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In the fall of 1975 three UMaine faculty members, Ann Acheson, Jan Kulberg, and Jane Pease, taught UMaine's first class in women's studies: "Women in Society" " interdisciplinary analysis of women's roles from an anthropological, sociological, psychological, and historical perspective." Other courses would follow, but while the courses counted for credit, those who taught the classes were not paid. The Interdisciplinary approach to studying women and the social construction of gender evolved from work spearheaded by Dr. JoAnn Fritsche, Director of Equal Opportunity in developing strategies for the inclusion of women's experiences and perspectives in the educational process. After initially focusing on curriculum development Fritsche moved on to creating a women's studies program. Fritsche established the Women's Development Program which in addition to curriculum work on campus also formed community projects to meet the needs of local women.

In 1981, with financial support from President Silverman, Fritsche established a committee looking at gender inequity on campus. This work led to the eventual founding of the Women in the Curriculum (WIC) program which by 1986 was institutionalized and fully supported by UMaine. The WIC established a planning committee for women's studies. In 2014, Women's Studies became the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program.

Records in this collection contain mostly textual information created and curated by the University of Maine's Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program (formerly known as the Women's Studies Program), but there are also photographic materials.

Publication Date



Education, Race and Gender


Gender and Sexuality

Size of Collection

16 boxes

Dates of Collection


Manuscript Number

UA RG 0006.003.027

Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program (University of Maine) Records, 1970-2016