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Beyond the centre, Spring 2006 Sneja, Gunew; University of British Columbia. Centre for Women's and Gender Studies 2006

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What’s Inside... Beyond the Centre Newsletter of the Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies The University of British Columbia, Canada The Newsletter of the Centre for  Women’s and Gender Studies The University of British Columbia 1896 East Mall Vancouver, BC  V6T 1Z1 Canada (604) 822-9171 tel (604) 822-9169 fax wmst1@interchange.ubc.ca www.wmst.ubc.ca Update from the Director Grad Advisor’s Roundup Remembering Hilda Thomas Undergrad Program Update News from SAGA Centre Visiting Scholar Reports Global Feminists - Montreal Grad Student Activities Soong Ching Ling Lecture and much more....... 3 3 4 4 5, 7, 8 6 9 18 Spring 2006 Sneja Gunew Well it’s been an extraordinary term and hard to know where to begin. First please note that our name has been changed to the Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies. Top of our reasons for celebrating is the fact that Chris Shelley will be our first PhD to graduate at the May convocation. He will be joined by Lisa Hickey who will gain her M.A. Con- gratulations to both.  On a similar note of jubilation, Valerie Raoul received a Killam Teaching Award for Gradu- ate supervision—well-deserved and timely. Margery Fee, the Graduate Advisor, was given a Margaret Fulton Award by the Campus Advisory Board on Student development. Amanda Vin- cent, on our Advisory Committee and a Faculty Associate, was winner of the Chevron Conservation Award for her work on protecting sea horses around the world. We also had a fine array of SSHRC awards: Nikki Strong-Boag and Wendy Frisby received three-year grants and Laurie Parsons received a SSHRC M.A. award. On March 8th. We hosted one of our fabulous International Women’s Day parties and used the occasion to honour the work of Frieda Granot who The first graduate of the Centre’s PhD programme, Christopher Shelley (centre), poses with friends and research committee members following his successful final oral defense, April 11, 2006. Continued on page 2 2     Beyond the Centre Beyond the Centre     3 PhD student Almas Zakiuddin with her grand- son Zain Stewart Alam, born to Ziad and Goldie Alam on Feb 12, 2006. is stepping down as Dean of Graduate Studies after ten years in that position. Check out the photos to give you a fla- vour of this event. This term we have been fortunate to enjoy the presence of a wonderful bunch of visiting scholars: Diana Holm- es (Leeds University) and Jackie Stac- ey and Hilary Hinds (Lancaster Univer- sity). All of them have given generous extra workshops beyond their lectures in the weekly seminar series. Meanwhile our graduate students (almost thirty strong) have been busy developing their own activities (see the report) as well as presenting at conferences, including the Learneds coming up at York University in May. Meanwhile, doctoral candidate Lauren Hunter has been busy as Vice-Presi- dent Academic and External Affairs, UBC Graduate Student Society and was also elected to the Board of Governors. We thank Nora Angeles, a Faculty Associate, for convening  a panel on “What has gender to do with the city?” as part of the Living in the City, World Urban Forum series. Cecily Nicholson, a doctoral candidate, was a participant. I was also honoured to be invited by colleagues at Simon Fraser to participate in their one-day confer- ence “Transformations: The Politics of Women’s Studies”, celebrating 30 years of Women’s Studies.  We look forward to further collaborations with our colleagues at SFU. There are some exciting confer- ences coming up over the summer: May 11th, Soong Ching Ling Lecture: “The Role of Women in Contemporary China” (in collaboration with Sauder School of Business, Centre for Chi- nese Research, Institute of Asian Research); May 11th & May 13th, “Gender, Race, Islam and the War on Terror’ (with  Women’s Studies, SFU and Researchers and Academics of Colour for Equality/Equity RACE); Decolonizing Affect Theory Collo- quium (Green College, June 25-27); “Root Causes of War and Women’s Responses: Feminist Analyses,” June 25th, World Peace Forum Women’s Working Group. There will be further reports on these in the next newslet- ter. Last week I was appraising the pro- posed M.A. for the University of Toron- to and met the wonderful  women who are part of their Women and Gender Studies Institute, including the direc- tor Sharzad Mojab. It was a sobering reminder of the disparity of resources across the country at the provincial and institutional levels. They are able to offer recruiting packages that we can only dream about as well as being able to mobilize thirteen core faculty and over one hundred faculty associates. But it was also a reminder of how suc- cessful we have been despite our slen- der resources and my heartfelt thanks to all of you who have contributed to our enterprise over the past year. Continued from page 1 Faculty of Graduate Studies Dean Frieda Granot (centre) with PhD students Lauren Hunter (left) and Samantha Semper. at the Centre’s March 8th, 2006 International Women’s Day party. 2     Beyond the Centre Beyond the Centre     3 Grad Advisor’s Roundup, 2005-06 Margery Fee Two doctoral students and seven MA students began their program in Sep- tember 2005, joining 16 PhD students and three MA students continuing in the program. For September 2006, we re- ceived 25 applications for the PhD and 22 for the MA and have admitted two PhD students and 10 MA students; we now are waiting for final acceptances. We look forward to welcoming a new Remembering Hilda Thomas Valerie Raoul This tribute should have been in the last Newsletter, since Hilda Thomas died aged 77 on November 25th, 2005, but it is never too late to acknowledge what women in BC, and women at UBC in particular, owe to this special person who fought numerous battles on our behalf. A senior lecturer in the English Department for many years, Hilda was an intrepid spokesperson for many causes. Her voice was often heard in the UBC Faculty Association, as well as the NDP Women’s Rights Committee, whether the topic was women’s “right to choose”, pay eq- uity, or support for daycare on campus (when that was still a controversial issue). Hilda could always be relied on to speak out, even in the face of ridicule and lack of support. She also used her powerful voice through mu- sic, and I remember well how, during the “Solidarity” strike in the ‘80s, she led us in marching to union songs, some of which were written by her and recorded with her husband, Philip Thomas. Without her we would not have had the BC Coalition for Abortion Clinics, the Everywoman’s Health Cen- tre (founded in 1988), or the Vancouver Folk Song Society. She also fought to protect green space and the trees in the Endowment Lands. Hilda Thomas was a small woman with a big heart, and a great sense of humour. Her level of commitment to what she believed in inspired me, among many others, to try in vain to keep up with her. She will be missed but not forgotten. cohort of students in the fall. Sara Koopman received her MA in November 2005; Lisa Hickey complet- ed her MA and Chris Shelley his PhD for graduation in May 2006.  