The Downing collection includes memento folders from 1955 through 2006, manuscripts,
personal and professional correspondence, lecture outlines and notes, syllabi, and
recordings of many of the courses she has taught over more than four decades.
Christine Downing (1931-) is a scholar of religion, mythology, depth psychology, and
feminist studies. She married while attending college and was the first married
woman to graduate from Swarthmore. She wrote her dissertation on Martin Buber and
became the first woman upon whom Drew University bestowed a doctorate. Downing began
her exemplary teaching career at Rutgers University in 1963. She moved to California
in 1974 to teach at San Diego State University where she remained for eighteen
years, ten of which she served as chair of the Department of Religious Studies. In
1974, when Dr. Downing became the first woman president of the American Academy of
Religion, she gave her presidential address on "Sigmund Freud and the Mythological
Tradition," a presentation which marked an important early public expression of her
life-long scholarly emphasis on Freud.