The first women’s studies course at the University of Michigan, one of the first of its kind in the country, was organized by a group of volunteer female professors in 1971, just as the women’s rights movement was sweeping the country. The interdisciplinary course, titled “Introduction to Women’s Studies,” was in response to the absence of women in the academic disciplines. The Women’s Studies Program was approved by the university in 1973 and has grown academically ever since, offering joint Ph.D.s in the 1990s, receiving departmental status in 2007 and adding another major — gender and health — in 2016. The original pilot course, now called “Women’s Studies 240,” is still the foundational course for the major.
— Adapted from “Women’s Studies”