Canadian Committee on Women’s History (CCWH)
Since its inception in 1975, the Canadian Committee on Women's History (CCWH) has promoted teaching and research, and fostered a sense of community among scholars of women's and gender history in Canada . Each year our Chair and Treasurer, as well as representatives from across the country, write reports that highlight activities and accomplishments that support this mandate. Thank you to everyone who contributed news this year, and my special thanks to Christophe Horguelin for the translation.
Katrina Srigley, Nipissing University
Associate Chair, CCWH
Report from the Chair
This newsletter documents some of the many things that women historians and historians of women have done in Canada during the 2006-7 year. For thirty-two years, the CCWH has worked to support and encourage the work of women's history and women historians. How we have done so has changed over the years, and will no doubt continue to do so as the role and place of women's and gender history grows and shifts.
The CCWH's mandate remains the same: to co-ordinate and promote the work of women historians and women's and gender history. At the 2007 meetings of the Canadian Historical Association in Saskatoon we are co-sponsoring or sponsoring a highly reputable four sessions, including a flagship roundtable on the relationship between women's history and public history. What happens when women's history goes public or fails to do so?
In other ways, this year has been devoted to considering how the CCWH might best serve a changing membership with changing needs and aspirations. The survey conducted in 2006 by Lisa Chilton and Catherine Carstairs has helped us identify some of the ways that the CCWH might do this. This year's University of Saskatchewan meeting will feature the first ever CCWH wine and cheese reception, held the evening of 28 May 2007, from 5 to 7pm, in the University of Saskatchewan Faculty Club Â“Fireplace Room.Â” All women historians and history students and historians or history students of women and gender are welcome. Please come, make new friends, reconnect with old ones and help support the Barbara Roberts Fund.
How our website might better serve the CCWH's goals remains an issue worth considering. The CCWH has acknowledged the significance of online resources to our work but has been limited by the realities of a precariously funded organization forced to rely on freelance webspinners and volunteer labour. The return of Christine Ferguson of Nippising University as the CCWH webspinner for 2007-8 is a welcome one, and with her help we look forward to a more regularly updated, more useful, and more visited website.
With historian Diana Pederson and librarian Kevin Stranack the CCWH has also been working on a proposal to transform Diana's remarkable Changing Women, Changing History: A Bibliography of the History of Women of Canada (1996) and the updates to it that have been posted on the CCWH website into one highly usable, searchable, and bilingual database that would be hosted by the CCWH site. This will be a significant resource for researchers and students alike.
I would like to thank everyone on the CCWH executive. Last year's chair, Tamara Myers, was always ready to give assistance and guidance. The CCWH's work has been aided financially by funds made available by Richard Sigurdson, Dean of Arts, University of Manitoba, and by the Department of History, University of Manitoba, and has been supported by the Canada Research Chairs Programme.
Research Chair in Western Canadian Social History,
University of Manitoba
Report from the Secretary-Treasurer
The CCWH is again in solid financial shape. We will send out membership reminders to the listserv before the Annual General Meeting, and are always happy to take membership contributions in person at the CHA conference in May! In past years, faculty members have been quite generous in their support of graduate students, and I encourage all faculty members to consider donating the extra $10 to sponsor a student membership. This helps us to expand our membership base, and also helps to sustain the mentoring role that is so important in the field of women's history.
Please feel free to send your membership payments to me at the following address:
Dept. of Women's Studies
8888 University Drive
Simon Fraser University
Burnaby BC V5A 1S6
Lara Campbell, Simon Fraser University
Secretary Treasurer, CCWH
Report from the Independent Scholar
In my final report as the Independent Scholars' representative, I would like to reiterate that independent scholars make up a dynamic group of women's historians in Canada . While neither tenured professors nor students, they contribute to the profession in research, writing, publishing, (some of whom have been recipients of book awards), and part-time teaching, as well as in their work in a variety of positions and settings. We rely on and employ independent scholar Diana Pedersen as the organization's excellent bibliographer. Unfortunately, communication amongst each other and with the CCWH continues to be difficult largely because some members of this diverse group are attached to a variety of institutions while others are without any affiliation.
