Tag Archives: women

  • #BalanceforBetter: Our Top Titles for International Women's Day

    This International Women’s Day, who will you celebrate? From radical housewives to the future of work, from violence to trafficking to politics and law, this week we’re highlighting top titles that celebrate women’s achievements, participate in a larger conversation, and reflect diverse and global voices.

    On March 8, we’re joining groups worldwide in the call for a more gender-balanced world.

    Let's turn the page.


    Disrupting Breast Cancer Narratives: Stories of Rage and Repair

    Resisting the optimism of pink ribbon culture, these stories use anger as a starting place to reframe cancer as a collective rather than an individual problem. Emilia Nielsen looks at documentaries, television, and social media, arguing that personal narratives have the power to shift public discourse.

    Female Doctors in Canada: Experience and Culture

    The face of medicine is changing. Though women increasingly dominate the profession, they still must navigate a system that has been designed for and by men. Looking at education, health systems, and expectations, this important new collection from experienced physicians and researchers opens a much-needed conversation.

    Wrapping Authority: Women Islamic Leaders in a Sufi Movement in Dakar, Senegal

    Since around 2000, a growing number of women in Dakar have come to act openly as spiritual leaders for both men and women. Learn how, rather than contesting conventional roles, these women are making them integral parts of their leadership. These female leaders present spiritual guidance as a form of nurturing motherhood, yet like Sufi mystical discourse, their self-presentations are profoundly ambiguous.

    Women and Gendered Violence in Canada: An Intersectional Approach

    A significant expansion on the conversation on gendered violence, this new book from Chris Bruckert and Tuulia Law draws on a range of theoretical traditions emerging from feminism, criminology, and sociology. Find compelling first-person narratives, suggested activities, and discussions on everything from campus violence to online violence to victim blaming.

    The Talent Revolution: Longevity and the Future of Work

    This book is a first. Two women from different generations debunk commonly held myths about older workers, showing how the future of work requires engaging employees across all life stages. Work-life longevity is the most influential driver transforming today’s workplace – learn how to make it a competitive advantage.

    Indigenous Women’s Writing and the Cultural Study of Law

    How do Indigenous women recuperate their relationships to themselves, the land, the community, and the settler-nation? Through a close analysis of major texts written in the post-civil rights period, Cheryl Suzack sheds light on how these writers use storytelling to engage in activism.

    Responding to Human Trafficking: Dispossession, Colonial Violence, and Resistance among Indigenous and Racialized Women

    In the first book to critically examine responses to the growing issue of human trafficking in Canada, Julie Kay reveals how some anti-trafficking measures create additional harms for the very individuals they’re trying to protect – particularly migrant and Indigenous women. An important new framework for the critical analysis of rights-based and anti-violence interventions.

    Becoming Strong: Impoverished Women and the Struggle to Overcome Violence

    What role can trauma play in shaping homeless women’s lives? Drawing on more than 150 in-depth interviews, Laura Huey and Ryan Broll explore the diverse effects of trauma in the lives of homeless female victims of violence. This essential read offers not only a comprehensive examination of trauma, but also explores how women may recover and develop strategies for coping with traumatic experiences.

    Lissa: A Story about Medical Promise, Friendship, and Revolution

    Two young girls in Cairo strike up an unlikely friendship that crosses class, cultural, and religious divides. The first in a new series, Lissa brings anthropological research comes to life in comic form, combining scholarly insights and rich storytelling to foster greater understanding of global politics, inequalities, and solidarity.

    Ms. Prime Minister: Gender, Media, and Leadership

    News about female leaders gives undue attention to their gender identities, bodies, and family lives – but some media accounts also expose sexism and authenticate women’s performances of leadership. Offering both solace and words of caution for women politicians, Linda Trimble provides important insight into the news frameworks that work to deny or confer political legitimacy.

    A New History of Iberian Feminisms

    Both a chronological history and an analytical discussion of feminist thought from the eighteenth century onward, this history of the Iberian Peninsula addresses lost texts of feminist thought, and reveals the struggles of women to achieve full citizenship. Learn what helped launch a new feminist wave in the second half of the century.

