Where are the women? Breaking Barriers, Shaping Worlds answers this question in a comprehensive exploration of the role of women in twentieth-century Canadian international affairs.
Foreign policy historians have traditionally focused on powerful men. Though hidden, forgotten, or ignored, women – in paid or unpaid positions, in public or private spheres – have also shaped Canada’s relations with the world over the past century. They can be found not only on the margins of traditional diplomacy, as political and community activists, missionaries, or aid workers, but also at its centre, as diplomatic spouses or as diplomats themselves.
Bringing together contributors ranging from new scholars to a former prime minister, Breaking Barriers, Shaping Worlds examines the lives and careers of women who have made an impact: professional women working abroad in the so-called helping fields as doctors, nurses, or economic development advisors; women who fought for change as anti-war, anti-nuclear, or Indigenous rights activists; and women with careers in traditional diplomacy. This lively, wide-ranging collection reveals the vital contribution of women to the search for global order that has been a hallmark of Canada’s international history.
Scholars and students of history, women's and gender studies, political science, international relations, Canadian foreign policy, diplomacy, and international development will find this book of interest, along with public service employees and journalists.
This collection will prompt debate. It will prompt reflection. It will surely inspire future scholars to reframe Canadian international history around women and gender.
Emphasizing the importance of broad participative decision-making, of quiet compromises, and of local domestic work outside the elite world of official diplomats, Breaking Barriers, Shaping Worlds adds to an exciting transformation in our official understanding of foreign policy and what it can achieve.
Jill Campbell-Miller is an adjunct professor in the Department of History at Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, and held a SSHRC post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of History at Carleton University from 2018–2021. The late Greg Donaghy was the director of the Bill Graham Centre for Contemporary International History at the University of Toronto. His publications include Grit: The Life and Politics of Paul Martin Sr. and Tolerant Allies: Canada and the United States, 1963–1968. Stacey Barker is a historian at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa. She has curated several exhibitions, including World War Women and The Canadian Forces Artists Program – Group 8. Contributors: Stacey Barker, Jill Campbell-Miller, Joe Clark, Susan Colbourn, Sharon Anne Cook, Jonathan Crossen, Greg Donaghy, Eric Fillion, Kim Girouard, Dominique Marshall, Steve Marti, Francine McKenzie, Lorna R. McLean, Patricia E. Roy, David Webster.
Introduction: “Where are the Women?” / Jill Campbell-Miller & Greg Donaghy
Part 1: Women in Missions, Aid, and Development
1 Quietly Contesting Patriarchy: Dr. Jessie MacBean’s Medical Work in South China, 1925–35 / Kim Girouard
2 A Mission for Modernity: Canadian Women in Medical and Nursing Education in India, 1946–66 / Jill Campbell-Miller
3 Life Stories, Wife stories: Women Advisors on Economic Development / David Webster
Part 2: Women in International Resistance
4 Historically Invisible: The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, 1914–29 / Sharon Cook and Lorna McLean
5 The Voice of Women, the Baby Tooth Survey, and the Search for Security in the Atomic Age / Susan Colbourn
6 Marie Smallface Marule: An Indigenous Internationalist / Jonathan Crossen
Part 3: Women in Diplomacy
7 P.K. Page and the Art of Diplomacy: An Ambassadorial Wife in Brazil / Eric Fillion
8 Jean Casselman Wadds: Patriation, Dinner Party Wars, and a Political Diplomat / Steve Marti and Francine McKenzie
9 Flora Macdonald: Secretary of State for External Affairs, 1979–80 / Joe Clark
Conclusion: Breaking Historiographic Barriers / Dominique Marshall
Epilogue – Greg Donaghy: An Appreciation / Patricia E. Roy
Bibliography; Contributors; Index
Dominion of Race
Rethinking Canada’s International History
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