Bowdoin College to Examine the History of Women on Its Campus

Jennifer Scanlon, professor of gender and women’s studies at Bowdoin College, is teaching a course this semester entitled, “Forty Years: The History of Women at Bowdoin.” Students enrolled in the course will search the college’s archives for information on the establishment of coeducation at Bowdoin and interview women alumnae about their experiences as the first women on campus.

The project will also delve into the role of women on the Bowdoin campus prior to coeducation. The class will develop a Web site to present their research on the history of women at Bowdoin. The site will include documents, photographs, and streaming oral histories. One document that will be included is a copy of a page from the student newspaper in 1890, shown below, that included the following poem:

We’re men here in college, my dear,

You can’t comprehend us, I fear,

Ha, Ha! little girl, you’re in sweet little churl,

But you can’t come to Bowdoin, oh, no!


You’re a wise little girl, so they say,

You’re pert and pedantic and gay,

You may look o’er the wall at the old college hall,

But you can’t come to Bowdoin, oh, no!


Your pride is half feigned, learned miss,

I suspect you’d respond to a kiss,

There, there little minx, don’t pose like a sphinx,

But you can’t come to Bowdoin, oh, no!


This life here at College, kind maid,

Has a charm so unique, I’m afraid,

It hardly would blend with a bustle and a bend,

So you can’t come to Bowdoin, oh, no!



Filed Under: Women's Studies


RSSComments (0)

Leave a Reply