Scrapbooks and Social Awareness: A Self-Curated History of the Oberlin YWCA

Part 1: Domestic Arts     |     Part 2: Student-Faculty Discussions
Part 3: Career Symposia     |     Part 4: Interracial Relations

Introduction     |     Document 2: 1940-1941    |     Document 3: 1944-1945    |     Document 4: 1945-1946


YWCA and YMCA co-hosted many faculty-student discussion series during the interwar years. Faculty wives held these discussions at their homes, but likely the faculty husband facilitated. Topics included Christianity, race the threat of war, dating, and economic concerns. As the war erupted and then raged on, themes shifted to hopelessness and morality, interracial tensions, and labor, while the focus on dating and domesticity shrank. This trend is reflected by these three chosen documents; but when The Oberlin Review covered the Occupations for Women Symposia as seen in Part 2, they focused on the tension between marriage and a career, refocusing the conversation to interpersonal issues.

The following documents provide insight into the intergenerational relationships between faculty and students’ lives, particularly the close trust and support between faculty wives and YW women.