In 2018, the Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies (WGSS; previously Women’s Studies) Program at the College of Wooster celebrated its 40th anniversary. In honor of this historical moment, we have developed a digital archive and timeline of the Program. In Spring 2018, WGSS Senior (‘18) Marina Dias Lucena Adams had built the skeleton of the digital archive and conducted initial interviews with past leadership in the Program under the supervision of Wooster’s Digital Curation Librarian Catie Newton. Dr. Christa Craven (who served as WGSS Chair 2012-2017)WGSS Junior (‘19) Matthew Harris-Ridker conducted the Interviews.
Matthew’s interests lie in the area of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ+) Studies and for this OHLA project he has interviewed.
- Speakers in LGBTQ+ Studies who have come to Wooster (many of whom have been founders and/or influential in the development of WGSS and LGBTQ+ Programs around the country)
- Alums of the College who work in LGBTQ+ Studies
LGBTQ+ voices have been historically underrepresented in discussions of the origins of Women’s Studies in the 1960s and 70s. This project aims to highlight LGBTQ+ perspectives at a critical juncture for WGSS, as the field moves into it 5th decade of feminist and queer teaching, programming and scholarship.
The development of a digital history of a WGSS Program is, to our knowledge, novel in the field, and efforts to highlight underrepresented voices–in this case, LGBTQ+ people and queer people of color–offer an important intervention in histories that focus primarily on white women’s contributions to the field. As Co-Chair of the Program Administration & Development (PA&D) Constituency Group in the National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA) since 2015, during which she has vetted and organized all panels for a daylong NWSA Pre-Conference, Christa Craven has never heard of such an undertaking. We were inspired by the digital history archive of the Queer Studies Program at Denison College.