Premilla Nadasen, First Women's Studies Endowed Chair at Brooklyn College, To Be Honored on May 16

The Women's Studies Program and the Shirley Chisholm Center for Research on Women will honor Premilla Nadasen, the first endowed chair in women's studies, at a plaque unveiling in Ingersoll Hall, and luncheon in the State Lounge, Brooklyn College Students' Center, on May 16, 2007.

Endowed Chair Premilla Nadasen

The Women's Studies Endowed Chair came from an anonymous $2-million dollar gift to the Brooklyn College Women's Studies Program, the first ever such gift to a women's studies program in the CUNY system.

During her one-year visiting professorship, which ends at the close of this semester, Nadasen has made an invaluable contribution to women's studies and Brooklyn College. As a result of her hard work, and in collaboration with the women's studies faculty, the number of women's studies majors and minors has doubled.

Nadasen, who was born in South Africa and raised in the United States, is an associate professor of history at CUNYs Queens College. She received her Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1999 and her B.A. from the University of Michigan. Her dissertation on the welfare rights movement was nominated for the Bancroft Award. Her book, Welfare Warriors: The Welfare Rights Movement in the United States (Routledge 2005), outlines the ways in which African American women on welfare forged a feminism of their own out of the political and cultural circumstances of the late 1960s and 1970s. It won the 2005 John Hope Franklin Publication Prize awarded by the American Studies Association for best book in American Studies.

A longtime community activist and scholar, Nadasen has written for Feminist Studies, the Women's Review of Books, Race and Reason, and the Progressive Media Project, and has given numerous public talks about African-American women's history and welfare policy. Her article, "Expanding the Boundaries of the Women's Movement: Black Feminism and the Struggle for Welfare Rights," (Feminist Studies) won the 2002 Berkshire Conference of Women Historians Article Prize.

She is currently working on a textbook with documents on welfare reform in the 20th Century and is also working on a book-length project on the history of domestic worker organizing in the United States.

During Women's History month in March, Nadasen organized a week-long series of events to examine the lives of domestic workers. 
For more information about the Brooklyn College Women's Studies Program contact Coordinator Mojbol Olfnk Okome, at 718-951-4576 or 718-951-5000, ext.1439.