Clearly a need exists to encourage better links between independent scholars both to honour their achievements and to address some of the difficulties associated with an independent status. One particular problem is funding. Without access to it, the costs involved in attending annual meetings are prohibitive for many and prevent them from participating in all CCWH activities including round table presentations at the CHA meetings. Once again, I encourage independent scholars to have a voice in the CCWH at the same time that all of us must seek ways to facilitate their involvement in this important professional organization.
Mary Anne Poutanen
Independent Scholar Representative, CCWH
Report from Graduate Students
Doctoral candidates Amélie Bourbeau (Université du Québec à Montréal) and Elizabeth Kirkland ( McGill University ) both took part in international conferences. On April 27, 2007, Amélie Bourbeau gave a paper entitled Â“Les parcours variés de la Â‘professionnalisation' de l'assistance privée à Montréal (1930-1950)Â” at an international meeting in Cordoba , Spain : Modernité, citoyenneté, déviances et inégalités. Pour une analyse comparative des difficultés du passage à la modernité citoyenne . Elizabeth Kirkland's paper, Â“Politesse and Politics: The Canadian Suffrage Debate and the Case of Montreal,Â” was presented in Finland on October 16, 2006, at a University of Tampere conference called Suffrage, Gender and Citizenship. International Perspectives on Parliamentary Reforms . Elizabeth Kirkland also published Â“A Home Away from Home: Defining, Regulating, and Challenging Femininity at the Julia Drummond Residence in Montreal , 1920Â–1971,Â” Urban History Review/Revue d'histoire urbaine 34, 2 (March 2006): 1-17.
Doctoral candidate Sonya Roy ( McGill University ) edited a special issue on gender history for Les Cahiers d'histoire , the student journal of the Department of History at Université de Montréal (25, 2, winter 2006). Included were contributions by doctoral candidate Élise Detellier (Université de Montréal), Â“Le genre du sport;Â” Isabelle Malo, M.A. (Université de Montréal), Â“Représentations physiques des hommes et idéal masculin. Châtelaine , 1960-1975;Â” Laurie Laplanche, M.A. student (Université de Montréal), Â“Mary Wollstonecraft: Droit des femmes, raison et éducation à la fin du XVIII e siècle;Â” and Hélène Rompré, doctoral candidate (Université de Montréal), Â“Sainteté et dissension: Deux voix féminines au XVII e siècle. Marie de l'Incarnation (1599-1672) et Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (1651-1695).Â”
Ève-Marie Lampron, doctoral candidate at Université de Montréal, contributed two entries for Bernard Cook's Women and War: A Historical Encyclopedia from Antiquity to the Present ( Santa Barbara , ABC-CLIO, 2006). They are: Â“French Revolution, Impact of War on Women's ProtestÂ” and Â“Fernig Sisters.Â” On June 6, 2006, at a McGill symposium sponsored by the Graduate Group for Feminist Scholarship, Tracer les études féministes/Mapping Feminist Scholarship , Ève-Marie gave a paper called Â“Solidarités féminines, solidarités féministes? Réflexions sur le cas du XVIII e siècle européen.Â” With Geneviève Pagé, a doctoral candidate in women's studies at the University of Maryland , she also published Â“Strangers in an Estranged World: Radical Feminists in the Academy,Â” Canadian Women Studies , 25, 3-4: 72-78.
