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Newsletter, Spring/Summer 2009 Gillian, Creese; University of British Columbia. Centre for Women's and Gender Studies 2009

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What’s Inside... Newsletter Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies, UBC 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 Graduate Advisor Report Visiting Scholar Report News from RAGA Centre Community Visitor Report Grad Student Association WAGS Program Update Beyond Binaries symposium Spring Lecture Series Visiting Scholars Program 3 4 6 8 9 11 13 14 15 Spring/Summer 2009 Gillian Creese, Director It’s already spring and another busy term at CWAGS is winding down. One of the most important accomplishments this term has been to get our new web- site up and running. Thanks to Brian Charles for designing the new web site, and to graduate students Emilia Niel- son and Jenny Fawcett for their valu- able assistance. The website address remains unchanged (http://www.wmst. ubc.ca/), but the site is much easier to negotiate, now includes video clips of past events (including presentations from the “Engendering Social Justice” Research Forum), and up-to-date no- tices for our weekly speaker’s series. As most of you know we have also been organizing our list of Faculty Associates (which now number over 90) into a series of research clusters. Look for the list of Faculty Associates in each research cluster to appear on the website soon. As we often do in the spring term, our major activities are connected to International Women’s Day. Nikki Becki Ross (l), incoming Women’s and Gender Studies Undergraduate Program Chair, with current Chair Wendy Frisby and Director Gillian Creese at the 2009 CWAGS/WAGS Annual Joint Retreat. 2     Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies side the Lines: A Conference for Inter- disciplinary Feminist Research”, to be held on April 29th at Theas Lounge in the Graduate Student Centre.  In February Wendy Frisby and I convened a one-day symposium on “Feminist Approaches to Community- Based Research”. The invitation-only event was designed to provide authors of an upcoming edited collection the opportunity to present early drafts and develop synergies between chapters. The book, a collection of 12 original chapters on feminist community-based research, is written by CWAGS Fac- ulty Associates and Research Associ- ates, in collaboration with a wide range of community groups, for submission to UBC Press. Plans are already well underway to bring in our fall keynote speaker. This year we are bringing in Justice Rosa- lie Abella on November 5 – 6. Among other activities, Justice Abella will give a public talk on the evening of Novem- ber 6, following a panel examining 25 years of employment equity in Canada. This promises to be an exciting event, so save that date in your calendars. We welcomed 3 Visiting Scholars to the Centre this term: Laurence Bach- mann from the University of Geneva, Michelle Bastian from the University of New South Wales, and Grace Puja from Ruaha University in Tanzania. In April we look forward to welcom- ing Lucy Delap from Cambridge Uni- versity who will be with us over the summer. Lucy is looking forward to renewing acquaintances made during ...Among other activities, Justice Abella will give a public talk on the evening of November 6..... Strong-Boag and I produced our third report on the effects of recent govern- ment policies on gender inequality in British Columbia. Still Waiting for Justice Update 2009: Provincial Poli- cies and Gender Inequality in BC was launched at the BC Federation of La- bour’s annual International Women’s Day Breakfast on March 6th. Unlike last year, this year’s report has so far received little press (other than one ar- ticle appearing in the Georgia Straight), but we are hopeful that the issue of gender inequality will inform debates in the upcoming provincial election in May. The report can be downloaded from the CWAGS website or the BC Federation of Labour website at http:// www.bcfed.com/files/1670-09br-Still_ Waiting_for_Justice-2009.pdf. We also celebrated International Women’s Day by co-sponsoring a public talk by author Evelyn White. Her presentation, “The Universe Provides: Alice Walker, Abundance and the Art of Biography” was held on March 6 be- fore a small but appreciative audience. We also co-sponsored a talk by Elana Brief, “Creating space for women sci- entists to succeed” (February 12), an exhibit by Mary Taylor, “Homophobia Kills” (February 9 – 12), a talk by Laura Mulvey, “Between film theory and film history: The young modern women and the ‘flapper film’” (February 23), screening of “Examined Life” and Q & A with director Astra Taylor (March 26), and the Black History Month Photo Exhibit mounted by SFU’s Women’s Studies program at SFU Teck Gallery and SFU Harbour Centre  (February – May). In addition the Centre continued its weekly speakers’ series of noon- hour lectures every Wednesday (the list of speakers appears elsewhere in the newsletter). And we marked the publication of Volume 16 of Views From the Edge with papers from the 2008 Graduate Student Conference. We eagerly look forward to this year’s Graduate Student Conference, “Out- a previous visit to CWAGS. We also hosted another Community Visitor this term. Niki Silva, from the Philippine Women Centre, is working on a proj- ect on violence against women in the Live-In-Caregiver Program. We thank the VanCity Community Foundation for their generous support of the Commu- nity Visitors program.  