I am sending in this editorial from West Berlin, where, as visiting professor of women's studies at the Kennedy Institute for American Studies, I am teaching two seminars on women writers this summer. Mainly teachers and teachers-to-be are enrolled in the courses.
Major issues are being debated here in Berlin this summer. What is the future of women's studies at the Free University of the Kennedy Institute, where the last of three feminist faculty members will be leaving in March? And where there are no plans for replacing any of the three junior faculty members whose contracts have ended? A formal recommendation will be placed before the (almost entirely male) professoriat, asking that women's studies be institutionalized through the creation of at least one new permanent position. In addition to this effort, two groups of feminists in the community are debating the possible creation of women's studies institutions outside the Kennedy Institute altogether, and supported perhaps by the Berlin city fathers. One of these—envisioned as a Research Institute—will be considering its possible relationship to the Free University. The other will probably continue to discuss how to remain quite separate, since it seeks to serve as an educational center for women without the credentials for university admission.