The Bingham Center would like to thank the following sponsors for their generous support of our symposium programming:
- Office of the President
- Office of the Provost
- Women's Studies Program
- Continuing Studies
- Baldwin Scholars Program
- Duke University Libraries
Honoring Dr. Jean Fox O'Barr
“The best knowledge is created in a social context.” — Jean Fox O'Barr
Political scientist and women’s studies scholar Jean Fox O’Barr has been building community at Duke University since 1969. After directing Continuing Education for 11 years, she established the Women’s Studies Program in 1983. O’Barr did groundbreaking work to foster connections between faculty members and with students while fulfilling her roles as an administrator, as the editor of feminist journal Signs and as a published author.
Often an innovator, O’Barr encouraged female faculty members to share their academic and research interests through the Faculty Women’s Network. She also developed a course on gender at Duke that used primary source materials from the University Archives to explore women’s roles at the university since the 19th century. Although O’Barr retired in 2008, she maintains her connection to Duke by teaching the senior seminar for the Baldwin Scholars each fall.
In honor of O’Barr’s influential career at Duke University and her dedication to women’s education — including early education, college and continuing education for adults — the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture is hosting a symposium around this theme. This program is also an opportunity for the many people whose lives O'Barr has touched to give back. O'Barr has designated that all gifts in her honor will support the work of the Bingham Center.
As a co-founder of the Bingham Center, O’Barr was a member of a small group that created the Women's Studies Archivist position in 1988. The center was permanently endowed in 1993 and named the "Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture" in 1999. The center is charged with acquiring, preserving and providing access to published and unpublished materials that reflect the public and private lives of women past and present.
A gift in honor of Jean O’Barr will support the work of our librarians to collect and provide access to books, digital media, manuscripts and photographs that document five centuries of women’s history, as well as support our innovative outreach programs like this symposium. If we receive enough donations, we will create an endowment in Jean O'Barr's name.