Joan Acker

Feminist scholar Joan Acker (1924-2016) was a leader of the original group that established a center to study women at the University of Oregon. She joined the UO faculty in 1967 after earning her PhD in sociology at this institution. Her books include Doing Comparable Worth: Gender, Class, and Pay Equity (Temple University Press, 1988); Class Questions: Feminist Answers (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2006); and Stretched Thin: Poor Families, Welfare Work, and Welfare Reform (Cornell University Press, 2010), which she coauthored with Sandra Morgen and Jill Weigt.

The Acker-Morgen Memorial Lectureship was established in 2017 to honor the outstanding contributions of these two pioneers of women’s research.

Joan Acker 

Joan Acker

Interview with Joan Acker, 2009 CSWS Annual Review

Part of Radical Change

Remembrances of Joan

“This is truly a great loss. Joan was a giant in CSWS, feminist sociology, and the UO. We will celebrate her life and memory in the fall when we all reconvene.” — Michelle McKinley, Professor of Law, CSWS Director

“Joan is my model of how to age as an intellectual. She never stopped writing academic papers and continued to give lectures all over the world after retirement. She also was acutely perceptive about politics. I remember being at a dinner with her when people started criticizing Barak Obama for his actions in the Middle East, such as drone bombings. She said, ‘Well, he is what we have so it is our responsibility to work with him.’ She had a sense of social reality and her/our place as activists within the world as it is and could be. She will be so missed.” — Julia Lesage, Co-editor and co-founder, Jump Cut: A Review of Contemporary Media; Professor Emerita, English, University of Oregon.

“Joan WAS a giant in CSWS and one of our bench of colleagues who developed women’s studies and furthered women’s status throughout the UO community.” — Anne Laskaya, Associate Professor, English

“Joan was always out there doing what she could for women and never faltered. The work she and Sandra Morgen did on welfare reform was top notch. Joan’s comments always made people sit up and take notice. And I enjoyed Joan’s humor, she always made me laugh. She will be missed.”—Shirley Marc, former CSWS office coordinator

See full memorial in  Around the O