Tag Archives: women and gender studies

  • Pride Month Reading List

    Happy Pride Month Toronto! This month we have been tweeting about what you should add to your LGBTQ+ reading list. Here are a few more titles you may be interested in. Have a safe and happy Pride! 

    Phipps_ConstanceMaynardsPassionsConstance Maynard's Passions: Religion, Sexuality, and an English Educational Pioneer, 1849-1935

    By Pauline A. Phipps

    Successful but self-tormented, English educational pioneer Constance Maynard (1849–1935) was a deeply religious evangelical Christian whose personal atonement theology demanded that one resist carnal feelings to achieve personal salvation. As the founder of Westfield College at the University of London, Maynard championed women’s access to a university education. As the college’s first principal, she also engaged in a string of passionate relationships with college women in which she imagined love as God’s gift as well as a test of her faith.

    Using Maynard’s extensive personal papers, especially her diaries and autobiography, Pauline A. Phipps examines how the language of her faith offered Maynard the means with which to carve out an independent career and to forge a distinct same-sex sexual self-consciousness in an era when middle-class women were expected to be subservient to men and confined to the home. Constance Maynard’s Passions is the fascinating account of a life which confounds the usual categories of faith, gender, and sexuality.

    4804 Deri Selected.inddLove’s Refraction: Jealousy and Compersion in Queer Women's Polyamorous Relationships

    By Jillian Deri

    Popular wisdom might suggest that jealousy is an inevitable outcome of non-monogamous relationships. In Love’s Refraction, Jillian Deri explores the distinctive question of how and why polyamorists – people who practice consensual non-monogamy – manage jealousy. Her focus is on the polyamorist concept of “compersion” – taking pleasure in a lover’s other romantic and sexual encounters.

    By discussing the experiences of queer, lesbian, and bisexual polyamorous women, Deri highlights the social and structural context that surrounds jealousy. Her analysis, making use of the sociology of emotion and feminist intersectionality theory, shows how polyamory challenges traditional emotional and sexual norms.

    Clear and concise, Love’s Refraction speaks to both the academic and the polyamorous community. Deri lets her interviewees speak for themselves, linking academic theory and personal experiences in a sophisticated, engaging, and accessible way.

    Valerii Pereleshin: The Life of a Silkworm

    By Olga Bakich

    Olga Bakich’s biography of Valerii Pereleshin (1913–1992) follows the turbulent life and exquisite poetry of one of the most remarkable Russian émigrés of the twentieth century. Born in Irkutsk, Pereleshin lived for thirty years in China and for almost forty years in Brazil. Multilingual, he wrote poetry in Russian and in Portuguese and translated Chinese and Brazilian poetry into Russian and Russian and Chinese poetry into Portuguese. For many years he struggled to accept and express his own identity as a gay man within a frequently homophobic émigré community. His poems addressed his three homelands, his religious struggles, and his loves. In Valerii Pereleshin: The Life of a Silkworm, Bakich delves deep into Pereleshin’s poems and letters to tell the rich life story of this underappreciated writer.

    Marhoefer_Sex and the Weimar Republic - cSex and the Weimar Republic: German Homosexual Emancipation and the Rise of the Nazis

    By Laurie Marhoefer

    Liberated, licentious, or merely liberal, the sexual freedoms of Germany’s Weimar Republic have become legendary. The home of the world’s first gay rights movement, the republic embodied a progressive, secular vision of sexual liberation. Immortalized – however misleadingly – in Christopher Isherwood’s Berlin Stories and the musical Cabaret, Weimar’s freedoms have become a touchstone for the politics of sexual emancipation.

    Yet, as Laurie Marhoefer shows in Sex and Weimar Republic, those sexual freedoms were only obtained at the expense of a minority who were deemed sexually disordered. In Weimar Germany, the citizen’s right to sexual freedom came with a duty to keep sexuality private, non-commercial, and respectable.

    Sex and the Weimar Republic examines the rise of sexual tolerance through the debates which surrounded “immoral” sexuality: obscenity, male homosexuality, lesbianism, transgender identity, heterosexual promiscuity, and prostitution. It follows the sexual politics of a swath of Weimar society ranging from sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld to Nazi stormtrooper Ernst Röhm. Tracing the connections between toleration and regulation, Marhoefer’s observations remain relevant to the politics of sexuality today.

  • Today's OA Week Feature is on IJFAB: International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics!