Congratu- lations to all of them, especially Chris, who is the first PhD to graduate from the program. For 2005-06, the follow- ing students held scholarships: Jade Boyd (SSHRC doctoral), Eunkyung Choi (Graduate Entrance), Alyson Hoy (UGF), Naomi Lloyd (Tina and Mor- ris Wagner), Bianca Rus (UGF and SSHRC), and Almas Zakiuddin (UGF). Laurie Parsons received a SSHRC MA scholarship for 2006-07.  We are awaiting the UGF results for next year. This year the students did professional development workshops with Dorothy Martin (library research), Nikki Strong- Boag (scholarship applications), Shurli Makmillen (writing the review of litera- ture), Jackie Stacey (interdisciplinar- ity), Jackie Stacey and Hilary Hinds (publishing in journals), and Margery Fee (writing the cv).  Thanks to the fel- low students who visited to talk about preparing for qualifying papers and writing course outlines, as well.  The PhD students Lauren Hunter (left) and Kim Snowden (right) with Chris Shelley following his final oral defense. highlight of the year was the Graduate Conference, which was splendidly or- ganized by the Women’s Studies 500 class.  Thanks to all the participants for insightful and interesting papers that engaged the audience (and thanks for leaving the audience time to ask questions!)  Since this was my first year as Graduate Advisor, I very much appreciated all the support I received from Sneja Gunew, the Director; Wynn Archibald, the graduate secretary; and the students. Lisa Hickey will receive her MA in  Women’s and Gender Studies at Congregation May 24th. 4     Beyond the Centre Beyond the Centre     5 Studies in Autobiography, Gender and Age News from SAGA Centre Valerie Raoul SAGA Director Hui-ling Lin applied successfully for a grant from Green College to organize a series of events next year through SAGA, focused on gender and race in autobiographical films. There will be a series of film screenings in the Fall,  in conjunction with visits from directors, and a student-lead course on Asian film in the second term. More details will be available later in the summer. Roccio Davis, a Visiting Scholar from Spain who was at SAGA last summer, has received funding from her university to come back for the month of June to continue her research here. Several people associated with SAGA will be involved in the organi- sation of a one-day conference with a focus on women as part of the World Peace Forum to be held in Vancouver June 23-28th. This event will take place at the Asian Centre on Sunday June 25th. Participants will include women from Africa, Asia, and Latin America as well as First Nations women from Canada. They will share their views and experiences in relation to the Root Causes of War and en- gage in feminist analysis of women’s responses and actions in face of war and its consequences. The detailed programme will be available soon. You can register on-line (only $35 for the one day: Google World Peace Forum). This will be a unique event, not to be missed, so make sure you reserve your space! Update on the Undergraduate Women’s and Gender Studies Program Wendy Frisby, Chair I would like to extend my deep appre- ciation to Tineke Hellwig from Asian Studies who kindly agreed to serve as the Acting Chair of Women’s and Gender Studies from January-March 2006 while I was on a medical leave. As the previous Chair, Tineke was well acquainted with the tasks that needed to be performed and she was very ca- pably supported by Jane Charles and Wynn Archibald. I received many kind wishes from colleagues and students which undoubtedly contributed to my speedy recovery. There were a number of exciting de- velopments this term. The name of the undergraduate program, Women’s and Gender Studies, was passed by Senate on April 19th, 2006. We sought this name change to be in line with the newly re-named Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies, as recommended in our external review. Now we will have some fun calling ourselves WAGS and CWAGS respectively. We are in the process of getting a new sign for the building and are design- ing a brochure with the new name to increase our visibility. The work of our amazing instructors continues to be acknowledged in a number of ways. Dr. Chris Shelley, who teaches WMST 300, became the first doctoral student graduate of CWAGS and his dissertation received the high- est Category 1 rating. Dr. Shauna Pomerantz, who teaches WMST 302, has accepted a tenure track position at Brock University. We will miss her, but wish her all the best in this new posi- tion. Cecily Nicholson and Bianca Rus joined us as new sessional instructors for WMST 405 and 401 respectively, and did commendable jobs. Our other sessional instructors contribute to the undergraduate program in very impor- tant ways and continue to achieve ex- ceptionally high teaching evaluations scores, a testament to the very posi- tive impact they having on students. We thank Yvonne Brown, Holger Hoos, Lauren Hunter, Joy James, Lori Lothian, Deanna Reder, Beth Seaton, Dorothy Seaton, Kim Snowden, and Janice Stewart. Appreciation is ex- tended to Benita Bunjun and Carellin Brooks Barnes who teach the distance education version of WMST 300. We also appreciate the work of our very capable teaching assistants including Paola Arboleda, Rupa Bagga, Linda Dame, Xin Huang, and Bianca Rus. Two undergraduate student repre- sentatives on the Women’s Studies Wendy Frisby (right) with Women’s Studies Co- ordinating  Committee student rep April Tam. Continued on page12 4     Beyond the Centre Beyond the Centre     5 A two-month stay as Visiting Scholar at the Centre was part (the most exciting part) of a year’s study leave. In England, I work in the French department at Leeds University, and recently completed a three-year term as Head of Department (2002-5) during which I also did quite a lot of teaching and writing: this entitled me to a full year’s sabbatical. The Centre at UBC appealed for several reasons: my research is feminist research, into French language women writers, and gender in film; my career has included the setting up and teaching of Women’s Studies programmes; I am an enthusiastic reader of the remarkable range and number of Anglophone and Francophone Canadian women writers. Also, I wanted very much to meet Valerie Raoul, whose work I admire, and whose research interests converge closely with my own. Finding that the Centre for Women’s Studies has its own central-campus building, and one graced with bright yellow awnings, was a good start. First impressions were confirmed by the welcoming atmosphere inside: thanks to the quality of its academic leadership and to Jane and Wynn’s administrative skills and commitment, the Centre runs efficiently and seems to be a hub of feminist discussion, thinking, creativity, just as such a Centre should be.  