Loralee Edwards is completing her masters in Women's Studies. Her research focuses on identifying and documenting feminist, cultural activist art collectives operating on the prairies between 1980 and 2005. Arguing that cultural activism is an important barometer of the social and political climate of a region, this research analyzes the activities of feminist collectives to record a history of their events and structures and recover and measure the political and social climates that have prompted these collectives to take social action. Using this research, she has organized a multi-event archive exhibition: Sediments of Pleasure: unearthing feminist activism by art collectives on the Canadian prairies in the last 25 years to take place September 2008. This project features six feminist collectives: ( )ette (pronounced blankette) Collective, Adamt Eve, Finger in the Dyke, Herland, The Saskatoon Women's Calendar Collective, and Sugar and Splice. This scope of this project includes: a multi-media archival exhibition, unveiling of a website, and a speaker discussion panel. L. Edwards also attended and presented at Feminism's in the Third Wave organized by the Women's Centre and Women's Studies at the University of Alberta . At this conference, she presented a 45 minute documentary titled Vignettes of the ( )ettes . This documentary chronicled the history and actions, as well as investigating power and conflict, of The ( )ette Collective . L. Edwards sat on the organizing committee of the inaugural Graduate Student Association Research Conference 2007 at the University of Lethbridge . At this conference she presented a videoposterzine titled Experimenting with Feminism , which was a presentation of experimental documentary that presented a sample of current feminist identity discourses received from women interviewed about the feminist art collectives. This videoposterzine, a new visual mediazine she created, was in the spirit of the paper zine used by feminist and activists for years. L. Edwards is also a member of a feminist collective in Lethbridge started by four undergraduate students. They are in the midst of organizing their second feminist film festival in Lethbridge , Alberta . This festival partners with the Women's Studies and Fine Art Departments . This year the festival will also travel to small towns on the rural prairies armed with a computer and projector and set up impromptu screenings in public parks.
The ( )ette Collective was founded by four women Â– at the time, all were art students in the University of Lethbridge Faculty of Fine Arts, their membership now includes five. They are a cultural activist group with a mandate of promoting feminist ideology through individual art practices and public organization. For four years now, the collective has been organizing events and actions that interrogate language as a site of power and that support art-making as a viable forum for public debate and political change. The ( )ette Collective strives to assert their voices into the din of social conservatism and economic bullying that pervades our current political landscape.
Élise Detellier, doctoral candidate, Université de Montréal
Elizabeth Kirkland, doctoral candidate, McGill University
Graduate Students Representatives, CCWH
Report from the Atlantic Region
Wendy Churchill, now a faculty member at the History Department of the University of New Brunswick, was awarded the Hannah Millenium History of Medicine Doctoral Thesis Award for 2006 for her Ph.D. dissertation Â“Female Complaints: The Medical Diagnosis and Treatment of British Women,1590-1740Â” (PhD from McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, 2005).
Lianne McTavish, who is now at the University of Alberta, used a SSHRC grant to fund a web site on the history of women in the New Brunswick Museum entitled: Â“Progress and Permanence: Women and the New Brunswick Museum,1880-1980.Â” The website is now complete, and may be accessed at www.unbf.ca/womenandmuseum .
The UNB History department hosted a symposium in which Professor Joy Parr presented preliminary findings from her research on the environmental and social implications of the creation of the Gagetown military base in the 1950s. Joy's paper was entitled Â“Unsettled: Woods, Meadows and Memory of North Atlantic Alliances at Gagetown.Â”
Sasha Mullally curated an exhibit on rural women doctors for Mount Holyoke University last spring which was on display into the fall of 2006. The exhibit was called: Â“Everlastingly Sticking at It Brings Success?: The life of country doctor, Mary Phylinda Dole, M.D..Â” This exhibition was a part of the traveling exhibition entitled, Changing The Face of Medicine: Celebrating America 's Women Physicians , which is funded by the National Library of Medicine (US). Sasha presently holds a Hannah Post-doctoral Fellowship at the Gorsebrook Institute at Saint Mary's University.
Lisa Chilton in the History Department at the University of Prince Edward Island has a monograph coming out with the University of Toronto Press in May 2007. The book is titled: Agents of Empire: British Female Migration to Canada and Australia , 1860-1930 .
