Women's Studies
The fact that many universities have a Women’s Studies department doesn’t raise an eyebrow today, but in 1970, it was a pretty radical idea. Feminism was still in its infancy when faculty, students, and community activists at San Diego State College (now SDSU) came up with the bold idea that there should be a department—and a curriculum—that focused entirely on issues affecting women. In fall 1970, the SDSU Senate approved the formal beginning of the Women’s Studies Department, which became the first program of its kind in the world. The rest, as they say, is herstory.

To commemorate its 40th anniversary this year, the department is presenting “Sustaining a Revolution: Women’s Studies Turns 40.” The exhibit will run from August 24 to December 20 in the SDSU Library’s Donor Hall. The exhibit focuses on the issues facing women in the 1970s and on the development of Women’s Studies departments both at SDSU and nationwide. The exhibit features original materials, including departmental records, photographs, news clippings, brochures, correspondence, two quilts, and more. The Women’s Studies Department organized the exhibit with materials housed in the library’s Special Collections and University Archives Department, including many from the Bonnie Zimmerman Papers collection.