While I was there, I delivered both one of the Wednesday lunchtime lecture series – based on one chapter of my recently completed book on romance and readership in 20th century France – and a film-showing/discussion on Claire Denis’s film Chocolat. Both of these attracted a large, articulate and responsive audience, from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds – as seems to be the norm for Centre events – and I found the questions and discussions both challenging and thoroughly interesting. I was also able to take advantage of the quiet office provided, and of the Koerner library, to complete an article on sex and gender in 1950s Hollywood and the French New Wave, and to begin to explore the work of some Canadian women writers, with the emphasis on Calgary-born Nancy Huston, who now writes in French as well as in her native English. I was lucky, too, to coincide with the setting up of a weekly seminar group on women’s autobiography, if which I was able – briefly – to be a part. With the Centre as a base, I was also able to make contact with the French department and deliver a research paper to postgraduates and staff there.  And thanks to the Centre, I had the pleasure of getting to know two fellow visiting scholars from an English university not so far from my own, whom until now I knew only through their work: Jackie Stacey and Hilary Hinds.  The Centre provided me with a space to think and explore new areas, in an atmosphere that is stimulatingly interdisciplinary, collaborative and supportive. This is also what it appears to provide for its members, for postgraduates, and for visiting scholars not only from abroad but also from across the campus, and I hope the University recognises what a valuable resource it has here. Thanks to Sneja for inviting and welcoming me, to Margery, to Jane and Wynn and all the colleagues and postgraduates I had the pleasure to meet; thanks to Valerie, for all the help, materials and ideas she so generously provided. And I haven’t even mentioned the sea, the mountains, Vancouver’s rich cultural life (so many cinemas!) or ski-ing at Whistler… Commitments at home limited the length of my stay, but I would like to think that I departed with an au revoir rather than a definitive goodbye. Yellow Awnings and Warm Welcomes Report from Diana Holmes. Visiting Scholar January-February 2006 “...I was also able ...to complete an article on sex and gender in 1950s Hollywood and the French New Wave, and to begin to explore the work of some Canadian women writers....” 6     Beyond the Centre Beyond the Centre     7 Global Feminists in Montreal International Women’s Day, Montreal 2006 Marilou Carrillo, PhD Candidate Montreal was the site of my par- ticipation in this year’s International Women’s Day weekend, organized by the March 8th Action and Coordina- tion Committee of Women of Diverse Origins, in partnership with the Simone de Beauvoir Institute of Concordia Col- lege.  The theme was:  Global Femi- nisms and Social Transformation.  I was in a morning panel with Sandra Moran of the National Women’s Forum in Guatemala who is also a percussion- ist, Ginette Apollon, trade unionist, of the Haitian Women Workers Commis- sion in Haiti, and Zleikha Muhtaseb of the Ibrahim Centre for Social Develop- ment in Palestine through an interview videotaped earlier for this IWD panel. As chair of the Philippine Women Centre of BC and student in CWGR, I brought the story of Philippine wom- en’s struggles in the Philippines and Canada, based on some of my Ph.D. research findings. I was also asked to be resource person for the afternoon workshop on Transnational Organizing: Trafficking of Women and Children, along with Louise Dionne of the Comite d’Action contre la Trafic Humain Interne et International.  The relationship of hu- man trafficking to prostitution came up along with the reasons why, from global women’s perspectives, prostitu- tion should not be legalized. The group of about 30 participants including four Filipino youth, three of whom were males, had various conclusions.  One significant one was the awareness for the need to focus on issues of migra- tion (and its root causes) as a central women’s issue in mainstream Cana- dian women’s movements.  Later I was interviewed by McGill University’s CKFU station. The next day, I was a resource person for a group of 13 inter-sector Filipino activists who met at McGill University, including the youth, women, and McGill students.  We focused on the Purple Rose Campaign and the sex traffick- ing of Filipino women and children, as women’s issues and as Filipinos in our transnational struggle, made obvious by the intensified international traffick- ing of Filipino women and children, be it through the Live-In Caregiver Program or through human smuggling, traffick- ing and prostitution. A Purple Rose Campaign T-shirt was launched at the Conference.  Come see me about owning one and wearing this social and political issue on our chests, next to our hearts. Marilou (centre) with Professor Nora Angeles and PhD student Almas Zakiuddin Congratulations to he following CWAGS students who have won awards for the 06-07 academic year: Laurie Parsons - SSHRC CGSM Almas Zakiuddin - UGF Lauren Hunter - UGF Sam Semper - UGF Naomi Lloyd - UGF 6     Beyond the Centre Beyond the Centre     7 Visiting Scholar Report Sreedevi K. Nair N.S.S.  