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Achievements and Battles: Twenty-five Years of CCWHP Nupur Chaudhuri and Mary Elizabeth Perry The founders and subsequent generations of members of the Coordinating Committee on Women in the Historical Profession have worked over the past twenty-five years, in the words of Berenice Carroll , "to change the profession of history, to change historical scholarship , and to change the direction of our own history."1 To bring about such changes, CCWHP has fought many battles and attained impressive achievements. Origin: During the 1960s and the beginning of the 1970s, when many women historians actively participated in movements for student free speech, civil rights, peace, and women's Uberation, the American Historical Association (AHA) remained a "gentlemen's protection society which had ruled the association until then, openly supporting practices of sexism , racism, classism, heterosexism, and antisemitism."2 Acting within this context of social and poUtical agitation, Berenice CarroU in October of 1969 sent a petition with some thirty signatures to the AHA council on behalf of women historians. In response, the AHA council appointed a Committee on the Status of Women (CSW), charged with the duties specified in the petition. At the same time, Berenice CarroU circulated a letter among historians that caUed for improvment in the status of women in the profession. Some twenty-five interested women historians who attended a meeting at the annual conference of the AHA in Washington D.C. in December 1969 agreed to estabhsh an organization to encourage recruitment of women into the historical profession, to oppose discrimination against women in the profession, and to encourage research and instruction in women's history. To reflect the group's concern with both the status of women in the profession and the development of women's history as a scholarly field, the founders named the new organization the Coordinating Committee on Women in the Historical Profession. They presented their resolutions in early 1970 to the CSW and published them in the AHA Newsletter.3 The newly created organization became an affiliated organization of the AHA. Regional and Other Organizations: At the time of its founding, a question had been raised about the relationship between CCWHP and the existing regional organizations, namely the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians (founded in 1926), and the West Coast Historical Conference (founded in 1969, now the Western Association of Women Historians . Upon Sandi Cooper's recommendation, it was decided that CCWHP © 1994 Journal of Women's History, Vol 6 No. 3 (Fall) 98 Journal of Women's History Fall would not seek to affiliate or merge with the regional groups but would ask the presidents of these organizations to work very closely with the CCWHP Board. The new national organization became an umbrella organization reflecting concerns of regional groups as well as individual members . Throughout its twenty-five years, CCWHP and its sister organization, the Conference Group of Women's History (CGWH), have reached out to other organizations to promote the cause of women historians and women's history. In addition to working with its fifteen regional affiliates, CCWHP also established contacts with the American Association for State and Local History, History of Women Rehgious Network, Association for Black Women Historians, Women's History Network, Upper Midwest Women's History Center for Teachers, Women in Theology and Church History, the Society for the Study of Women in Legal History, South Eastern Women's Studies Association, and the Center for American Women and Politics. CCWHP/CGWH has provided an important networking service by acting as a clearinghouse for disseminating information throughout the United States. In the words of Sally Gregory Kohlstedt, "CCWHP performs an important task by maintaining the network to be mobilized."4 AHA Committee on Women Historians: In response to the report of the Rose Committee (CSW) in November 1970, which incorporated many of the points raised in the original petition and resolutions of CCWHP, the AHA established a new permanent Committee on Women Historians (CWH).5 At the 1978 AHA conference, the business meeting adopted a CCWHP resolution to create a half-time position in the Washington office to meet the needs of women and minorities. Often working with the CWH on issues such as employment and boycotting non...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-2036
Print ISSN
1042-7961
Pages
pp. 97-105
Launched on MUSE
2010-03-25
Open Access
No
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