Launching a Journal, Building an Interdisciplinary Field: The Legacies of Signs

plain text image with words: globalization, feminist jurisprudence, power and powerlesness, disciplining women, sexism
plain text image with words: queer theory, social change, violence against women
Launching a Journal,
Building an Interdisciplinary Field:
The Legacies of Signs

Panel Discussion - April 6, 2006
Douglass Library,
Rutgers University,
New Brunswick, New Jersey

This event was dedicated to the history of Signs, an interdisciplinary journal on women's studies, as part of the journal's 30th anniversary celebration. The archives of Signs are housed in the Rutgers Libraries' Special Collections and University Archives.

The panel discussion documented here addressed the role of Signs in the creation and institutionalization of the field of women's and gender studies, and featured former editors of the journal.

The entire panel discussion was recorded and is available for viewing as a streaming video in RUcore, The Rutgers Institutional Repository.

Prelude and Opening Remarks Time stamps
Begins with the day's slide show designed by Professor Jacqueline Thaw and pictures of the entering crowd. 0:00
Holly Smith
  Executive Dean, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers University
Andrew Baumann
  Journals Division, University of Chicago Press
Mary Hawkesworth
  Editor of Signs, 2005-
Concludes her introduction by asking the Distinguished Panelists to "take us back to the founding moments of each of their editorships, and describe their original visions for the journal, the temporal context in which they undertook their work, the strategies they devised to realize their vision, and the challenges they confronted."
Distinguished Panelists  
Catharine Stimpson
  Founding Editor of Signs, Barnard College, 1975-1980
Barbara Charlesworth Gelpi
  Editor of Signs, Stanford University, 1980-1985
Barbara Laslett
  University of Minnesota, Co-Editor of Signs, 1990-1995
Ruth-Ellen Boetcher Joeres
  Co-Editor of Signs, 1990-1995
Carolyn Allen
  University of Washington, Editor of Signs, 1995-2000
Kathryn Norberg
  UCLA, Co-Editor of Signs, 2000-2005
"There is a time lag involved in the publication process. In such a dynamic environment, how did you separate out what you wanted to be working with 1 year later and what kind of interruptions happened to your plans, particularly with the internal politics of feminism?"
  Stimpson and Gelpi
  Joeres and Laslett
  Allen and Norberg
"What is your most significant accomplishment?"

This panel discussion received the generous support of the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the Dean for the Humanities, the Department of Women's & Gender Studies, the Institute for Women's Leadership, and the Rutgers University Libraries. Exhibition curators were Kayo Denda, the women's & gender studies librarian, and Fernanda Perrone, the special collections librarian overseeing the SIGNS archive at Rutgers.