    Radical Housewives: Price Wars and Food Politics in Mid-Twentieth-Century Canada

    This history of Canada’s Housewives Consumers Association recovers a history of women’s social justice activism in an era often considered dormant – and reinterprets the view of postwar Canada as economically prosperous. Discover how these radical activists fought to protect consumers’ interests in the postwar years.


    Want to keep learning? Visit International Women’s Day for more details about this year’s #BalanceforBetter Campaign.

  • UTP Titles for the Rio 2016 Olympics

    Go Canada! The 2016 Rio Olympics are well underway and the whole world seems to be cheering on their athletes. We would like to invite you to look deeper into the history and sociology of the Olympics and sports in general. Perhaps some of these titles would make for good post-event reading.

    Girl and the Game 2e_webThe Girl and the Game: A History of Women's Sport in Canada, Second Edition

    By M. Ann Hall

    The Girl and the Game traces the history of women's organized sport in Canada from its early, informal roots in the late nineteenth century through the formation of amateur and professional teams to today's tendency to market women athletes, especially Olympians, as both athletic and sexual. When women actively participate in the symbols, practices, and institutions of sport, what they do is often not considered "real" sport, nor in some cases are they viewed as "real" women. What follows from this notion of sport as a site of cultural struggle is that the history of women in sport is also a history of cultural resistance.

    In the second edition of this groundbreaking social history, M. Ann Hall begins with an important new chapter on Aboriginal women and early sport and ends with a new chapter tying today's trends and issues in Canadian women's sport to their origins in the past.

    MenkisTroper_MoreThanJustGamesMore than Just Games: Canada and the 1936 Olympics

    By Richard Menkis and Harold Troper

    Held in Germany, the 1936 Olympic Games sparked international controversy. Should athletes and nations boycott the games to protest the Nazi regime? More Than Just Games is the history of Canada’s involvement in the 1936 Olympics. It is the story of the Canadian Olympic officials and promoters who were convinced that national unity and pride demanded that Canadian athletes compete in the Olympics without regard for politics. It is the story of those Canadian athletes, mostly young and far more focused on sport than politics, who were eager to make family, friends, and country proud of their efforts on Canada’s behalf. And, finally, it is the story of those Canadians who led an unsuccessful campaign to boycott the Olympics and deny Nazi Germany the propaganda coup of serving as an Olympic host.

    Written by two noted historians of Canadian Jewish history, Richard Menkis and Harold Troper, More than Just Games brings to life the collision of politics, patriotism, and the passion of sport on the eve of the Second World War.

    Field_PlayingForChangePlaying for Change: The Continuing Struggle for Sport and Recreation

    Edited by Russell Field

    For more than forty years, scholars of the history and sociology of sport and recreation have studied how, no matter the time or place, sport is always more than just a game. In Playing for Change, leading scholars in the field of sports studies consider that legacy and forge ahead into the discipline’s future. Through essays grouped around the themes of international and North American sport, including the Vancouver and Sochi Olympic Games; access to physical activity in Canadian communities; and the role of activism and the public intellectual in the delivery of sport, the contributors offer a comprehensive examination of the institutional structures of sport, physical activity, and recreation. This book provides wide-ranging examples of cutting-edge research in a vibrant and growing field.

  • Updating the History of Women's Sport in Canada

    Girl and the Game 2e_webThis month, at the Congress of the Social Sciences and Humanities in Calgary, Alberta, we will be releasing the much-anticipated new edition of M. Ann Hall’s ground-breaking work, The Girl and the Game: A History of Women’s Sport in Canada. First published in 2002, this book has had a profound impact on a generation of students, scholars, researchers, and athletes. We are honoured to be involved in the updating of this classic work. In the paragraphs below, M. Ann Hall, Professor Emeritus, University of Alberta, explains how the first edition came into existence, as well as the process of updating her work for an entirely new generation of readers.

