Helene Moglen Lecture in Feminism and Humanities

Thanks to generous support from Sheila Namir and Eben Moglen, the Center for Cultural Studies will host The Helene Moglen Lecture in Feminism and Humanities as a biennial event. The inaugural lecture, by Dr. Myra Jehlen, will take place on March 13, 2020 as part of Writing for Living: A Conference in Honor of Helene Moglen. We encourage you to honor Helene’s legacy for years to come by lending your support to this endowment.

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Helene’s Legacy in Feminism and Humanities

Dr. Helene Moglen arrived at UC Santa Cruz in 1978 as a professor of literature, provost of Kresge College, and dean of the Humanities -- the first woman dean in the University of California system. She was a transformative force on campus. In her dual role as dean and provost, she made the Humanities Division a home for several notable academic departments, including the American Studies program -- one of the first of its kind -- and the remarkable History of Consciousness program. Helene was also committed to feminist institution building in order to make feminism and feminist theory flourish on the campus. She guided, first, the establishment of Women’s Studies as a program, serving as chair from 1984 to 1989, and then its reconstitution as the Feminist Studies Department. She also worked tirelessly to combat sexual harassment on campus and beyond.

In 2002, Helene founded the Institute for Advanced Feminist Research (IAFR), a cross-disciplinary, trans-generational collaboration dedicated to bridging academic and political divides, with an emphasis on transnational justice. In 2002, she was appointed to the prestigious Presidential Chair in Literature and directed the chair’s funds towards the IAFR, enabling it to sponsor reading groups, conferences, publication projects, graduate student research, and campus outreach.

Helene was also a vibrant presence in the Center for Cultural Studies and almost every Wednesday, right up until her death, she could be found at the Cultural Studies Colloquium. Indeed, it was her wish that people making posthumous contributions in her name send them to the Center for Cultural Studies. Helene had a major impact on the intellectual and political life of Santa Cruz, and we honor and extend that wish through the Helene Moglen Lecture in Feminism and Humanities.