UCSC feminist studies professor featured in fall issue of Ms. magazine

Bettina Aptheker

UCSC Feminist Studies professor Bettina Aptheker is featured in the Fall 2008 issue of Ms. Magazine.

The article spotlights the lack of feminist lectures available online at such sites as YouTube and Apple's iTunes U, a new site dedicated to free academic videos.

The magazine praised the release of Aptheker's recent 17-DVD set-a broadcast quality recording of her acclaimed class Introduction to Feminisms-expressing hope that it will inspire other feminist professors to make their classes available outside of the university setting.

The idea behind Aptheker's DVD set was to make inexpensive DVD copies of the lectures available to high schools, junior colleges, universities, libraries, and individuals.

The topics of her lectures range from racism and violence against women, to body image and women's history.

"We particularly want to get the DVDs into the high schools because domestic violence, childhood abuse, and sexual violence are very pervasive in our society," Aptheker noted. "And mostly there is very little analysis at the high school level of why that is, and how girls and women can protect and empower themselves."

"My class deals with the many gender, race, class, and sexuality interests in people's lives," Aptheker added. "There's a lot of theory available, but it's not often presented in an accessible way that high school students-or incoming university students-can understand."

Aptheker began her career at UCSC as the sole lecturer in the Women's Studies Department (now called Feminist Studies). She became the department's first ladder-rank faculty member in 1987 and was honored with the UCSC Alumni Association's Distinguished Teaching Award in 2001.

Ms. Magazine was founded in 1971 by Gloria Steinem and Letty Cottin Pogrebin. The magazine has become a landmark institution in American journalism in the area of women's rights.

The DVD set is available at: www.introtofem.org.

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