Skip to main content

Dr. Joan M. Jensen papers

Identifier: UA-0098

Scope and Content

The Joan Jensen papers span the years 1976-1994. The bulk of material is concentrated between 1980-1992. The papers represent her academic career at New Mexico State University. The material prior to 1980 is sparse and includes information regarding attendance at conferences and grant proposals. The material following 1991 suggests that Jensen was busy with several book projects. The Joan Jensen papers have been arranged into ten series.

The first series, Curriculum and Vita, consists of one folder, and houses a copy of Professor Jensen's vita from the early 1980's. The vita shows Jensen's prior employment, publications, and educational background before her arrival at New Mexico State University.

The second series, Manuscripts, has been divided into five subseries, appropriately titled after Jensen's book publications. The series includes chapters and books that Jensen eventually published while a professor at New Mexico State University. Most of the typed and book copies have handwritten notes on them from various editors. The book titles are as follows: Passage From India; A Needle, A Bobbin, A Strike: Women Needleworkers In America; Loosening the Bonds: Mid-Atlantic Farm Women, 1750-1850; Promise To The Land: Essay's On Rural Women, and The Army and Internal Security.

The third series, American Farm Women in Historical Perspective Conference, span the years 1982-1984, and offers detailed information on the organization of the conference. The series is arranged in four boxes and covers the conference from its infancy through the final requests for payment months after the conclusion of the conference. The material includes grant proposals, correspondence with participants and panelists, call for papers, paper proposals, local area information, campus information, printed material, financial documents, travel arrangements, conference programs, photographs, letters to and from the New Mexico Endowment for the Humanities, and Jensen's personal notes on conference aesthetics.

The fourth series, Conference Participation, shows Jensen's interests and participation in different Women's Studies conferences throughout the United States. Jensen did not participate in some of the conferences, but was interested in material and ideas generated from the scholarly meetings. The material in this series span the years 1975-1988, and includes paper proposals, conference newsletters, conference programs, journal advertisement, conference correspondence, interoffice memos, vouchers, grant proposals, and travel arrangements. The conferences mentioned in this series include: Oral Tradition Conference, Mogollon Conference, Agriculture Change and Human Value Conference, Women's Role in United States Farms Conference, The National Association for the Cottage Industry, The Women and Food Information Network, Institutions of the West Conference, 4-H Conference, Women and Society Conference, Middle East Oil and New Mexico Conference, Women's West Conference, New Mexico Family and Community Conference, Women's Studies Conference.

The fifth series, Oral History Projects, is divided into two subseries. The material in this series span the years 1980-1984. The first subseries is States, and has been arranged in alphabetical order. The information in this series was collected by the National Homemakers Extension Service and includes oral histories of farm women throughout the United States. The material consists of audio cassette tapes and photocopied transcripts of oral history taken from individual women. Dr. Jensen used this information in the paper she presented at the American Farm Women in Historical Perspective Conference. The second subseries, Oral History Papers includes paper proposals and a dissertation written on oral history.

The sixth series, Professional Activities, is a glimpse inside Jensen's busy professional and academic career. The series is divided into seven subseries. The subseries includes Grant Proposals, New Mexico Humanities Council, American Historians Association, National Endowment for the Humanities, New Mexico Endowment for the Humanities, Organization of American Historians, and Ellis Island. The material in this collection spans Jensen's entire academic career at New Mexico State University (1976-1994) and includes correspondence, financial documents, printed material, committee minutes, grant application, brochures, pamphlets, paper proposals and conference programs. The series includes six boxes and documents Jensen's professional activities outside her commitments at New Mexico State University.

The seventh series, Printed Material, is small and consists of one box of material. These printed materials shows Jensen's interests outside of her immediate academic area. Series material includes Old Time Agriculture Ads, Country Cloth To Coverlets, Trees of San Diego, California State Parks, Enjoy Your Recorder, Tibetan Buddhism, Humanities: The American Farm, No Dust in Heaven, Zuni History, Center for Creative Photography, The American Farm, The Future of Agriculture In The Rocky Mountains, M.C. Escher Clippings, Miscellaneous Newspaper Clippings.

