Research Areas

Women’s Studies; Feminism; Women and Small Groups; Women and Leadership; Libraries and Social Change


Ed.D., Boston University

M.S., Simmons College

B.S., Simmons College


Curriculum Vitae (pdf)

Janet Lois Freedman

Janet Lois Freedman

Janet Lois Freedman

Janet Freedman served as Dean of Library Services and Professor of Education at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. She chaired the Department of Education, directed the Women’s Studies Program and co-directed the university’s Center for Jewish Culture.

Her interest in exploring the influence of consciousness raising grows from her own efforts to implement the goal of that process: to link personal experience to meaningful professional and social action.

Janet initiated and participated in many projects to advance the role of libraries as vehicles for social engagement and change, and to create services for women on campus and in the community. She sought to apply a feminist model of leadership to her work as a Dean and faculty member at UMass Dartmouth, promoting a respectful, diverse campus community, advocating for the personal and professional growth of staff and encouraging the active participation of students in shaping their own learning.

She has learned much from community voluntarism, including work with the New Bedford Women’s Center and Jewish Federation of Greater New Bedford, and tutoring in area schools.

Current Projects

An investigation of women and small groups, with a focus on consciousness raising groups and groups that succeeded these. I will explore how such groups differ or offer continuity with the structure and function of consciousness raising, and consider if it might be useful to revive the consciousness raising process as a way to revitalize a critical, activist feminist movement.

Representative Publications

Freedman, Janet. Toward a New Era of Consciousness Raising. North Carolina:  McFarland & Company (forthcoming).

Freedman, Janet. “Women’s Centers/Women’s Studies Programs: Collaborating for Feminist Activism,” with Juli Parker. Womens Studies Quarterly 27 (1999): 114-121.