Throughout Europe we take a very different form. The Northern Europeans-Holland, Germany, Denmark and Scandinavia-have really moved on and used the women's studies courses and departments as windows into the university and aim at deeper transformations of the curriculum. The old idea that if we could actually have gender introduced into every discipline, then we wouldn't need to be here, I think is absolutely true. In countries like Spain and Greece, and Italy too, it is developing very fast, partly because it is new and partly because there has been a tremendous amount of research done on women outside the university. All of a sudden the university is noticing. For the first time in twenty years they are finally taking notice of all this work which has already been done in women's centres outside the institutions. And so they are in the process of bringing in this wonderful stuff which has been happening on the side.
You have to be very careful [with this question]. Women's studies means very different things to different areas. It is also called different things in different countries, from feminist studies, which is what the Danish and the Scandinavians use, to gender studies, which has really had much success, and the more traditional women's studies. To be adequate you would have to be very space and time specific [when asking this question].
I should hope through the European network we are running there is a new impetus coming throughout Europe. If I could have it my way it would be the beginning of a process of change of what universities provide for both men and women.
The generational issue is extremely important, of course-and again it varies greatly in different countries. Over all, however, I think that institutional women's studies curricula are living memories and data- banks which aim at transmitting a political and intellectual radicalism which is rare and, to my mind, precious, in the 90s. The field of education joins together different generations of women and carries on a project of transformation not only of knowledge, but also of life experiences.
Kathleen O'Grady is a doctoral student at the University of Cambridge (United Kingdom) where she is completing a thesis on theory of metaphor and metonymy in the writings of Bulgarian linguist Julia Kristeva. Blessed with eternal optimism inherited from her grandmother, Kathleen looks forward to the day when there is equality for women in every aspect of life.