College for Women, Kerala, India From the south-western tip of India to the west of Canada was quite a long journey. And my extended trip was an action-packed one for two of my con- necting flights flew off with me still in the previous flight. Yet, when I reached it, Vancouver, grandly lit at about ten at night, made ample amends from the first glance. She stretched out like a star-studded sky come down, to feast my tired eyes. I remembered the Ga- nesha festival in India, when we light thousands of lamps in tiny mud salvers and send them sailing in the sea. My Indian eyes were seeing Canada! On October 3, I reached UBC by about eight in the morning. I took a deep breath and looked around. The trees about me flashed rainbow colors. It was as if a mischievous child, fed up with God’s all-green, had rushed in and poured blazing colors over the trees. Fallen leaves looked like drops of paint dribbled on to the ground – violet, red, brown, golden yellow and even lilac! I stood relishing the sight… A handful of students were already moving about. When a boy who some- how reminded me of my son rushed past me, I stopped him with, “Could you please tell me where the Women’s Studies Centre is?” I was almost sure that this slip of a boy wouldn’t know where it was but to my surprise he promptly pointed his finger straight ahead and said, “There…do you see that yellow roof? That’s it.” In the dis- tance, I could see a yellow tin-roofed structure which looked like a make-shift construction amid other huge buildings which flashed impressive signboards. A great deal of construction work was going on in the campus... I thanked the boy and walked forward, almost sure that the look-alike of my son was wrong. But on the glass door of the yel- low-roofed tent was pasted the address of the Centre -1896 East Mall, Vancou- ver, B.C., Canada V6T 1Z1. It might be Canada and UBC too but Women’s Studies Centers all over the world must be sharing a collective destiny. Well, that was a moment of enlightenment! I remembered the grand one-room Women’s Studies Centre of the Univer- sity of Kerala and Madam Director with a lot of warmth. Ms. Wynn Archibald, the Secretary to the Centre led me in. The yellow roof receded and a new world opened up. Seated comfortably in the Visiting Scholars’ room before the computer, I remembered that I had to make my presentation in two days. I was still con- fused. ‘Literary women and Censorship’ was no new topic and I knew that all the different aspects of the topic might have already been discussed in detail at the Centre. Then, what was I going to say? Yet, they won’t know everything about the writers in Kerala, I comforted myself and started listing out my points. On the 5th, luckily, I was sure of what I wanted to say. I spoke of the long tradition of women writing in our state and of the conspicuous silence of a few centuries in the history of our women writing. Was it, at least in part, due to the hostile re- sponse it received? There was a time when the identity of the women writers itself was questioned. Some maintained that what got published under women’s names was actually written by men. The writing was contested and con- tained through bawdy remarks targeted against the authors.  If the women later on restricted themselves to traditional and non-controversial themes like reli- gion and mythology, was it in reaction to this? Later, in the twentieth century, women writing began to flower again. Censorship too grew powerful- soci- etal, familial and self-imposed. Severe silencing resulted. One writer commit- ted suicide and passed into eternal silence. Certain others laid down their pens forever and sent the writers in them to the everlasting land of literary exile. Yet others went into a long silent phase of ten to twenty years. But I laid stress on a fourth category of writers who attempted a creative contesting of censorship. These writers recreated the past through the rewriting of myths and legends which had a strong hold on the societal psyche; deconstructed the present through the deliberate explod- ing of the conventional representation of woman as the glorious mother, the “...It might be Canada and UBC too but Women’s Stud- ies Centers all over the world must be sharing a collective destiny...” Continued on page 8 8     Beyond the Centre Beyond the Centre     9 My time as visiting scholar at the Cen- tre, from July to December 2005, was also in many ways a homecoming for me, since I received my PhD from UBC in 1994. My period at the Centre, based at SAGA in the Koerner Library, provided me with the opportunity to write up a book manuscript based on research I have been doing over the past few years. The study looked at the role of autobiography in the forma- tion of independent nation states after colonialism, examining a linked series of autobiographies written by "national fathers" such as Jawaharlal Nehru, Kwame Nkrumah, Nelson Mandela and Lee Kuan Yew, and drew upon exten- sive archival research in India, Ghana, Britain, South Africa, the United States and Singapore. My period at SAGA and the Centre enabled me to think through, as I was writing the manuscript, the manner in which the way in which the nation is imagined after colonialism is profound- ly gendered, how the story of the na- tion is often told through the narrative of the growth of a male protagonist, and how this story persists and informs po- litical developments in the nation long after independence, influencing, for instance, the manner in which women politicians present themselves to a pub- lic as widows, wives, or daughters of national fathers. I appreciated interac- tion with faculty both at the Centre and in other departments at UBC, and con- versations, challenges and discussions with graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and other visiting scholars, all of whom brought new perspectives to my work. I had a chance to present my work in a seminar and receive useful feedback, and also access to UBC’s ex- tensive library resources, which I found to be unexpectedly rich in areas such as African history. One further valuable element of my time at the Centre was thinking through the history of the Centre at UBC and its experiences as a model for future developments at my own university, where I’ve been part of a committee working towards establishing a gen- der studies minor at B.A. level which many of us hope will be a precursor to a fully-fledged programme in women’s and gender studies. It’s my hope that gender might be on the agenda in the increasing number of exchanges and contacts between NUS and UBC, both members of APRU and Universitas 21, and would welcome any graduate stu- dents, postdoctoral fellows, or faculty associated with the centre to remain in touch and to consider possible future research projects with partners in Sin- gapore.  