Wellesley Centers for Women Publication Going Strong after 30 Years

March 1, 2013
covers of past issues of WRB

Women's Review of Books, the forum for serious, informed discussion of new writing by and about women, published by the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) in collaboration with Old City Publishing, is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2013.

“When Women’s Review of Books was launched in 1983, it was a boom time for feminist publishing—of books, newspapers, magazines, and journals, as well as ‘zines, leaflets, manifestos, and graffiti,” Amy Hoffman, WRB editor in chief, writes in the January/February issue. “Little of that survives, but Women’s Review of Books is still hanging on.”

Hoffman notes that even after 40 years of the contemporary women’s movement, feminist scholarship and critical analysis, and women’s creative writing receive little more attention in the mainstream media in 2013 than they had in 1983. While university, small, and trade publishers are releasing an outpouring of interesting, challenging, original books by women, most of these are overlooked by daily newspapers, glossy magazines, and book review publications.

“It is a unique and valued part of our mission to ensure that feminist authors, activists, and women’s studies scholars have a dedicated forum in which to exchange ideas, research, and critical social commentary,” says Layli Maparyan, executive director of WCW. “Currently, we are exploring opportunities to expand our reach to make this important publication accessible to even more audiences across the globe.”

“As the only publication devoted solely to reviewing books by and about women, Women’s Review of Books is an influential voice the field of women’s writing,” notes Ian Mellanby, director of Old City Publishing, which has published Women’s Review of Books with WCW since 2006. ”We are proud to partner with the Wellesley Centers for Women to publish these important reviews of women’s studies books, literary fiction, poetry, memoir, photography, and comics by women. Where else can a reader find such a comprehensive review of women’s publishing?”

Women’s Review of Books has been published by the Wellesley Centers for Women since 1983. Based at Wellesley College, WCW is one of the largest gender-focused research-and-action organizations in the world. Scholars at the Centers conduct social science research and evaluation, develop theory and publications, and implement action programs on issues that put women’s lives and women’s concerns at the center. Since 1974, work at the Centers has generated changes in attitudes, practices, and public policy.