Lisa Chilton, University of PEI
Atlantic Region Representative, CCWH
Report from the Prairies
Sarah Carter has joined the University of Alberta Department of History and Classics and Faculty of Native Studies (as of July 1, 2006) as Henry Marshall Tory Chair. Sarah's recent publications include an introduction to a new edition of Georgina Binnie-Clark's 1914 Wheat and Woman (University of Toronto Press, 2006) and an article Â“Britishness, Â‘Foreignness', Women and Land in Western Canada, 1890s - 1920s,Â” in Humanities Research vol. 13, no. 1 (2006). She also gave the James A. Jackson Memorial Lecture at the University of Manitoba on March 6, 2007 called Â“Magnifying the Great Land Rush: The Widows of Wood Mountain and Other Explorations of Gender and Land in the Borderlands of Saskatchewan and Montana, 1870s - 1920s.Â”
Nancy Janovicek from the University of Calgary has two articles out this year: Â“Â‘If it saves one life, all the effort . . . is worthwhile': Women's Organizing Against Wife Abuse, Moncton ,1979-1987.Â” Acadiensis 35, 2 (Spring 2006): 27-45; and Â“Oral History and Ethical Practice: Towards Effective Policies and Procedures.Â” Journal of Academic Ethics , (2006).
Carol Williams from the University of Lethbridge has a forthcoming article titled, "Beyond illustration: Illuminations of the Photographic Â‘ frontier,'Â” on the use of historical photographs as primary sources in the Journal of the West . She has also written separate catalog essays on two senior Canadian women artists, one titled "Thrift and Drift: Dagmar Dahle ' s reveries of nature, culture, class, and loss" ( Lethbridge : Southern Alberta Art Gallery, forthcoming 2007) and the other titled, "Muscular tongue, strident assertion: the work of Rebecca Burke" (Sackville: Owens Art Gallery , 2006).
Amy Shaw has been appointed to a tenure-track position in Canadian history at the University of Lethbridge .
James Naylor writes that Brandon University has a new major and honours program in Gender and Women's Studies that was approved last year: Â“Until this point, we had only offered a minor. Two new positions were approved in the program, one historian and one sociologist. The history position was to be in the area of gender in transnational perspective. We hired Patricia Harms , an historian of Guatemalan women who, originally from Manitoba , is current finishing her degree in history at Arizona State University .Â”
Lynn Kennedy, University of Lethbridge
Prairie Representative, CCWH
Report from Québec
There was a series of events linked to Professor Christine Bard's (Université d'Angers, France ) visit to Québec in the fall. She presented two papers in Montréal. One of them, Â“Trouble dans le genre vestimentaire XIXe-XxesÂ” was held at Université de Montréal on September 16, 2006, and was followed by a group discussion and a lunch at a nearby restaurant. Many thanks to Andrée Lévesque and Denyse Baillargeon for participating to the organization of this activity, among others. The CCWH collaborated with the Montreal History Group (MHG), the Institut de Recherches et d'Études féministes (IREF) of the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM), and the history department of the Université de Sherbrooke on that occasion. Other activities with Professor Bard included a presentation and a discussion of the virtual women's history museum, Muséa , with Isabelle Lamy.
Congratulations for Denyse Baillargeon (Université de Montréal), whose book, Un Québec en mal d'enfants. La médicalisation de la maternité, 1910-1970 (Remue-Ménage : 2004), received another prize. She was awarded the Prix Jean-Charles-Falardeau for the best French-language book in social sciences (2005-2006).
Congratulations as well to Magda Fahrni (Université du Québec à Montréal) who was awarded the Clio-Québec prize at the last CHA Congress (York) for her book, Household Politics : Montreal Families and Postwar Reconstruction (University of Toronto Press : 2005).