    Today, we continue our celebration of Open Access Week 2016 by shining the spotlight on IJFAB: International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics, which offers a ton of OA content!

    IJFAB is the leading forum in bioethics for feminist thought and debate. The journal welcomes feminist scholarship from any discipline on ethical issues related to health, health care, and the biomedical sciences, or to the social, economic, and environmental determinants of health.

    Here are some fantastic articles you can access for free from the most recent issues of IJFAB:

    • "See How She Runs: Feminists Rethink Fitness." by Tracy Isaacs and Samantha Brennan. Volume 9, Issue 2 (2016). Read it on IJFAB online and Project MUSE
    •  "The Omnipotent Word of Medical Diagnosis and the Silence of Depression: An Argument for Kristeva's Therapeutic Approach." by Carolyn Culbertson. Volume 9, Issue 1 (2016). Read it on IJFAB online and Project MUSE
    •  "Food, Health, and Global Justice." by Mary C. Rawlinson. Volume 8, Issue 2 (2015). Read it on IJFAB online and Project MUSE
    •  "Tribute to Anne Donchin (1930–2014)." by Susan Dodds, Carolyn Ells, Ann Garry, Helen Bequaert Holmes, Laura Purdy, Mary C. Rawlinson, Jackie Leach Scully, and Rosemarie Tong. Volume 8, Issue 1 (2015). Read it on IJFAB online and Project MUSE

    For a complete list of free IJFAB articles, click here

    You can access IJFAB online here and on Project MUSE

    Follow IJFAB on Twitter and sign up for our email list!

    International Open Access Week 2016 takes place from October 24 –30. For more information, please visit http://www.openaccessweek.org/

    Happy Reading!

  • Behind the Book with Margaret E. Boyle

    9781442646155Margaret E. Boyle is the author of Unruly Women: Performance, Penitence, and Punishment in Early Modern Spain. In this first in-depth study of the interconnected relationships among public theatre, custodial institutions, and women in early modern Spain, Boyle explores the contradictory practices of rehabilitation enacted by women both on and off stage.

    How did you become involved in your area of research?
    I became hooked on early modern Spanish literature during my time as an undergraduate at Reed College, where the close-knit and engaging seminar classes allowed me to deeply explore the period's culture and its theater. I am a big believer in the transformative experience of the small liberal arts college, and feel fortunate today to offer similar kinds of personalized learning opportunities for my students at Bowdoin. The small classes and rich teaching resources, such as collections of art and rare books, support strong intellectual relationships between faculty and students.  I ask a lot from my students, and they ask a lot from me.

    My engagement as a feminist scholar was prompted by my first encounters with representations of women, and violence against women, in early modern Spanish texts.  I wanted to make sense of those perplexing depictions, both real and as imagined in the Spanish comedias.  I studied and formalized theoretical approaches to these interests as I completed a graduate certificate in the Women, Gender and Sexualities Studies program as a part of my doctoral program, and continue my work today through my cross-listed courses with the Gender and Women's Studies program and participation in the National Women's Studies Association, the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women, as well as a number of organizations dedicated to the study of women within Hispanism including GEMELA and Letras Femeninas.

    What's the most surprising thing you discovered during the course of your research?

    I was most surprised and intrigued to discover the financial dependency between Madrid's public theaters and a number of custodial institutions for women during the 16th and 17th centuries. Moralists from the period, who championed the custodial institutions to address society's ills, repeatedly cited theater - and especially actresses and the characters they played on stage - as responsible for a kind of public decay or moral decline or even disease.  Meanwhile a number of their institutions were dependent on revenue generated by the theater, by these celebrated actresses who played both sinners and saints.

    Do you have to travel much concerning the research/writing of your book?
    I traveled quite a bit within Spain while researching and writing my book. I was fortunate to receive funding from the Program for Cultural Cooperation between Spain's Ministry of Culture and United States Universities as well as multiple grants from Emory University and Bowdoin College. Primarily, I spent my time in the archives of Madrid's National Library, the National Historical Archive and the Royal Convent of La Encarnación and my research benefited tremendously from conversations with many archivists and librarians who helped me to locate and contextualize various materials incorporated into my book.

    Through the book writing process, I also traveled domestically to present chapters of my project to other specialists, including meetings in Washington D.C. for the Grupo de Estudios de la Mujer en España y las Americas, in Chicago and Los Angeles for the Modern Language Association, in Denver for the National Women's Studies Association as well as El Paso for the Association for Hispanic Classical Theater. My writing and arguments were bolstered, sharpened and energized from the insights gathered at these meetings.

