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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 1187: T-595

Papers of Gloria Feman Orenstein, 1973-2018


The papers of Gloria Feman Orenstein contain papers, speeches, and lectures by Orenstein on feminist art and artists; surreal art and artists, most notably Leonora Carrington; Sami shamanism; and ecofeminism.


  • 1973-2018


Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research. An appointment is necessary to use any audiovisual material.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Gloria Feman Orenstein is held by Gloria Feman Orenstein. Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.

Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.


1.46 linear feet ((3+1/2 file boxes) plus 1 oversize folder, 45 audiocassettes, 1 archived web site)

The papers of Gloria Feman Orenstein contain papers, speeches, and lectures by Orenstein on feminist art and artists; surreal art and artists, most notably Leonora Carrington; Sámi shamanism; and ecofeminism. Also included are event flyers, newsletters, and clippings about the Woman's Salon for Literature, the Cerridwen Feminist Salon in the Multi-Arts, Le Lieu Dit literary salon in Paris, and the West Coast Women's Salon at the Woman's Building. Orenstein's participation in the 1980 and 1985 UN Conference on Women are also represented. Among those materials are messages from women around the world expressing their visions of the future, which were compiled by Orenstein and Riane Eisler and presented as the Book of Hope at the 1985 conference in Nairobi. Also included is a web site related to the documentary film Gloria's Call featuring Orenstein, which is being captured periodically as part of Schlesinger Library's web archiving program. Files are arranged alphabetically.


Feminist art critic and scholar Gloria Feman Orenstein received a BA in Romance Languages and Literature from Brandeis University in 1959, an MA in Slavic Languages and Literature from Radcliffe College in 1961, and a PhD in Comparative Literature in 1971. She was on the faculty of Rutgers College from 1975 to 1981, where she served as the chair of the Women's Studies Program from 1976 to 1978. In 1981, she joined the faculty of the University of Southern California, where she served as an associate professor, then professor of comparative literature and gender studies until her retirement in 2006. In the 1980s, she studied with the Shaman of Samiland. Orenstein authored numerous papers as well as three books, The Theater of the Marvelous: Surrealism and The Contemporary Stage (1975), The Reflowing of the Goddess (1990), and Multi-Cultural Celebrations: The Paintings of Betty LaDuke, 1972-1992 (1993). She also co-edited Reweaving the World: The Emergence of Ecofeminism (1990). She co-founded the Woman's Salon for Literature, The Cerridwen Feminist Salon in the Multi-Arts, and the West Coast Women's Salon at the Woman's Building and was co-creator of the 1979 Ecofeminist Conference at the University of Southern California.

Physical Location

Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 81-M153, 81-M189, 81-M197, 83-M182, 84-M73, 84-M84, 2022-M28, 2022-M133

The papers of Gloria Feman Orenstein were given to the Schlesinger Library by Gloria Feman Orenstein between June 1981 and July 2022.

Processing Information

Processed: June 2022

By: Johanna Carll

The Schlesinger Library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.  Finding aids may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description
Processing of this collection was made possible by the Alice Jeannette Ward Fund.

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

The preeminent research library on the history of women in the United States, the Schlesinger Library documents women's lives from the past and present for the future. In addition to its traditional strengths in the history of feminisms, women’s health, and women’s activism, the Schlesinger collections document the intersectional workings of race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class in American history.

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