Conferences at the provincial, national and European levels were well attended by Québec women's historians. Among others :
Hébert, Karine (Université du Québec à Rimouski), Elsie Reford. Genre, classe, espace à Montréal, 1880-1920", paper presented at the 'Université Libre de Bruxelles, Centres d'études canadiennes, March 12, 2007.
Participation of Denyse Baillargeon, Magda Fahrni, Elizabeth Kirkland, Andrée Lévesque and Amélie Bourbeau at the Cordoba international congress, Modernité, citoyenneté, déviances et inégalités : pour une analyse comparative des difficultés du passage à la modernité citoyenne (Canada, Espagne, France, Belgique) , April 2006.
Participation of Denyse Baillargeon, Andrée Lévesque, Magda Farhni, Suzanne Morton and Amélie Bourbeau at a conference held in Barcelona, Control Social, Historia i Proteccio de Dades al Québec i a Catalunya , May 2006.
The books and articles published since last year appear, as usual, in the bibliography available on the CCWH's website.
Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM)
Quebec Representative, CCWH
Report from British Columbia
The stormy coastal weather did little to dampen the fires of British Columbia 's Canadian women's historians.
In 2006 Sharon Wall took up a position as Assistant Professor in the History Program at the University of Northern British Columbia .
Mary-Ellen Kelm began her tenure as a Canada Research Chair in the Department of History at Simon Fraser University . Her recent publications include The Letters of Margaret Butcher: Missionary: Imperialism on the North Pacific Coast ( Calgary : University of Calgary Press , 2006) & with Lorna Townsend, In the Days of our Grandmothers: A Reader in Aboriginal Women's History in Canada (UTP, 2006).
Tamara Myers became the newest member of the history department at the University of British Columbia . Her book Caught: Montreal 's Modern Girls and the Law, 1869-1945 was released last year by the University of Toronto Press . She and Mona Gleason have established the History of Children and Youth website: http://www.edst.educ.ubc.ca/HCYG/ and, with the help of Veronica Strong-Boag, they have also created the Neil Sutherland Prize for the best article in the history of children and youth which will be awarded at the CHA's 2008 meeting.
The very popular Women's History Network of B.C. Conference held its annual meeting in September. The 2006 theme was Historical Perspectives on Women and the Visual Arts in B.C. and as usual, attracted a lively crowd of local and professional historians. The 2007 conference will be held in Vancouver and focuses on the history of Women and Health Care.
In the spring of 2007, Lara Campbell and Jolene Cummings started Herstory Cafe, an informal women's history gathering in cafes around downtown Vancouver . SFU's Willeen Keough presented Â“The Widow's Curse: Irish-Newfoundland Women and Conflict Management on the Southern Avalon" to a packed house.
Publications released in 2006 by British Columbia 's women historians of Canada include:
Marianne Ainley, Â“Gendered Careers: Women Science Educators at Anglo-Canadian Universities, 1920-1980.Â” In Paul Stortz and E. Lisa Panayotidis, eds., Historical Identities: The Professoriate in Canada ( Toronto : University of Toronto Press, 2006).
Cameron Duder, Â“Â‘Two Middle-Aged and Very Good-Looking
Females That Spend All Their Week-Ends Together': Female Professors and
Same-Sex Relationships in Canada , 1910-1950.Â” In Paul Stortz and E. Lisa Panayotidis, eds., Historical Identities: The Professoriate in Canada ( Toronto : University of Toronto Press, 2006).
Willeen Keough, The Slender Thread: Irish Women on the Southern Avalon, 1750-1860 ( New York : Columbia University Press, 2006, www.gutenberg-e.org/keough).
---. Â“The Â‘Old Hag' Revisits St. Brigid: Irish-Newfoundland Women and the Spiritual Life of Southern Avalon Communities,Â” in Weather's Edge: A Compendium of Women's Lives in Newfoundland and Labrador , ed. Linda Cullum, Carmelita McGrath, and Marilyn Porter (St. John's: Killick Press, 2006): 11-22.