    Why study sport? It’s a question I ask myself even after spending a lifetime participating in sports or teaching, researching, writing, and publishing about sport. As a kid, I was your classic tomboy, happiest when playing with the neighbourhood boys, usually baseball in summer and street hockey in winter. I was a committed athlete (though never outstanding), which led me to train as a physical education teacher. I taught in a high school for a short while but soon decided my vocation was to study sport in a serious way. It was the mid-1960s when physical education (now called kinesiology) was in the process of transforming itself from a teaching profession into an academic discipline. New areas, such as the sociology and history of sport, were being defined and developed. I went back to school, obtained post-graduate degrees, and settled into a university teaching and research career.

    When the first edition of The Girl and the Game: A History of Women’s Sport in Canada was published in 2002, I had been retired from the University of Alberta for several years. The project began initially as my master’s thesis, but it took almost 30 years for me to return to it. While still employed, I had the assistance of several graduate students (funded through a substantial SSHRC grant) whose diligence and ingenuity saved me countless hours of research. Even still, the first edition required almost 10 years to complete.

    After publishing The Girl and the Game, I wrote two other books stemming from the original project. Immodest and Sensational: 150 Years of Canadian Women in Sport (James Lorimer, 2008) was an illustrated history designed for a younger audience. The Grads Are Playing Tonight! (University of Alberta Press, 2011) told the story of the legendary Edmonton Commercial Graduates basketball club and the women who played on the team between 1915 and 1940.

    There are several reasons why I felt it was important to write The Girl and the Game in the first place, and why I believe it is still relevant today. Sport, from my perspective, is an undervalued area of study because many people view sports as being removed from the more serious pursuits in life; in other words, sport is something you do or watch when you need a break. Academics often dismiss sport as unworthy of study. For many women, and especially feminists, the highly competitive, sometimes violent, overly commercialized sports world represents distinctly non-feminist values and a field of study they generally ignore. However, at the same time, women often seek ways to experience their physicality, or at the very least they want their daughters to be strong and fit. Another reason for this book is that even today girls and women often come up against widespread masculinist resistance to their equal access to sports. Why this is so, and how it can be explained historically, is the subject of The Girl and the Game.

    I thought that a second edition of The Girl and the Game was necessary because of what has happened regarding women’s sport in Canada over the past decade and more. I am grateful to Michael Harrison, and especially Natalie Fingerhut, for their advice and support from the early proposal stages through to the completed manuscript. In retrospect, had I realized how much work would be involved in producing a revised edition, I might not have taken on the project. Nonetheless, it has been a rewarding experience, and I have been encouraged by the amount of new historical research about women’s sport in Canada that has emerged over the past 15 years.

    Aside from simply updating the first edition, and including much of this new research material, I set several objectives to be accomplished through the new edition. One was to make a concerted effort not only to include more about Aboriginal women’s sport, but also to point out how their experiences were (and in many ways continue to be) significantly different to their white counterparts. The history of Aboriginal women in Canadian sport cannot simply be grafted onto a traditional history of Canadian women’s sport, especially one that uses major turning points, such as two world wars and second-wave feminism, to frame the story.

    Although important to the experiences of white Canadian women, these are not the dominant historical events and movements of significance to Aboriginal women, and furthermore they obscure how their identities have been simultaneously gendered and racialized throughout history. Much more important to the lives and experiences of Aboriginal women, especially over the past two hundred years, are their first encounters with Europeans, their role in fur-trade society, the Indian Act of 1876 and its various revisions, the establishment of reserves and forced residential schooling, and more recently, the confluence of sport and Aboriginal policies.

    Although the second edition retains the chronological structure of the first, it begins with an entirely new chapter, entitled “Aboriginals, Colonization, and Early Victorian Sport,” which examines traditional Aboriginal games and sports before contact occurred with European explorers and settlers. Also discussed are women’s lives and active leisure in New France, during the fur trade, and after the mid-nineteenth-century British Conquest. Increasing government control over Aboriginals at this time restricted their traditional Indigenous activities and ceremonies. The remainder of the book contains much more information about the history of Aboriginal women’s sport including a discussion of gender and the residential school system, overlooked Aboriginal champions of the past, and the issues faced by today’s proudly Native sportswomen.

