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Women's History Month - Online Display



            Black and white sketches of five women under the text "Women's History Month October 2020" on a white background with multi-coloured dots

October is Women’s History Month in Canada, a time to celebrate the women and girls from our past, and our present, who are contributing to a better, more inclusive Canada.

In 1992, the Government of Canada designated October as Women’s History Month, marking the beginning of an annual month-long celebration of the outstanding achievements of women and girls throughout Canada’s history.

This year’s theme #BecauseOfYou, celebrates women and girls in Canada who have made, and continue to make, a lasting impact on our country.1.

1. Women's History Month. Retrieved from:

Featured e-Resources

A black and red photograph of the author

In my own moccasins : a memoir of resilience

Helen Knott, a highly accomplished Indigenous woman, seems to have it all. But in her memoir, she offers a different perspective. In My Own Moccasins is an unflinching account of addiction, intergenerational trauma, and the wounds brought on by sexual violence. It is also the story of sisterhood, the power of ceremony, the love of family, and the possibility of redemption.

Image of several women from the waist down, wearing full-length red skirts.

Blowing up the Skirt of History

From history and politics to fantasy and farce, the first flourish of women's theatre in Canada questioned the discourses that formed and informed ideas of gender, sex, and sexuality. This book revives ten theatrical comedies that staged the promise of social change.

A painting of a woman in a blue dress, holding a fan, looking at her reflection in a mirror on a white wall.

I'm Not Myself at All

Notions of identity have long structured women's art. Dynamics of race, class, and gender have shaped the production of artworks and oriented their subsequent reassessments. Arguably, this is especially true of art by women, and of the socially engaged criticism that addresses it. If identity has been a problem in women's art, however, is more identity the solution? In this study of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century art in Canada, Kristina Huneault offers a meditation on the strictures of identity and an exploration of forces that unsettle and realign the self. Looking closely at individual artists and works, Huneault combines formal analysis with archival research and philosophical inquiry, building nuanced readings of objects that range from the canonical to the largely unknown. Whether in miniature portraits or genre paintings, botanical drawings or baskets, women artists reckoned with constraints that limited understandings of themselves and others. They also forged creative alternatives. At times identity features in women's artistic work as a failed project; at other times it marks a boundary beyond which they were able to expand, explore, and exult. Bringing together settler and indigenous forms of cultural expression and foregrounding the importance of colonialism within the development of art in Canada, I'm Not Myself at All observes and reactivates historical art by women and prompts readers to consider what a less restrictive conceptualization of selfhood might bring to current patterns of cultural analysis.

A painting of a monarch butterfly on an orange background.

Reading Canadian Women's and Gender History

Although Canadian women’s history is now nearly forty years old, no volume exists that reflects explicitly upon the field’s evolution and assesses its historiographical context. This retrospective is not merely summative; the essays in this collection are analytical engagements with the current state of the field, which draw on its rich past to generate new knowledge and propose innovative avenues for inquiry. The dual purposes of this collection are to contemplate the field’s past and to contribute productively to its future. These thirteen original essays are written by scholars at all career stages. The diversity of these authors’ perspectives illustrates the contributions that Canadian scholarship has had in international dialogues about women’s and gender history and that it continues to be a vibrant area of research. The collection includes chapters about the principal sub-fields in Canadian women’s and gender history, including specialized chapters on Québecois, Indigenous, Black, and immigrant women’s histories, religious history, labour history, war and society, history of sexuality, the history of reproductive labour and reproductive justice, two essays on the history of feminism that, taken together, cover the period from 1850 to the present, and a thematic essay on the colonial period.

A blurry image of an Indigenous woman twirling around, wearing a colourful shawl.

In Good Relation

Over the past thirty years, a strong canon of Indigenous feminist literature has addressed how Indigenous women are uniquely and dually affected by colonialism and patriarchy. Indigenous women have long recognized that their intersectional realities were not represented in mainstream feminism, which was principally white, middle-class, and often ignored realities of colonialism. As Indigenous feminist ideals grew, Indigenous women became increasingly multi-vocal, with multiple and oppositional understandings of what constituted Indigenous feminism and whether or not it was a useful concept. Emerging from these dialogues are conversations from a new generation of scholars, activists, artists, and storytellers who accept the usefulness of Indigenous feminism and seek to broaden the concept. In Good Relation captures this transition and makes sense of Indigenous feminist voices that are not necessarily represented in existing scholarship. There is a need to further Indigenize our understandings of feminism and to take the scholarship beyond a focus on motherhood, life history, or legal status (in Canada) to consider the connections between Indigenous feminisms, Indigenous philosophies, the environment, kinship, violence, and Indigenous Queer Studies. Organized around the notion of "generations," this collection brings into conversation new voices of Indigenous feminist theory, knowledge, and experience. Taking a broad and critical interpretation of Indigenous feminism, it depicts how an emerging generation of artists, activists, and scholars are envisioning and invigorating the strength and power of Indigenous women.

A red book cover featuring the book title.

Shamans, Queens, and Figurines

Sarah Nelson, recognized as one of the key figures in studying gender in the ancient world and women in archaeology, brings together much of the work she has done over three decades into a single volume. The book covers her theoretical contributions, her extensive studies of gender in the archaeology of East Asia, and her literary work on the subject. Included with the selections of her writing-- taken from diverse articles and books published in a variety of places-- is an illuminating commentary about the development of her professional and personal understanding of how gender plays out in ancient societies and modern universities and her current thinking on both topics.

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