---. Â“Â‘Now you vagabond [w]hore I have you': Plebeian Women, Assault Cases, and Gender and Class Relations on the Southern Avalon,1750-1860,Â” in Two Islands: The Legal Histories of Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island , ed. Christopher English ( Toronto : University of Toronto Press with the Osgoode Society, 2005): 237-71.
---. Â“Ethnicity as Intercultural Dialogue in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Newfoundland .Â” Canadian Journal of Irish Studies / Revue canadienne d'études irlandaises 31, no.1 (Spring 2005): 18-28.
Tina Loo, States of Nature: Conserving Canada 's Wildlife in the Twentieth Century ( Vancouver : UBC Press, 2006).
Alison Prentice, Â“Boosting Husbands and Building Community: The Work of Twentieth-Century Faculty Wives,Â” in Paul Stortz and E. Lisa Panayotidis, eds., Historical Identities: The Professoriate in Canada ( Toronto : University of Toronto Press, 2006).
---. Â“CanadaÂ” in Mary Spongberg, Ann Curthoys, and Barbara Caine, eds., Companion to Women's Historical Writing (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005).
Veronica Strong-Boag, Finding Families, Finding Ourselves: English Canada Confronts Adoption from the 19th Century to the 1990s ( Toronto : Oxford University Press, 2006).
Cheryl Warsh, and V. Strong-Boag, eds. Children's Health: International Historical Perspectives ( Waterloo : Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2006).
Finally, we would like to remind everyone that the 2008 CHA Conference will be held at UBC June 2-4. Keep your eyes peeled for the Call For Papers. The organizing committee is looking for good proposals for papers and sessions!
Elise Chenier, Simon Fraser University
British Columbia Representative, CCWH
Report from Ontario
Assuming that what is reported here is merely the tip of the iceberg, so to speak, historians of women and gender in Ontario have been very busy this past year and have exciting plans on the horizon for the year to come. Thanks to all who have submitted news and information for this year's newsletter. I look forward to the year ahead and to continuing to serve as CCWH regional rep for Ontario .
Â“New Directions in Women's Material Culture and Public History,Â” Canadian Museum of Civilization (Ottawa/Gatineau), October 31 st 2006.
In October 31 st , 55 public historians gathered to discuss these issues at the Canadian Museum of Civilization at a conference entitled Â“New Directions in Women's Material Culture and Public History.Â” The event was organized to bring together scholars from a variety of disciplines (archaeologists, historic building preservationists, academics, museum historians, archivists and other public historians).
Intended as a first step towards organizing a national working group on women's public history, the conference was a success. Participants from fifteen different institutions gathered to discuss, debate, and share their ideas about the ways in which women's history is made public. Though the bulk of those attending came from the National Capital Region, several participants made their way from as far away as Alberta to take part. Many more wrote to show their support (there were even some letters from Australia and England ) and to request that they be included in future events.
Seven short discussion papers were followed by two question periods and an afternoon workshop session. The majority of the papers focused on the ways Canadian institutions represent women's history. The presentations, drawn from the professional experiences of the panelists, highlighted a number of common challenges faced by a selection of large Canadian institutions. Sharon Reilly ( Manitoba Museum ), Dianne Dodd (Parks Canada), Myron Momryk (recently retired from Library and Archives Canada), Laura Brandon ( Canadian War Museum ) and Christina Bates ( Canadian Museum of Civilization) each touched on their own projects related to the study of women's public history. Two theoretical papers, presented by Phaedra Livingstone (Ryerson University) and Krista Cooke (Canadian Museum of Civilization), looked at structural issues within public history institutions that restrict their ability to tell women's stories.
