Karen Rowe

roweFounding Director, 1984–88

Founding director Karen Rowe worked with staff, faculty, and students to develop a range of programs at CSW, including colloquia, graduate student grant support, faculty/curriculum transformation projects, affiliated scholars’ programs, and conferences. Under Rowe’s leadership, CSW received grants and support from the Ford Foundation, California Council for the Humanities, NEH, Gould Foundation, and the AAC Consortium. A landmark volume in the area of curriculum transformation, Women of Color and the Multicultural Curriculum: Transforming the College Classroom (edited by Liza Fiol-Matta and Mariam K. Chamberlain), included several CSW research projects funded by the Ford Foundation. The many events sponsored and cosponsored by CSW in its formative years included a conference titled The Dark Madonna: Women, Culture, and Community Rituals; the Women in Science Colloquium Series; Women: Culture, Conflict, and Consensus, the inaugural conference of the California Council of Women’s Programs; and the Women: Culture and Society public lecture series. CSW also created the first Friends of the Center support group during Rowe’s tenure and participated (along with the Center for Asian American Studies and UC Asia Institute) in the first international exchange with Ewha Woman’s University.


Karen E. Rowe is a Professor of English at UCLA. She came to UCLA soon after receiving her Ph.D. from Indiana University in 1971. Rowe received a UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award in 1982 and served as Chair of the Faculty from 1999 to 2003. Her courses include gender, genre, and culture (mainly 17th- and 18th-century American literature), and seminars on women and creativity.