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Visiting Scholars Program


The Blanche, Edith and Irving Laurie New Jersey Chair in Women’s Studies at Douglass College
The Blanche, Edith, and Irving Laurie New Jersey Chair in Women’s Studies brings cutting edge scholars and practioners to campus for one to two-week residencies to share research, give a public lecture and interact with students and faculty associated with Douglass Residential College, the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies and the Institute for Women’s Leadership.

In 1984, The Blanche, Edith and Irving Laurie New Jersey Chair in Women's Studies was established at Douglass College, Rutgers University after the state legislature, with Governor Thomas H. Kean’s support, approved and funded it. The Chair, the first of its kind in the nation, was created to bring outstanding scholars and practitioners in women's studies to campus to conduct their research and interact with students. At Governor Kean’s suggestion that the Chair should be a public/private partnership, Douglass College sought and received a gift of $250,000 from New Brunswick philanthropist Irving Laurie to support the Chair. In the Governor’s official remarks during the 1985 dedication ceremony, he called the establishment of the Laurie Chair a “shining example” of public and private cooperation.

Occupants of the Laurie New Jersey Chair in Women’s Studies at Douglass College have included among others: Alison Jagger, Carol Gilligan, Charlotte Bunch, Paula Giddings, Jacqueline Pitanguy, Svetlana Slapsak, Molara Ogundipe Leslie, Karen Barad, Michele Wallace, Florence Butegwa, Helen Caldicott, Nancy Hartsock and Diana Tietjens Meyers, each occupying the Chair for a minimum of one semester to a maximum of two years. Currently, because of New Jersey state budget constraints, the Laurie Chair residency is one to two weeks.

For more information about the Blanche, Edith and Irving Laurie New Jersey Chair in Women’s Studies, contact Lisa Hetfield at lisahet@rci.rutgers.edu.