    One travel highlight was my participation in the XXXI Jornadas de Teatro Clásico de Almagro sponsored by the Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha during an archival research trip in 2008.  There I was able to work with a number of scholars interested in women's participation in early modern Spanish theater, and see a number of live performances featuring strong heroines. During the writing of the book, I was also able to enjoy live productions of popular and lesser-known comedias at the Siglo de Oro drama festival at El Paso's Chamizal National Memorial, Georgetown University and GALA Hispanic Theater.

    What are your current/future projects?
    In the past year, I've been exploring the literary and visual representation of actresses during the Hispanic Enlightenment, examining case studies primarily in Peru and Spain. This research is exciting because it extends my examination of some of the issues I address in Unruly Women, but moves geographically into a transatlantic context as well as forward into the 18th century. I've recently presented this new material at the American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies and the Renaissance Society of America.

    I am also interested in women's participation in the natural sciences in 16-17th century Spain, with a special focus on practices of botany and gardening. I have been especially interested recently in convent gardens, as they were typically a space both designed and maintained by women (although occasionally maintained by male gardeners who would enter and exit through a designated separate pathway). Women have been historically neglected for their participation in the sciences, and I am enjoying current scholarship that examines the relationship between botany, health and healing in the early modern period.

    What do you like to read for pleasure?  What are you currently reading?
    My area of research is a definitely a good match for my personality, because I find myself devouring new scholarship on early modern Spain, general research on gender and the early modern, and more theoretical contemporary feminist research.  Reading and collecting books in the library is far too fun, and I have to remind myself to balance that indulgence with enforced writing time.

    For strict out of my research reading, I am a big fan of Haruki Murakami. His language is mesmerizing, and keeps me wanting to learn Japanese someday.  I also love to read and experiment with cookbooks.  Some of my recent favorites are ones that originally derived from popular blogs: the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, Super Natural Every Day, and Dinner: a Love Story. We are a household of two full-time working parents with a toddler. Juggling a full work and family life, I find that shared, intentional meals help us all feel more grounded.

  • Thinking About International Women's Day

    Posted by Tracey Arndt, Acquisitions Editor for Women and Gender Studies in UTP's Higher Education Division.

    As of Wednesday morning, over 1,500 events celebrating International Women’s Day were officially linked with the IWD website, 75% of those events taking place in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Belize, and Australia. While surely many more events are taking place worldwide, with varying degrees of formal organization, 1,500 is a very small number for a day meant to draw attention to some complex issues and very grand goals.

    International Women’s Day has been celebrated since the early twentieth century in many countries, but in 1975, the United Nations established March 8 as the universal day, citing two primary purposes behind it:

    • To recognize the fact that securing peace and social progress and the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms require the active participation, equality, and development of women, and
    • To acknowledge the contribution of women to the strengthening of international peace and security.

    Each year, the UN suggests a theme for IWD events (in 2012 it is "Empower Rural Women — End Hunger and Poverty") and marks it with a message from the Secretary General.

    I applaud the aims of the day and every year it reminds me that I don’t pay enough attention to the status, rights, fights, and futures of women in my community, in this country, or globally. I’m reminded that the “status of women” means the status of me, but I’m stalled when it comes to taking action beyond this recognition. Where do I start? How do I join the conversation? Is the conversation even happening?

    Of course it’s happening. Sometimes the debates are front page news and sometimes we have to search harder for them. Sometimes events like International Women’s Day or GOP political races draw attention to them and sometimes peace and quiet leads us to mistakenly believe that rights gained can never be taken away.

    So, this International Women’s Day, I invite you to seek out the conversation. To get you started, a few links to recent news items follow below. Of course, I would be remiss not to share a link to UTP’s Gender Studies list or let you know that UTP Higher Education is actively acquiring course books in Women and Gender Studies. Please email me with editorial inquiries.

    Some links:

    International Women’s Day: We need a women’s rights reawakening (The Toronto Star)

    EU eyes forced quotas for women on corporate boards (The Globe and Mail)

    International Women’s Day: Why fight for equal rights is still relevant today (Metro, UK)

    The best and worst places in the world to be a woman (Belfast Telegraph)

    Dreaming of gender equality (Straight Goods News, Canada)

    Rwanda: Month-Long Campaign to Promote Women’s Emancipation (allAfrica)

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