The eighth series, Women's Studies, is small and shows Jensen's desire to incorporate the discipline into the larger historical picture. The series is organized into three folders, and shows the integration of Women's Studies, and Women's History into primary and secondary levels of public education. The material that composes this series includes: newsletters, journal articles, guidebook, and correspondence. The university records for the department can be found in the Hobson Huntsinger University Archives at the Archives and Special Collections Department.

The ninth series, Oral History Tapes includes four tapes with an interview of Gussie Mae Brady. The interview was conducted by Bee Stagl on January 7, 1987. The tapes were assigned the control numbers RG T208.1-T208.4.

The Photographs series is a collection of photographs that Jensen used for book publications. The photographs are arranged into three folders and have been assigned a number in the collection. The second folder contains photo Ms03210008, which has been titled ???Winnowing???. This photo has been restricted by the Library of Congress for the viewing only. No reproduction of this photo may be made unless approved by the Library of Congress.


  • 1976-2000
  • 1934

Language of Materials


Access and Use

Open. All materials in this collection are available for research under supervised conditions in the Research Room.

Copyright. Copyrights associated with materials in this collection have not been transferred to New Mexico State University.

Restrictions. Certain copy restrictions apply to the photographs within the collection.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for compliance with copyright and other applicable statutes.

Copyrights associated with this collection have not been transferred and assigned to New Mexico State University.


Joan M. Jensen was born in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1934. Her family moved to California in 1940. After graduating from high school, Jensen entered the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), where she received her Bachelor's Arts (1957), Master's of Arts (1959), and Ph.D. (1962). Immediately following her graduation from UCLA, Jensen accepted an Assistant Professor position at the United States International University in San Diego. In 1967 she was promoted to Associate Professor, which she held until leaving the university in 1971. In 1974 Jensen accepted a visiting professor position at Arizona State University in Tempe Arizona. She held this position for one year, before returning to UCLA as a visiting lecturer in 1975-1976.

n 1976, Jensen accepted an Assistant Professor position at New Mexico State University, where she remained for the rest of her academic career. She is best known for contributing to the field of Women's Studies, and shaping its direction. In 1978, she was awarded the rank of Associate Professor, and in 1982, full Professor, and appointed Department Head of the History Department, where she remained until 1987. Among her achievements, Jensen organized the American Farm Women In Historical Perspective Conference, which was sponsored by NMSU, and featured scholars and experts in the field of Women's Studies from all over the United States. In 1989, she became the Director for the Program of Women's Studies at New Mexico State University, a position she held until retirement. She retired from teaching in 1994, but remained active professionally and continued her education, receiving a Master's of Arts in Art from New Mexico State University (2000).

Post-Doctoral Study, Research, and Teaching:

  1. Minnesota Historical Society, Research Grant, Summer 2001.
  2. University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma Scholar Leadership Enrichment Program, November 1998.
  3. University of Central Florida, Orlando, Spring 1998, Visiting Distinguished Professor.
  4. Arizona State University, Fall 1995, Study, Native Art of North America.
  5. Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Summer Institute in Western Studies, Summer 1995.
  6. Newberry Library Fellow, Summer 1995.
  7. United States Information Agency, Lecture Tour, India, September 1994.
  8. Senior Fulbright, India, Fall 1992, Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi.
  9. Rockefeller Summer Fellowship, University of Arizona, 1991.
  10. National Endowment for the Humanities: Summer Stipend, 1989; Travel to Collections, 1990.
  11. Senior Fulbright, German, University of Bremen, Spring 1988.
  12. University of Wisconsin, Madison, Visiting Professor, Spring 1987.
  13. Philadelphia Center for Early American Studies, Summer 1982.
  14. Regional Economic History Research Center, Eleutherian Mills, Senior Research Fellow, 1979???1980, Summer 1981.
  15. Newberry Library Summer Institute in Social History and Quantitative Methods, Summer 1979, Fellow.
  16. Institut De Litt??rature et Techniques Artistiques de Masse, Bordeaux, France, Sociology of Literature, 1965-66.
  17. University of Edinburgh, Scotland, Studies in Literature, History, and Philosophy, Summer 1965.

