[This is the first in a series of brief essays on various aspects of women's studies. In the Summer issue, Ms. Howe will write on curriculum. We welcome responses, in the form of letters or essays, to Ms. Howe's views.]
In the sixties, I surveyed the free university movement which had spawned in its brief lifetime of some three years upwards of 300 parallel or counter-institutions on or near campuses as diverse as San Francisco State College and the University of Pennsylvania. That movement did not accomplish its short-range goal: to effect change at host institutions. Indeed, those free universities either faded away or were effectively disbanded by their host institutions. On the other hand, the long-range effects of the free university movement may be observed a decade later, not only in field studies programs and internships, but in such "relevant" curricular developments as black studies, ethnic studies and women's studies.