Finally, being based in Vancouver gave me the opportunity to explore areas where my personal interests overlap with academic concerns—for instance, in interviewing and interact- ing with the Singaporean poet and novelist Goh Poh Seng. While I’m grateful to many people I don’t have space to name at the Centre for sup- port, frank discussion, and interaction, I’d particularly like to thank the faculty and staff of the centre: Sneja, Valerie and Margery for making many op- portunities possible for me, and Jane and Wynn for ensuring that everything went smoothly. Visiting Scholar Report Philip Holden Department of English Language and Literature. National University of Singapore all-forgiving wife, the deserted lady- love and so on and sketched a brighter future through unconventional char- acters whose brave, new personality prompted treatment of age-old prob- lems in unusually bold ways. Thus, some of the writers at least, did not call it quits due to atrocious censor- ship but stood their ground and fought the battle using the weapon they knew well to wield. I ended my presentation by referring to such possible ways of putting up a creative resistance to si- lencing through censorship. The paper was well-received. It was a pleasant surprise that some of the writers were familiar names to the audience. From the questions raised, I made out that some of the students had gathered material from the internet too. The Centre had certainly made consider- able efforts to publicize the talk. After that presentation, I knew exactly what I wanted to say in the introduction to the book I was planning. Sreedevi Nair Continued from page 7 8     Beyond the Centre Beyond the Centre     9 Manuela Valle Sam Semper Although this has become a common refrain, it must be said again, this se- mester has been a particularly busy time for the WSGSA and the Women’s Studies graduate students. A number of new academic projects, working groups and student-led initiatives have been launched this semester offering more opportunities than ever to meet to discuss ideas and receive feedback on work-in-progress. The Female Mas- culinities Project, The Readings in Au- tobiography Group, and the Women’s Studies Peer Review Group all got off to a great start and will continue as on- going projects. The Female Masculin- ity Project, co-sponsored by CWAGS and the Access and Diversity Office, and coordinated by Manuela Valle, of- fered space to discuss and deconstruct notions of gender, with emphasis on gender performance and the policing of gender roles through heteronormativ- ity. This project will continue throughout the summer with discussion sessions and an experiential ‘drag’ component. The Readings in Autobiography Group coordinated by Naomi Lloyd, was established this semester under the auspices of SAGA, the Centre for Studies in Autobiography, Gender and Age, and CWAGS, and brought together visiting scholars, faculty and graduate students.  The purpose of the biweekly group was to provide an introduction to the field of gender and autobiography.  The group started with readings that provided an overview of the field, and ended with a “case study,” Helene Cixous’ autobiographical essay “My Algeriance, in other words: to de- part not to arrive from Algeria.” Naomi extends a big thank you to Dr. Valerie Raoul, director of SAGA, for taking time out of her busy schedule to attend the meetings and for providing suggestions for the group’s reading, as well as to all visiting scholars and graduate students for their participation. WSGSA’s Academic Events Coor- dinator, Xin Huang, coordinated this year’s, Women’s Studies Peer Review Group: a biweekly meeting for graduate students engaged in feminist research or interested in issues of gender to  re- spond to work-in-progress presented by other graduate students. Graduate students from UBC or SFU interested in attending these sessions, or present- ing relevant work, should contact Xin. Alongside the new academic proj- ects, organized social events have helped to solidify relationships and encourage exchange among the Women’s Studies graduate students. The Chinese New Year dinner at Bo- Kong, Bingo for Life at the Oasis, and Leslie Feinberg’s lecture at the Van- couver Public Library (part of the SFU Maggie Benston series) were definite highlights. Thanks to Heather Hanra- han for organizing these events. Increased contact with SFU Wom- en’s Studies students this year has en- couraged new ties to form between the departments.  This has added a new dimension to our feminist community and we look forward to a continuing relationship. Closer ties with Women’s Studies undergraduate students has also been a priority this year, culminat- ing in a drop-in information/ working session with Undergraduate students interested in attending the Women’s Studies conference in Alberta next year. Thank you to Cecily Nicholson for her help with this session. Further joint initiatives with the WMST Undergradu- ate students, including an annual social Women’s Studies Grad Student activities 2005-2006 Continued on page 10 Left:  Manuela Valle; Above: Almas Zakiuddin, Naomi Lloyd, Xin Huang and  Sirijit Sunanta; Right: Susie Roman and Kathleen Gamble. 10     Beyond the Centre Beyond the Centre     11 gathering and fundraising performance event, are in the planning stages. This year, a dedicated effort has been made to both encourage and make visible links between the gradu- ate students and campus and com- munity activist initiatives and resource groups.  As part of this, WSGSA orga- nized an anti-oppression/ anti-imperial- ist workshop with Grassroots Women, a local activist organization, and outings to several community events including, East Vancouver’s Interna- tional Women’s Day protest march and rally, and No One is Illegal’s “Na- tional (In)securities.” Work continues to strengthen relationships with activist and resources groups through joint ini- tiatives. Be sure to check the WSGSA bulletin board at CWAGS for informa- tion on local resource groups, activist organizations, and their initiatives. In September, the WSGSA set “policy” as its priority alongside com- munity-building efforts.  Over the last few months WSGSA has worked to formalize its structures and clarify its function. As part of this, a WSGSA mission statement and constitution has been written, position portfolios have been outlined for all WSGSA executive positions, and election pro- cedure has been drawn out. Copies of these documents are currently circu- lating among students and feedback is needed. Official debate and voting on policy will begin in September.  Please email the Graduate Reps, if you have not received a copy of these docu- ments. The end of the semester by no means marks the end of activity at CWAGS or for the students in the graduate program. A number of stu- dents will be traveling this summer to present their work at conferences all over the world.  