Professional Activities:

  1. Agricultural History Society: Vice President and President, 1991-93; Rural Arts Committee, 1995-97; Saloutos Prize Committee, 1994-1996; Nominating Committee, 1987-89.
  2. American Historical Association: Nominated for President, 1992; Chair, Committee onWomen Historians, 1988-1990.
  3. American Historical Association, Pacific Coast Branch: Vice President and President, 1995-97; Council, 1985-87; Board of Editors, Pacific Historical Review, 1982-1985.
  4. New Mexico Endowment for the Humanities: Council, 1984-89; Secretary, 1986; Award for Excellence in Humanities, 1993.
  5. Organization for American Historians: National Parks Committee, 1995-2000;Program Committee, 1995 Conference; Executive Board, 1988-91; Committee on the Status of Women in the Historical Profession, 1990-91.
  6. Rural Women Studies Association. Co-coordinator, 1997-2000.
  7. Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation: History Committee, 1985-87.
  8. Western Historical Association: Honorary Life Member; Nominating Committee, 1995-96.
  9. Women in the West Museum: National Advisory Committee, 1996-1998.


16 Linear Feet


New Mexico State University History Professor and Department Head and Women's Studies Department Head. The collection spans her eighteen year academic career at New Mexico State University and presents her academic and professional involvement in the field of Women's Studies. Papers include her unpublished manuscripts, academic letters, grant proposals, and related material.


A comprehensive list of Dr. Jensen's professional articles is listed on Pages 3???6 of her vitae (Box 1, File 1)


Contact Information

  1. Archives and Special Collections Department
  2. New Mexico State University Library
  3. P.O. Box 30006
  4. Las Cruces, New Mexico 88003-8006
  5. Phone: (505) 646-3839
  6. Fax: (505) 646-7477
  7. Email:
  8. URL:




  1. Message Carriers: Native American Women Photographers as Storytellers (manuscript in process)
  2. Calling This Place Home: Women on the Wisconsin Frontier, 1850-1925. (manuscript in progress)
  3. One Foot on the Rockies: Women and Creativity in the Modern American West (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1995)
  4. Army Surveillance in America, 1775-1980 (New Haven, CT; Yale University Press, 1991)
  5. Promise to the Land: Essays on Rural Women (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1991)
  6. Passage from India: Asian Indian Immigrants in North America (New Haven, CT.: Yale University Press, 1988)
  7. California Women: A History (San Francisco: Boyd and Fraser, 1987), co-authored with Gloria Ricci Lothrop.
  8. Loosening the Bonds: Mid-Atlantic Farm Women, 1750-1850 (New Haven, CT., Yale University Press, 1986) Received Western Association of Women Historians Sierra Prize, 1987; Old Sturbridge Village Research Library Society-E. Harold Hugo Memorial Book Prize; and nominated for Pulitzer Prize in History. Paperback edition, 1988.
  9. New Mexico Women: Intercultural Perspectives (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1986), co-edited with Darlis A. Miller. Received New Mexico Presswomen's Zia Award, 1986 and Governor's Award for Historic Preservation , 1987.
  10. A Needle, A Bobbin, A Strike: Women Needleworkers in America (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1984), co-edited with Sue Davidson. Paperback edition 1985.
  11. Decades of Discontent: The Women's Movement, 1920-1940 (Westport, CT.: Greenwood, 1983), co-edited with Lois Scharf. Paperback edition. Northeastern University Press, 1987.
  12. With These Hands: Women Working on the Land (Old Westbury: Feminist Press, 1981).
  13. The Price of Vigilance (Chicago: Rand McNally, 1968).


Special Works:

  1. Rural Women, guest editor with Anne B. Effland, Frontiers, 22.1 (2001).
  2. American Rural and Farm Women in Historical Perspective, guest editor with Nancy Grey Osterud, Agricultural History, 67.2 (Spring 1993)
  3. Women's Oral History Two, guest editor with Susan Armitage and Sherna Gluck, Frontiers, 7 (Fall 1983).
  4. Teaching Guide for With These Hands (Old Westbury: Feminist Press/McGraw Hill, 1981.Women's Oral History, guest editor with Sherna Gluck, Frontiers, 2 (Summer 1978).
  5. Military Surveillance of Civilians in America (Morristown, New Jersey: General Learning Press, 1975), module.
Processed by Jerry Wallace
© 2005
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the New Mexico State University Library Archives and Special Collections Repository

Branson Hall
PO Box 30006
MSC 3475
Las Cruces New Mexico 88003 USA