The Institute has three main purposes:
(a) promoting research on women, (b) integrating the scholarship on women and
diversity into educational curricula, and (b) engaging in public education and civic engagement related to
women and their well being.
Learning About Women
We want to know more about women's
experiences -- for example, what happens to women and different
categories of women, how do they feel about what is happening, what
creations do they make? Looking at what happens to women, and how women
think and feel about what they see and do helps us understand all people
An original interest in women's
experiences eventually brings us to more difficult questions -- what are
the patterns -- the social institutions and structures -- that
shape women's destinies? And, how do these patterns bring about the
consequences for women that we observe?
Prior to the 1970s, traditional academic
scholars for the most part were not aware of and did not focus on the
experiences women have, and they had little interest in the
social-political-economic contexts in which women grow up and live.
Scholars tended to believe either that women are like men, or that the
distinctive elements in women's lives are minor. Research often
included only men as subjects, in the belief that including women would
distort rather than reveal the basic patterns underlying human
Most people and scholars had viewpoints
about women, but men were more often studied -- men's health, men's
wars, men's literature, men's economic and political maneuverings --
carefully categorized and analyzed, but often without much reference to
the other half of the population.
Beginning in the 1970s, research on women
began to burgeon as a specialty within many academic disciplines, and
funding agencies became aware of the need to include women as subjects,
and to conceptualize research questions as including women's experiences
and contexts. The Institute was established to contribute to that
The Institute for Teaching and Research on Women (ITROW)
at Towson University was founded in 1990 to promote research on women
and the integration of scholarship on women into the curriculum. It
continues Towson University's thirty-year tradition of experience,
program success, and campus commitment to working on women's issues. Through its activities, the Institute enhances the institutional goals of diversity and
inclusiveness as faculty, staff, and students are prepared for
participation in the pluralistic society in which we all live.
The Institute for Teaching and Research on Women has
three fundamental goals:
(1) Promoting research on women, including women in all their diversity, through such activities
Developing and supporting research projects that focus on women.
Sponsoring seminars, conferences, and workshops on women.
Sponsoring a Scholars of the Institute Program.
(2) Assisting faculty, colleges and universities locally, regionally, nationally and
internationally to integrate scholarship on women into their courses and educational curricula
through activities such as:
Providing workshops, seminars, and conferences for Towson and regional faculty.
Providing Summer Institutes dedicated to internationalizing courses and educational curricula, and bringing faculty from various regions of the world together to exchange knowledge and resources.
Publishing resources related to curriculum transformation.
(3) Communicating research results and scholarship on women to the general public and
promoting civil engagement projects through such activities as:
Sponsoring community project related to enhancing the well being of women.
Collaborating with civic and other community organizations in enhancing the well being of women.
Presenting research results on the ITROW web site.