Academic housework? Women professors at the University of New Zealand 1911-1961

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Higher education for women students and women academics was besieged with structural inequalities. From its inception, the University of New Zealand (1871-1961) drew on the patriarchal traditions of the British universities that linked the Academy with men's scholarly and professional worlds. The establishment of a Department of Home Science offered the university the possibility of proclaiming that 'no distinction of sex' existed in terms of entry and access by scholarly women to this elite institution. In this 'academic kitchen', scholarly women who exemplified appropriate feminine behaviour taught Nutrition, Clothing and Home Management; subjects that were deeply connected with women's domain. This article offers a (re)interpretation of the educational activities of the first generation of women professors and highlights the extent to which these scholarly women actively worked to create a community of intellectual women, thereby subverting institutional intentions for the 'appropriate' higher education of women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-127
Number of pages13
JournalNew Zealand Journal of Educational Studies
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2007
Externally publishedYes


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