What happens to feminism in the university is parallel to what happens to feminism in other venues under economic restructuring: while the impoverished nation is forced to cut social services and thereby send women back to the hierarchy of the family, the academy likewise reduces its footprint in interdisciplinary structures and contains academic feminists back to the hierarchy of departments and disciplines. When the family and the department become powerful arbiters of cultural values, women and feminist academics by and large suffer: they either accept a diminished role or are pushed to compete in a system they recognize as antithetical to the foundational values of feminist priorities of social justice. Collaborative work to nurture diversity and interdisciplinarity does not register as individual accomplishment. This paper considers the necessity of this type of academic work to further the vision of a society committed to the collective values espoused by feminism and other areas in social justice.
This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published in Journal of Gender Studies on May 2, 2014, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/09589236.2014.913976.