Next year is the 50th anniversary of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women, and several of us have been talking about how we might use this anniversary most productively at next year’s CHA meeting, and perhaps beyond. We invite you (grad students, sessionals, postdocs, adjuncts, faculty, etc.,) to join the conversation.
We (Elise Chenier, Magda Fahrni, Nancy Janovicek, and Rhonda Hinther) are interested in revisiting the Commission’s Report, and simultaneously widening the lens beyond its scope to address issues that were overlooked, ignored, or insufficiently explored, such as concerns particular to indigenous women, to women of colour, to lesbians/issues regarding sexuality, and issues regarding disability. Please add more to this preliminary list. We hope to find a balance between appreciating and honouring the work that was done, while bringing a decidedly intersectional, anti-colonial lens to bear on our exploration of equity, particularly as it relates to women.
Here are some preliminary ideas being developed, and we look forward to many more:
- a public exhibit of text and images from the commission and related feminist events/milestones from that period
- a roundtable discussion of the legacy of the Commission and consideration of present-day issues (perhaps with historians and local feminist activists?)
- a presentation by Elise Chenier’s oral history students on lesbians in the women’s movement
We also want to address an issue raised by Valerie Korinek in her keynote this year: the very low participation of men in sessions by and about women’s history/historians. We recognize that not everyone will want to take up this work, which is perfectly understandable. But some of you may, for example, be interested in organizing an introductory session on teaching and learning feminist approaches to Canadian history. Perhaps there are men who would like to take this on? Please feel free to forward this email to colleagues who may be interested but may not be CCWH members. We welcome all participants.
To generate some discussion, and overcome the distance that separates us, we propose to begin with a moderated online conference call in mid-August in the form of a wide-ranging discussion about the original report, to be followed by a second discussion in early October of three or four articles that take us into areas beyond that which the report covered. Our hope is that from this discussion will flow ideas for events, panels, and perhaps even courses you might teach in 2020.
If you are interested in participating, please add your name and email address to this Google Document:
Elise, Magda, Nancy, and Rhonda