Canadian Museum of Civilization
Women Teaching, Women Learning: Historical Perspectives ( Toronto : Inanna Publications, 2006)
In response to my query for newsletter submissions, Alison Prentice wrote that although she's not from Ontario anymore ... she did want to include mention of an edited collection put together in her honour by two dear friends, Elizabeth M. Smyth and Paula Bourne. Women Teaching, Women Learning: Historical Perspectives ( Toronto : Inanna Publications, 2006) was launched at last year's Congress at York , and, in Alison's words, Â“includes lots of wonderful essays by friends and former students.Â” Margaret Conrad ( University of New Brunswick ) cited on the publishers website, writes: Â“This is a splendid tribute to Alison Prentice, a pioneer in the fields of social and women's history. Each of the ten essays by her colleagues and students offers a different entry point into topics relating to women as teachers and learners and reminds readers not only of the relevance of the past to our present condition but also of the great pleasure that can be derived by reading history that is well-researched and accessibly-written. I consumed it in one gulp.Â”
Gatekeepers: Reshaping Immigrant Lives in Cold War Canada (Between the Lines, 2007).
On January 18 th , 2007 at New College Â– home to the Institute of Women's and Gender Studies at the University of Toronto Â– Between the Lines launched Franca Iacovetta's latest work, Gatekeepers: Reshaping Immigrant Lives in Cold War Canada . The lounge was packed, speeches were brief but heartfelt, and the wine flowed. According to the publisher, Gatekeepers examines how dominant bourgeois gender and Cold War ideologies of the day shaped attitudes towards new Canadians. Iacovetta shows how the newcomers themselves were significant actors who influenced Canadian culture and society, even as their own behaviour was being modified. Generously illustrated, Gatekeepers explores a side of Cold War history that has been left largely untapped. It offers a long overdue Canadian perspective on one of the defining eras of the last century .
Â“ New World Coming: The Sixties and the Shaping of Global Consciousness,Â” Queen's University June 13 th -16 th 2007.
This international and interdisciplinary conference will bring together over 200 scholars, artists and filmmakers. The program features topics as diverse as the history of environmental consciousness, the New Left and the New Right, popular music, Third World decolonization and liberation movements, and the politics of sex and race. Our aim is to foster a dialogue on the interconnected nature, and present day legacy, of the various forms of culture and movements which characterized Â“The 'Sixties." Plenary speakers include Sheila Rowbotham, Rabab Abdulhadi, Varda Burstyn, Alice Echols, Patrizia Gentile, Tom Hayden, Lillian Allen and Amiri Baraka. Program and registration information is available at www.queensu.ca/history/News/NewWorldComing.htm
Â“From Multicultural Rhetoric to Anti-Racist Action,Â” Munk Centre, University Toronto , October 27 th and 28 th , 2007.
In the decades since Canada's adoption of official multiculturalism, multiculturalism has come to mean many things to many people: it represents a cornerstone of Canada's national identity in the contemporary period; it has received sustained attention from government, policy-makers, academics, and the media in Canada and abroad; and it has also been the object of successive and sometimes fierce waves of critique as a failed social and political experiment. In the post-9/11 era, the debate has once again been reframed, and the conversation in the public sphere now demonstrates a marked anxiety about the possible failures of assimilation and the resultant Â“endÂ” of multiculturalism. At the same time, multiculturalism is being newly championed Â– and instrumentalized Â– as a security measure and a strategy of pragmatic self-interest, based on the argument that knowing and assimilating possibly threatening Â“OthersÂ” is what will ultimately protect Â“usÂ” from Â“them.Â”
Â“From Multicultural Rhetoric to Anti-Racist ActionÂ” is intended as a space for scholars, activists, and writers to engage in critical dialogue and to interrogate contemporary meanings and applications of multiculturalism, examine structural racisms and material inequalities that may result from well-intended multicultural tolerance, and explore the ways in which a generalized language of multiculturalism may work to marginalize and diminish the particular claims and histories of Aboriginal Peoples. For information contact lisa.helps@utoronto
Lisa Helps, University of Toronto
Ontario Representative, CCWH