We wish them all luck, and remind them to send postcards. Meanwhile, in Vancouver, the WSGSA has already begun working on plans for this Fall’s New Student Orienta- tion and The Photo Archive Project, a new initiative to collect, organize, and make available an edited digital collec- tion of photographs tracing the history of CWAGS and the Women’s Studies Graduate programme. Anyone inter- ested in helping with either of these projects, should contact the WSGSA graduate Representatives by email. Please note photos to be included in the archive may be dropped off at CWAGS. Original prints will be returned. Finally, as everyone at CWAGS can attest, visiting scholars are always an important part of our academic commu- nity. This year we have been lucky to have very active visitors who have en- riched life considerably at the centre. A special thank you to Jackie Stacey and Hilary Hinds for being so engaged and engaging, and offering so much time and energy to life at CWAGS. And to close for the summer, all the graduate students want to extend very special congratulations to Chris Shelley who successfully defended his thesis last month and will be the first to graduate from Women’s Studies with his Doctor- ate. Congratulations, Chris! See you all at the beach, Sam and Manola. WORLD PEACE FORUM VANCOUVER JUNE 23-28, 2006 The  WPF Women’s Working Group and the UBC Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies are co-sponsoring a one-day conference SUNDAY JUNE 25th At the ASIAN CENTRE, UBC ROOT CAUSES OF WAR AND WOMEN’S RESPONSES Feminist Analyses This event will be open to all those registered for the WPF or for this one-day event, but space is limited so please register now to reserve your place. To register and for program information, go to  web-site www.worldpeaceforum.ca Speakers will include women peace activists from Africa, Asia, Latin-America, and indigenous women from Canada and elsewhere. UBC contacts: Valerie Raoul and Sunera Thobani Grad Students 05-06 Continued from page 9 “...This year, a dedicated effort has been made to both encourage and make visible links between the graduate students and campus and community activist initiatives and resource groups....” 10     Beyond the Centre Beyond the Centre     11 The following papers were delivered at the Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies’ 13th annual Graduate Student Symposium, held 21 April 2006 at the Graduate Student Centre. Marilou Carrillo “Socially Transformative Feminism: Transnational Perspectives of Filipino Women At Home and Abroad” Kathleen Gamble “Deconstructing the Master Narrative of Motherhood: Toni Morrison’s Beloved and the Concept of Whiteness in Literature” Heather Hanrahan “Speaking the Body: Constructing New Cultural Narratives of Girlhood Sexuality Through DIY Feminist Video” Razia Husain “The Construction of Black Masculinity within Rap Music” Roseann Larstone “Experiential construction of the self in disability” Naomi Lloyd “A Queer Authority: Religion, Sexuality and Empire in the Turn-of- the-Century Relationship Between Constance Maynard and Marion Wakefield” Sally Mennill “What to Expect When You’re Expecting (if you’re a white, heterosexual, middle class wife): Frameworks of “Normalcy” in Contemporary North American Maternity Literature” Laurie Parsons “Singing ‘Bread and Roses’ to the Tune of ‘Solidarity Forever’: Union Certifications in British Columbia Transition Houses” Susie Roman “The Female Body and Raunch Culture” Manuela Valle “Gender, Nation and Modernity: An Anti-Imperialist Feminist Look at Chilean Press Cuts on Bachelet’s Razia Husain, MA student Professor Valerie Raoul Susie Roman, MA student Symposium caps busy term for Grad Students Views from the Edge #12 Papers from the 12th Annual Graduate Student Symposium April 14, 2005 published by the Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies 1896 East Mall, UBC Now available! $5.00 per copy Election Published between January and February 2006”  Almas Zakiuddin “Religion in development discourse: challenges for Bangladeshi women in a transnational world” 12     Beyond the Centre Beyond the Centre     13 Coordinating Committee, Krista Jones and April Tam, contributed to program development in a number of ways. They created a student email list and use it to promote various activities. They represented WAGS at the Be- yond Second Year Event that assists students in selecting their majors and minors. April and Krista spoke to many students and handed out candy which proved to be a very successful recruit- ing technique. Several students have since contacted me for more infor- mation about our program. April and Krista are keen to help with our plans to visit high schools in the fall to pro- mote WAGS. April and Krista, along with Hui-Ling Lin, helped to organize a surprise visit to Valerie Raoul’s WMST 328 class, as this is the last undergrad- uate class that Valerie will be teaching before she retires in December, 2006. The students provided testimonials to Valerie’s important role as a mentor, teacher, and supervisor over the last 27 years and lamented how she will be very deeply missed. Currently all WAGS faculty have research grants and several have re- ceived teaching and service awards, an outstanding accomplishment for our small but highly productive unit. Dr. Valerie Raoul, who teaches WMST 357 and 358, received a Killam Teach- ing Prize and joins Dr. Becki Ross and Dr. Nora Angeles as winners of this prestigious award. Both Dr. Raoul and Dr. Sharalyn Orbaugh received AMS “Just Desserts” awards for out- standing service to UBC students. Sharalyn did 8 presentations, several of them internationally over the last year, while publishing 3 book chap- ters, one article, and one translation. This is particularly impressive record given her heavy teaching load of 5 un- Undergrad Program Update Continued from page 4 12     Beyond the Centre Beyond the Centre     13 dergraduate and 2 graduate courses. Nora Angeles holds a Hampton Grant and a Status of Women Canada Grant, while being very active in a number of service and student supervision capaci- ties. Becki Ross, who is the Co-Chair of the Critical Studies in Sexuality Program, has a Hampton Fund Grant and a UBC/HSS grant. She was also awarded a Travel Grant for her pa- per presented at the World Women’s studies Congress in Seoul, Korea. Dr. Sneja Gunew holds a SSHRC grant (2005-2008) on “Dialogues with Diver- sity” and is frequently invited to be a Keynote Speaker at international con- ferences and events. She is extremely active in a service capacity through her roles as Director of CWAGS. Dr. Nikki Strong- Boag was awarded a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) grant to extend her interesting historical research on foster care. Nikki has 5 book chapters, a single authored book, two co- edited books and sev- eral articles in various stages of publication. Dr. Sunera Thobani and Dr. Tineke Hellwig launched their edited book entitled Asian Women: InterConnec- tions through Women’s Press. Dr. Thobani holds a Hampton grant and has had another book entitled Exalted Subjects: Studies in the Making of Race and Nation in Canada accepted for publication by the University of Toronto Press. She is on the organizing committee for the annual Canadian Critical Race Confer- ence and along with Valerie Raoul, is organizing a special Women’s Con- ference that will be part of the World Peace Forum in June, 2006. We are most fortunate to have such a committed and talented group of