    A second objective for the new edition was to update content by thoroughly reworking current chapters and adding another new one. The chapter now entitled “Feminist Activism for Equality” has been substantially revised by consolidating information, bringing it up to date, and including a section about contemporary Aboriginal sport within both the Native and the mainstream sport systems. The last chapter, “The Present Reflecting the Past,” is entirely new. It asks and tries to answer a series of questions: Why is it difficult to make physical activity and sport more inclusive among females, especially for newcomers, Aboriginals, and those experiencing disability? How does the LGBT social equality movement challenge homophobia and transphobia? Why have team sports for girls and women seen a resurgence in recent years? Why do women continue to be under-represented in Canadian sports leadership? Why are there so few professional sport opportunities for women? Why are women athletes mostly missing from mediasport? And why doesn’t sex sell women’s sport? This chapter ends with a brief examination of advocating for change both in Canada and on the global level.

    A third objective was to make the book more appealing to readers, and especially to students using the text as either required reading or as a reference. For example, chapter titles are more descriptively clear; additional sub-headings have been included within the chapters; endnotes have been simplified and placed at the end of each chapter; and over 50 archival photographs are distributed throughout the text.

    I hope this revised edition of The Girl and the Game continues to be a “go to” reference for students, scholars, researchers, and general readers who wish to know more about the rich sporting heritage of Canadian women.

    -M. Ann Hall, Professor Emeritus, University of Alberta

    Note: The Girl and the Game: A History of Women's Sport in Canada, Second Edition is now available. If you are scheduled to teach a course in which this book might be useful, please email requests@utphighereducation.com for an examination copy.

  • Behind the Book with Katharine Mitchell

    4536 Michell Selected.inddKatharine Mitchell is the author of Italian Women Writers: Gender and Everyday Life in Fiction and Journalism, 1870-1910. This study looks at the work of three of the most significant women writers of the period: La Marchesa Colombi, Neera, and Matilde Serao. Katharine Mitchell shows how these three authors, while hardly radical emancipationists, offered late-nineteenth-century readers an implicit feminist intervention and a legitimate means of approaching and engaging with the burning social and political issues of the day regarding “the woman question” – women’s access to education and the professions, legal rights, and suffrage

    How did you become involved in your area of research?

    As an undergraduate at Leeds University in the UK in the mid-1990s, my final-year dissertation was on Puccini's last opera, Turandot (first performed in 1926), in which the slave girl, Liù, is made to suffer at length for no apparent reason, after which she commits suicide in order not to reveal the name of the Prince with whom she is secretly in love. This triggered an interest in studying other Italian tragic opera heroines, and for an MA by research I wrote a dissertation on female roles from Rossini to Puccini. I find the period in early post-Unification Italy intriguing in terms of gender representation, and my decision to focus on this period largely stemmed from my study of Verdi's and Puccini's tragic operas. It will sound essentialist, but having spent a lot of time working on female roles written for the Italian stage by male librettists and composers, I was curious to find out how women writers from this period constructed gender roles in their narrative fiction and their non-fiction. This led me to a reading of a selection of their works for a PhD.

    What inspired you to write this book?

    As a teenager I loved reading novels by women writers (Jane Austen; the Brontë sisters; Sylvia Plath; Margaret Atwood). While studying Italian at university, I wanted to discover what women writers in Italy during this unprecedented period of political, economic and social change were writing about, how they presented gender roles in their fiction and non-fiction, what themes they were engaging with in their domestic fiction. Ultimately I was interested to see if there were links with the themes with which emancipationists were concerned.

    How did you become interested in the subject?

    Studying Italian literature and culture during the mid-1990s, I was struck by the relative paucity of scholarly work in the Anglophone context on women and gender in Italy. The nineteenth century seemed particularly neglected, and yet this was the period when women were becoming visible in the public sphere as never before, as actresses, dancers and singers during the Risorgimento period - the movement for the Unification of Italy¬ - and then following Unification, as artists, writers, political activists, educators and translators. This phenomenon catalyzed a series of heated debates among intellectuals, politicians, the clergy, and later in the century, positivist thinkers, on the 'woman question'. Liberal Italy saw women and girls gaining access to free education for the first time, improvements in working conditions for women, the rise of the emancipationist movement. In short, it was an exciting and fertile time in which gender roles were being hotly debated, questioned, and radically redefined in the context of a relatively conservative, Catholic culture.

