Podcast: The Annex



The Annex is a podcast from Fifteen Minutes, The Harvard Crimson’s magazine, exploring why so often the histories of higher education appear “womanless,” and that of Harvard appears “Radcliffe-less.”



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In 2020, Harvard University rebranded the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study as the “Harvard Radcliffe Institute” — a change which many saw as the latest incident in a centuries-long history of the men-dominated University subordinating the legacy of Radcliffe College, the long-time women’s college at Harvard. Radcliffe College started as a small institute labeled “The Harvard Annex,” and many fear it, and the status of women at the University, has been returned to the status of an appendage.

The Annex is a podcast from Fifteen Minutes, The Harvard Crimson’s magazine, exploring why so often the histories of higher education appear “womanless,” and that of Harvard appears “Radcliffe-less.” With dozens of interviews with alumnae, professors, and more, and covering over 100 years of women’s struggles at, for, and against the University, host Matteo Wong asks: Who has the power to write Harvard’s history, and how is that changing?

I. Harvard’s ‘Womanless’ History

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Radcliffe College, for many decades the women’s college at Harvard, began as “The Harvard Annex,” both physically and symbolically secondary to the men-only Harvard. In this episode of The Annex, host Matteo Wong traces connections between Radcliffe’s origins and the present-day controversy over the rebranding of the “Harvard Radcliffe Institute.”

See the episode page here.

II. The Non-merger Merger

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It was only in 1999 that Radcliffe and Harvard fully merged into one school. In this episode of The Annex, host Matteo Wong continues the story of the decades-long struggle for women’s college at the University, zooming in on the series of “non-merger merger” agreements in the 1970s that in theory, but less so in practice, gave women equal educational opportunities.

See the episode page here.

III. The Unnaming

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Who writes Harvard’s history, and who gets to be included? In this episode of The Annex, host Matteo Wong dives into the a controversy in which hundreds of alumnae have accused the University of erasing women’s and Radcliffe’s contributions to Harvard by renaming — or “un-naming” — the Harvard Radcliffe Institute.

See the episode page here.

— Matteo N. Wong is the Magazine Chair of the 148th Guard. He can be reached at matteo.wong@thecrimson.com. Follow him on Twitter @matteo_wong.