students, staff, instructors, teaching assistants and faculty associated with Women’s & Gender Studies at UBC. Students at the International Women’s Day party, March 8, 2006. “...Dr. Shauna Pomerantz, who teaches WMST 302, has accepted a tenure track position at Brock University. We will miss her, but wish her all the best....” check it out. thirdspace the journal for emerging feminist scholars www.thirdspace.ca Professor Valerie Raoul with WMST 328 students on her final day of teaching in the Women’s and Gender Studies Undergraduate Program, April 4, 2006 14     Beyond the Centre Beyond the Centre     15 UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies Spring 2006, WMST 500 Lecture Series January 11: Joshua Mostow, Dept of Asian Studies, UBC Fukagawa Geisha and the Construction of National Erotics in Japan January 25: Jackie Stacey, Dept of Sociology, Lancaster University, UK Embodying Difference and Mapping Desire: the Global Subjects of Genetics in the Cinema February 1: Erin Baines, Director of Conflict & Development, Liu Institute, UBC Seeking Justice in the Midst of War: A Gender Perspective of northern Uganda February 8: Diana Holmes, University of Leeds, UK ‘Leur amour est une prison’ (‘Their love is a prison’, song of the MLF or French Women’s Liberation Movement).  Post-feminist Romance in 1980s France. February 22: Cindy Patton, Sociology/Anthropology & Women’s Studies, SFU Good Face’: Disability, Cosmetic Surgery, and HIV+ Gay Men’s Struggle with Medication-related Facial Lipoatrophy March 1: Proma Tagore, Dept of English, University of Victoria The Asymmetrical Geography of My Heart: Forms of Queer Diasporic Desire in Anurima Banerji’s Night Artillery March 8: Sharalyn Orbaugh, Dept of Asian Studies, UBC Cyborg Sexuality and the Gender of the Posthuman March 15: Lisa Loutzenheiser, Dept of Curriculum Studies, UBC What’s Understanding Got to Do with It? Empathy and Teaching Across Difference March 22: Hilary Hinds, Dept of English and Creative Writing, Lancaster University, UK British Fictions of Femininity 1920-1955: Gender, Nation and Modernity March 29: Alexia Bloch, Dept of Anthropology and Sociology, UBC Transnational Nurturing: Negotiating Borders, Families, and Love in Post-Soviet Migrant Communities in Istanbul April 5: Bruce Baum, Dept of Political Science, UBC The Rise and Fall of the Caucasian Race: What the History of “Race” Can Teach Us about the History of Sex/Gender. Jackie Stacey Proma Tagore Joshua Mostow 14     Beyond the Centre Beyond the Centre     15 The Centre’s Advisory Committee for 2005-06:  Back row left to right: Catherine Dauvergne, Rachel Kuske, Jerilynn Prior, Amanda Vincent, Gillian Creese, Jane Charles, Veronica Strong-Boag.  Front row left to right: Sneja Gunew, Wendy Frisby, Valerie Raoul, Margery Fee, Samantha Semper, and Manuela Valle.  Missing:  Sunera Thobani. Copies of some Working Papers from previous years are still available and can be purchased at the Centre ($1.00/copy). Here is a partial list of those we have on hand (a complete list is available at Reception): Occasional Working Papers, 2001 • The Production and Reproduction of Unequal  Gender Relations in China • Violence Against Women:  Learning from Teaching Occasional Working Papers, 1998 Some Reflection on New Learning Technologies in the Women’s Studies Classroom Occasional Working Papers, 1997 Is This Canada?  Domestic Workers’ Experiences in Van- couver, BC Back issues of Working Papers available at the Centre Occasional Working Papers, 1997 His and Hers Disaster:  A Feminist Research Agenda for Disaster Social Science Occasional Working Papers, 1997 And the Young Man did Go North (unfortunately):  Reflec- tions on Issues in Gender and the Academy Occasional Working Papers, 1995 Taslima Nasrin:  Tales of Shame Occasional Working Papers, 1995 Does Feminism speak Eastern European? Occasional Working Papers, 1995 Denying (White) Racial Privilege:  Redemption Discourses and the Uses of Fantasy ASIAN WOMEN Interconnections Edited by TINEKE HELLWIG and SUNERA THOBANI Women’s Press, Toronto 2006 “...one of a very small number of books that places Asian women at centre stage -- will open important intellectual discussions about Asian Canadian feminism and compara- tive feminisms....” 16     Beyond the Centre Beyond the Centre     17 Retrospective.... 05-06 Winter Session Above: Lauren Hunter and partner Rowan; left: Salima Shakoor and Souzan Bakhtiari. Below:  Chris Shelley is mobbed after his success- ful PhD final oral defense. Left:  Valerie Raoul with son Alain and grandson Dhillon. Right: Hannah and Dorothy Seaton. Students at the International Women’s Day party, March 8, 2006. 16     Beyond the Centre Beyond the Centre     17 Left: Students April Tam, Krista Jones, Itrath Syed, and Sam Semper at the End of Term party, April 21st Below:  Dr. Chris Shelley entertains at the End of Term party. Professor Valerie Raoul with students on her final day of teaching in the Women’s Studies Undergrad Program. Lucky raffle winner Miseli Jeon at the Dec. 2005 Xmas party. Left:  Xin Huang and Eunkyung Choi. Below:  Kate Reid sings at the December 2005 Xmas Party. 18     Beyond the Centre Beyond the Centre     19 The Office of International Programs at the Sauder School of Business, the Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies, and the Centre for Chinese Research, Institute of Asian Research, are delighted to announce a panel presentation by distinguished members of the Soong Ching Ling Foundation to be held on May 11th, 2006, in Rm 120, C.K. Choi Building, Institute of Asian Research, 1855 West Mall, UBC, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Soong Ching Ling Lecture: “The Role of Women in Contemporary China” A Panel Presentation by: Dr. Annie Wu Mrs. Peggy Lam Dr. Rebecca Lee  The panel will be drawing upon their individual experiences in contemporary China and the ongoing efforts to promote women’s interests and rights at the grass root level and in policy making processes.  They will demonstrate the significance of raising awareness of the public and policy-makers in women’s struggle against poverty, discrimination, violence and environmental degradation.  