This essay was first presented as a talk at the recent meetings of the American Historical Association, on December 27, 1980. We think it is a bold approach to the issues of "mainstreaming" women's studies, and to the questions raised by advocates of and opponents to general education programs. It is also a plea for the importance of the humanities. We expect it will be controversial and plan to publish responses in subsequent issues.
During the past year, I happened to serve as Chair of Stanford University's Committee on Undergraduate Studies, and in that capacity I was charged with putting the finishing touches on and shepherding through the Faculty Senate a new undergraduate general studies curriculum, which gained a good deal of national and international attention. Despite suggestions that, in the words of a London Times headline, "Stanford Stamps Out Sixties Liberalism," what we did was more modest in both aim and achievement. And it was, I hope, more forward-looking than backward-turning.