Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

Humanizing the Curriculum: Beyond "Add Women and Stir"

Dr Jace Condravy.

Any effort to consider and/or strengthen the role of the humanities in shaping our future and our understanding of what it means to be human must confront the historical and ongoing difficulty of recognizing women as fully human whose contributions and perspectives, though critical, remain largely invisible in our curricula. Despite the growing number of young women as undergraduates in our colleges and universities and the twenty-five years of efforts by feminist educators, universities remain largely patriarchal in nature revealing primarily male administration, predominately male faculty, and a curriculum that remains solidly male in its focus. This proposed paper will review efforts to transform the humanities curriculum so that more than a select portion of humanity will see itself reflected in the pages of textbooks. The presentation will include a discussion of the conflation of the terms "man and human” (Patricia Donahue-White, 1997), the resistance of patriarchal institutions to change (Allan Johnson, 1997), the ineffectiveness of the "add women and stir" approach (Marilyn Schuster and Susan Van dyne, 1983), and the use of gender and race as a framework by which to transform fully our curricula to acknowledge humanity in its most inclusive sense as an active subject in the construction of knowledge.


Dr Jace Condravy  (United States)
Women's Studies Program
Slippery Rock University

Jace Condravy is a professor of English and director of the Women's Studies Program at Slippery Rock University. Her research interests are gender and language and feminist pedagogy.

  • Curriculum transformation

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)