    Do you have to travel much concerning the research/writing of your book?

    I made several trips to Italy to work in some wonderful libraries and archives while I was writing my book, spending several weeks in the Biblioteca Nazionale and the Biblioteca Marucelliana in Florence, and at the Braidense library in Milan.

    What was the hardest part of writing your book?

    In general I find the process of writing very challenging, but mostly rewarding. I would set myself two to three 2-hour writing stints early on in the morning which is when I am at my most concentrated and focused, and would allow myself to type quite freely, even if it wasn't a proper sentence. I'd then go back and edit what I'd written, and re-edit. Even when I was almost (but rarely ever!) satisfied with the content, style and ideas, I would make changes. Writing is a constantly evolving, creative, process of revisions.

    Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

    I learnt a tremendous amount about women writers in Italy and the everyday lives of middle-class women and girls. I also learnt many things about myself, one of these being that while I enjoy the solitude of writing and thinking, I also get a great deal out of talking to people about my research and discussing ideas with colleagues and students.

    What are your current/future projects?

    I am currently working on a project on divas and female theatregoers in early post-Unification Italy (1861-1914), which I am hoping will become my second monograph. The project has grown out of my research on women writers for the UTP book: while I was reading their contributions to women's journals, I noticed frequent mentions in reviews, star profiles, lifestyle columns of dive/i, poet improvisers and opera singers. Also in the fiction by women writers, female performing artists are central and/or secondary characters, and scenes involving the ritual of theatregoing are common. I am interested in interrogating the relationship between female theatregoers and divas in the Italian context in the late nineteenth century through the accounts left to us in fiction and non-fiction (including letters and diaries) by women writers. Since 2008 I have been collecting material in theatre archives throughout Italy for this project and have published articles and book chapters on female desire and spectatorship. I am currently working on an article on the concept of beauty and the figure of the diva.

    What do you like to read for pleasure? What are you currently reading?

    I like to read fashion magazines and novels (including chick lit) when I can, which is usually never! I recently read a novel about a caffe concerto singer by Annie Vivanti, and I'm currently reading Zola's Nana.

    If you weren't working in academia, what would you be doing instead?

    Travelling the world; volunteer work in Africa; playing my 'cello more often.

  • 2011 Women's World Conference

    From July 3-7, UTP participated in the book fair of the 2011 Women's World conference in Ottawa. There was a constant buzz throughout the conference as 2,000 participants from 92 countries took part in Canada's first hosting of the conference. Held every three years since 1981, the conference has travelled to eleven countries, covering six continents. This year's theme, "Inclusions, Exclusions, Seclusions: Living in a Globalized World," brought together union women, teachers, activists, researchers, grassroots organizers, and of course, a few men. Events were held in English, French, and Spanish, and when possible, other languages. The conference also encouraged women from under-resourced communities to apply to the Solidarity Fund, which financially assisted women with travel expenses and other costs associated with attending the conference.

    Each day started with a group plenary session held at the new Ottawa Convention Centre.  A diverse panel of four to five speakers introduced themselves in relation to each day’s theme. Breaking Cycles, Breaking Ceilings, Breaking Barriers, and Breaking Ground were the topics, and discussion spilled over into the smaller In Focus sessions held throughout the day. Tuesday’s plenary session, Breaking Ceilings, concluded with a solidarity march to Parliament Hill in honour of missing and murdered Aboriginal women.

    The book fair was held on the main floor of the Desmarais building on the University of Ottawa campus. Many of the In Focus sessions were also held in the building, and the UTP booth was busy each day, selling titles as different as Violence Against Women, Defamiliarizing the Aboriginal, and Pop Culture. It was a conference of sharing stories and experiences, which translated to an interest in others' experiences and research and lots of interest in UTP publications.

    The conference website continues to be updated with new materials, including podcasts, pictures, and video (including links to the conference YouTube channel. Sessions and plenaries are available for viewing, as well as blog posts, testimonies, and a lot of food for thought.

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