In the late 1970s, feminist historians urged us to “rethink” Canada by placing women’s perspectives and experiences at the centre of historical analysis. Forty years later, feminism continues to inform history writing in Canada and has inspired historians to look beyond the nation and adopt a more global perspective.
This exciting new volume of original essays opens with a discussion of the debates, themes, and methodological approaches that have preoccupied women’s and gender historians across Canada over the past twenty years. The chapters that follow showcase the work of new and established scholars who draw on the insights of critical race theory, postcolonial theory, and transnational history to re-examine familiar topics such as biography and oral history, paid and unpaid work, marriage and family, and women’s political action.
Whether they focus on the marriage of Governor James Douglas and his Metis wife, Amelia; representations of saleswomen in department store catalogues; or the careers of professional women such as international child activist Charlotte Whitton and Quebec social work professors at Laval University, the contributors demonstrate the continued relevance – and growth – of history informed by feminist perspectives, and they open a much-needed dialogue between francophone and anglophone historians in Canada.
This volume is essential reading for scholars and students of feminist studies, women’s and gender history, and Canadian history.
... a thoughtful, well-written and ultimately convincing compilation of essays composed by leading scholars who have forever shaped the fields of women's and gender history in Canada ... this collection evocatively features works that demonstrate the important contributions women have made to the economic, social and cultural realm of Canada. With a strong focus on biography, the authors present a unique flare to Canadian feminist history, offering rich descriptions of various conditions, interactions and experiences faced by individual and collective groups of women over time. This anthology focuses on a wide range of issues and explores a variety of important themes, covering the latest debates in the field and providing thought-provoking analysis to questions that have long interested feminist historians.
A refreshing book! Challenging at times and using new trends in history, these essays reveal a healthy renewal of supposedly well-known questions and topics in women’s history, gender history, political history, and social work history. This text will be much appreciated by scholars and professors across the country.
This volume offers a substantial, timely, and much-needed overview of the state of Canadian women’s and gender history, sketching out major debates and currents and tracing their connection to the broader area of Canadian history.
Introduction: Productive Pasts and New Directions / Catherine Carstairs and Nancy Janovicek
1 James Douglas, Amelia Connolly, and the Writing of Gender and Women’s History / Adele Perry
2 Using Diaries to Explore the Shared Worlds of Family and Community in Nineteenth-Century New Brunswick / Gail G. Campbell
3 “A Little Offensive and Defensive Alliance”: Friendship, Professional Networks, and International Child Welfare Policy / Karen Balcom
4 "The Necessity of Going": Julia Grace Wales's Transnational Life as a Peace Activist and a Scholar / Lorna R. McLean
5 Feminist Ideals and Everyday Life: Professional Women's Feminism at Victoria College, University of Toronto, 1900-40 / Catherine Gidney
6 Singleness and Choice: The Impact of Age, Time, and Class on Three Female Youth Diarists in 1930s Canada / Heidi MacDonald
7 Sexual Spectacles: Saleswomen in Canadian Department Store Magazines between 1920 and 1950 / Donica Belisle
8 Gender and the Career Paths of Professors in the École de service social at Laval University, 1943-72 / Hélène Charron
9 Teaching June Cleaver, Being Hazel Chong: An Oral History of Gender, Race, and National "Character" / Kristina R. Llewellyn
10 The Ontario Women's History Network: Linking Teachers, Scholars, and History Communities / Rose Fine-Meyer
11 Fighting the “Corset of Victorian Prejudice”: Women's Activism in Canadian Engineering during the Pioneering
Decades (1970s-80s) / Ruby Heap
12 Ad Hoc Activism: Feminist Citizens Respond to the Meech Lake Accord in New Brunswick / Anthony S.C. Hampton
13 To Help and to Serve: Women’s Career Paths in the Domestic Services Sector in Quebec City, 1960-2009 / Catherine Charron
Negotiating Identities in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Montreal
Vulnerable Children and Youth in Twentieth-Century Canada and the United States
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