
ENG/WMS 222: African/American Literature
ENG/WMS 223: Women in Literature
ENG/WMS 226: Literature of Race, Class and Gender
HIS/WMS 250: America in the Sixties
HIS/WMS 252: History of U.S. Women I
HIS/WMS 253: History of U.S. Women II
HIS/WMS 300: History of Social Policy and the Poor
NUR/WMS 406: Professional Nursing Practice
PHL/WMS 225: Philosophical Perspectives on Women
PSY/WMS 325: Cross-cultural Psychology
PSY/WMS 335: Psychology of Gender
SOC/WMS: 214: Madness and Marginality
SOC/WMS 234: Social Inequality
SOC/WMS 241: Minority Groups and Race Relations
SOC/WMS 249: Sociology of the Family
SOC/WMS 251: Gender and Globalization
SOC/WMS 3xx: Sociology of Health and Illness
SOC/WMS 336: Sociology of Sex, Gender and Sexuality
SOC/WMS 414: Social Movements
SOC/WMS 415: Criminal Justice and Gender
SOC/WMS 490: General Sociology Internship

Each semester, on average, three or four Women’s Studies electives are offered. The required courses are offered every second or third semester.

Women’s Studies Co-curricular Programs and Events

In our Co-Curricular Programs and Events, the Women’s Studies Program has sought the participation of students, faculty and staff from across the College. Our co-sponsors have included the History Club, the Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences, the Humanities Division, the Psychology Club, the Nursing Student Association, Sisters in Support, the Office of Student Affairs, the Counseling Office, the Honors Program, M.E.N., and the CAT Division. Highlights of programs and co-sponsored events include:

  • Two performances of “Vagina Monologues,” starring Bloomfield College students and faculty.
  • International Economic Development Days, education and fundraising events in support of grassroots women's projects in Kenya.
  • Participation in the World March of Women at the United Nations.
  • Annual Self-Defense workshops led by “Prepare.”
  • Two major installations of the “Clothesline Project,” all-day events intended to educate and raise awareness about violence against women, children and men.
  • Printing of three issues of the Women’s Studies Newsletter/ Journal, Labor Room.
  • Co-sponsorship of “Safe Zone Training” workshops.
  • Co-sponsorship of Film Series on “Women” and “Sexuality.”
  • Invited Speakers and Performers: 
    • Andrea Freud Lowenstein (Sigmund’s great granddaughter), educator and author of The Worry Girl
    • Doris Tijerino, former Director of the Nicaraguan Women’s Organization, AMNLAE and former Sandinista Chief of Police.
    • Marjorie Barnes, Performance Artist.
  • Co-sponsorship of Gallery Exhibits by Women Artists of Montclair, and “Faces of Culture” by Erica Polakoff.

Our goals for the Academic Year 2002-2003 include:

  • Establishment of a Women’s Resource and Empowerment Center.
  • Workshops and speakers on “Women, Welfare and Development”
  • Fundraising and grant-writing to support the development of a Peer Education Program on Health and Wellness, entitled “Project Impact.”