The department’s first course on women’s history—History 392, Women in History—appeared in the 1976-1978 UW course catalog, developed and taught by American economic historian Diane Lindstrom.
A formal graduate program in American Women’s History was launched in 1981-1982 and attracted twenty-two students by its second year. Its founding director was the pioneer women’s historian Gerda Lerner, who held the Robinson Edwards chair. The program later expanded its geographic scope globally and its thematic breadth to encompass gender and sexuality.
Now called the Program in Gender and Women’s History, it has thirteen affiliated faculty in African, East Asian, European, Latin American, and U.S. history as well as in the history of science, medicine, and technology.