They will also be discussing the opportunities and challenges that women face in engaging in policy dialogue on the increase of Chinese women’s role in building a harmonious society that is economically sustainable, socially equitable, and environmental sound. This panel presentation is organized by the China Soong Ching Ling Children’s Foundation to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the honorary doctorate degree bestowed by the University of Victoria on the late Madam. Soong Ching Ling, who was the first woman President of China and the wife of Sun Yet-sen, the founder of modern China. Dr. Lanyan Chen is the coordinator of the panel presentation. A former United Nations Fund for Women (UNIFEM) representative for North East Asia, she is a graduate of UBC and SFU. Dr. Annie Wu is a member of the Standing Committee of the Committee of Chinese People’s Consultative Conference (CCPPCC). She is also the Chairman of the Executive Committee of The Chinese History and Culture Educational Foundation for Youth and the China Soong Ching Ling Children’s Foundation. She is also a community activist serving as an Executive member of various women’s organizations, committed to advancing women’s status both in Hong Kong and on Mainland China. Mrs. Peggy Lam is a member of the Executive Committee of the All China Women’s Federation, the Chairman of Hong Kong Federation of Women, a former member of Women’s Commission, Equal Opportunities Commission and Elderly Commission. She was appointed as the Justice of the Peace in 1981, and awarded the Member of British Empire (M.B.E.) in 1985, the Order of British Empire (O.B.E.) in 1993, the Silver Bauhinia Star (S.B.S.) and the Gold Bauhinia Star (G.B.S.) by the Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in 1998 and 2003 respectively. Dr. Rebecca Lee is the Founder and Director of China Polar Museum Foundation. She is now working closely with polar scientists in China who are conducting research on the environment. She has gained recognition as the first Hong Kong woman explorer to reach the Arctic, Antarctic and Mount Everest. She has published 12 books on her own, organized many educational exhibitions and produced TV documentaries about the world we live in. 18     Beyond the Centre Beyond the Centre     19 The University of British Columbia of- fers a Visiting Scholar Program as an integral part of its Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies. Scholars work- ing in these areas are encouraged to apply to spend leave time (one to six months) in affiliation with the Centre. The goal of the Centre is to stimulate feminist research and to facilitate in- terchange of ideas and collaboration among scholars, at UBC and else- where. Scholars will be expected to participate in the activities of the Cen- tre and to give a public lecture during their term. The Visiting Scholar programme is open to faculty, both untenured and tenured, as well as to independent scholars who are engaged in critical work on women and gender, who are not currently working on a higher de- gree at any institution and preference will be given to those who reside in ar- eas outside the B.C. Lower Mainland. Scholars from “developing” countries are encouraged to apply. In its selec- tion of visitors, the Centre hopes to create a diverse community of junior and senior scholar-researchers. The Centre is particularly interested in appli- cants who are situ- ated within existing Women’s Studies centres which might be interested in forg- ing future interna- tional links. Funds are ex- tremely limited and are not available for salary. Their perma- nent geographical location and their other forms of sup- ports will determine the level of as- sistance available to successful ap- plicants. Normally, scholars from North America, Australia, New Zealand, and the European Union, will not be eligible for funding. Scholars will normally be provided with shared office space at the Centre itself, phone, a computer worksta- tion in the SAGA Centre, Koerner Library and secretarial assistance. The University’s academic year runs from September to April; therefore ap- plicants are encouraged to schedule the majority of their visit to the Centre during these months. Scholars will normally only receive funding on one occasion. Applications must include: • Curriculum vitae • A detailed statement of research Visiting Scholar Program 2007-2008 plans for the time period • The length of stay proposed and the dates • An indication of required funding needs The applicant must also arrange to have two referees forward their assessments to: Visiting Scholar Pro- gram, UBC Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies, 1896 East Mall, Van- couver, B.C., Canada, V6T 1Z1. The closing date for receipt of appli- cations is December 1, 2006. Sreedevi Nair, N.S.S. College for Women, Kerala, India, who visited the Centre in the Fall of 2005. Meenakshi Thapan, Dept. of Sociology, Uni- versity of New Delhi, India, was a visitor at the Centre Sept.-Oct. 2005. THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA CENTRE FOR WOMEN’S AND GENDER STUDIES The University of British Columbia 1896 East Mall Vancouver, BC  V6T 1Z1 Phone:  604-822-9171 Fax:  604-822-9169 Email:  wmst1@interchange.ubc.ca Website:  www.wmst.ubc.ca Sneja Gunew, Director 604-822-9175  sneja.gunew@ubc.ca Margery Fee, Graduate Advisor 604-822-4085 gradadv@interchange.ubc.ca Valerie Raoul, SAGA Director 604-822-9487 valraoul@interchange.ubc.ca Jane Charles, Administrator 604-822-9173 jane.charles@ubc.ca Wynn Archibald, Graduate Secretary 604-822-9171 wynn.archibald@ubc.ca Members of the Advisory Committee: Manuela Valle, MA Student, Women’s and Gender Studies Gillian Creese, Sociology Catherine Dauvergne, Law Margery Fee, English Wendy Frisby, Chair, Women’s Studies Program Sneja Gunew, Director CWAGS Rachel Kuske, Mathematics Jerilynn Prior, Medicine Valerie Raoul, Director of SAGA Samantha Semper, PhD Student Women’s and Gender Studies Veronica Strong-Boag, Educational Studies Sunera Thobani, Women’s and Gender Studies Amanda Vincent, Fisheries Centre The Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies is a part of the Faculty of Graduate Studies at The University of British Columbia.  Our primary purposes are to: • Highlight the signifi cance of research in Women’s Studies or Gender Relations and feminist research in all fi elds; • Encourage UBC faculty graduate students and others to meet together in multi-disciplinary groups for discussion and research in these areas; • Bring UBC researchers together with activists and researchers from other institutions in Canada and abroad, and from within the community; and • Communicate support for women’s studies, gender analysis and feminist research to governments, insitutions, community groups and the public in British Columbia, Canada and elsewhere. Beyond the Centre is published by The University of British Columbia’s Cen- tre for Women’s and Gender Studies twice a year.  It is distributed free of charge to interested researchers, educators, community activists, practitioners and students.  To subscribe, e-mail your request to wynn.archibald@ubc.ca. Any part of this newsletter may be reprinted with credit to the source. If you would like to share your feedback with us or contribute to the newsletter, please contact Wynn Archibald, coordinator of the newsletter.


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