We are pleased to confirm that both these programs will continue next year. Please see de- tails about how to apply as a Visiting Scholar or a Community Visitor on the CWAGS website. Individual reports from this term’s Visiting Scholars and Community Visitors appear elsewhere in this newsletter. As we all know the recent financial crisis has had a major impact on UBC’s budget, not least in the College for In- terdisciplinary Studies (CFIS) which has more endowed chairs that are cur- rently ‘underwater’ than any other fac- ulty. Since CWAGS has a very small endowment, so small we have not actually used any of the interest ac- cumulated over the past few years, I am pleased to say we have escaped the new CFIS belt tightening associ- ated with the current budgetary crisis. Indeed, in the fall we were given the green light to pursue a possible new joint appointment with another unit in CFIS. The hiring process is ongoing and the outcome as yet uncertain, but I remain hopeful that we will have good news on this front. For the past several months we have also been engaged in discus- sions about a possible move to a new campus location. The Centre is in many respects a wonderful space: centrally located, bright, and inviting. On the other hand it is a ‘temporary’ building and we continue to have prob- lems with a leaky roof (in spite of re- pairs last fall), various wildlife, and are just about bursting at the seams. The economic meltdown has made our dreams of fundraising for a new space in a new building much less realistic. Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies     3 Graduate Advisor’s ReportSo if suitable alternate space can be negotiated a move over the summer is a possibility. As always I am grateful for the hard work, unwavering support, and much laughter shared with Jane Charles, our administrator, and Wynn Archibald, our graduate/undergraduate secretary. They make my job both easier and much more enjoyable. Special thanks also to Nora Angeles, who has served as Graduate Advisor for the past 2 years and will be stepping down this summer as Dawn Currie takes up the post. I am also grateful to my ‘other half’ at the Centre these past 2 years. Wendy Frisby, Chair of the Women’s & Gender Studies undergraduate pro- gram, will be stepping down after 5 years at the helm. I will miss our al- most daily collaborations, though I know some of that will continue on our book project, and I am excited to work closely with Becki Ross who will take up the mantle from Wendy. I also want to thank the members of the CWAGS advisory committee for their advice and counsel; our Graduate Academic Assistants this year – Andrea Carl- son, Soni Thindal, and Eunkyung Choi – for their hard work; and the Princi- pal and Associate Principals of CFIS (Mike Burgess, Tim Cheek and Sneja Gunew) for their support of CWAGS during difficult times. Congratulations! PhD Candidate Naomi Lloyd’s article “The Universal Divine Principle, the Spiritual Androgyne, and the New Age in Sarah Grand’s The Heavenly Twins” was published in the journal Victorian Literature and Culture (Mar. 2009 is- sue). MA student Michele Murphy has been awarded a scholarship by Soroptimist Foundation Grants for Women. Nora Angeles with incoming Graduate Advisor Dawn Currie. Leonora C. Angles I attended early this month what is per- haps my last Graduate Advisor Forum before I step down in July. I was proud to share the many professional devel- opment initiatives we have been doing for our Women’s and Gender Studies graduate students. Among these initia- tives are the seminars and workshops on grant proposal writing, submitting manuscript for publication, thesis writ- ing, pedagogy, course syllabus devel- opment, teaching portfolio develop- ment, and organizing interdisciplinary conferences, such as this year’s suc- cessful Graduate Student conference dubbed “Outside the Lines” by our five amazing organizers – Andrea Carlson, Bjorn Hjatardottir, Sarah Leamon, Mi- chele Murphy, and Soni Thindal. The Conference is already our 16th, argu- ably one of the longest running series on campus entirely organized by stu- dents. We have one new MA graduate (Gemma Hunting) and two new PhD degree holders (Sirijit Sunanta and Marilou Carrillo). We have good suc- see page 4 4     Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies My visit at the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies at UBC was most en- riching and stimulating. For the new qualitative research which I have be- gun on women’s dispositions to gender transformation, my stay provided me with fresh inspiration through meet- ing with many very interesting faculty members, visiting scholars, PhD stu- dents, staff members, and others af- filiated with the Centre and with the Sociology Department, to talk about my research and to be open to their learn- ing and suggestions. I enjoyed partici- pating in the CWAGS Lecture Series. Such a stimulating weekly meeting was very worthwhile for one coming from the Gender Studies Unit of the Univer- sity of Geneva. My visit also afforded ideal conditions for me to work on my forthcoming book De l’argent à soi. Les préoccupations sociales des femmes à travers leur rapport à l’argent (Presses universitaires de Rennes, 2009). This research explores women’s appropria- tion of the democratic ideal of equality and autonomy as revealed through their handling of money within a couple re- lationship. My memories of this centre, which is so proficient in bringing togeth- Visiting Scholar Report Laurence Bachmann, University of Geneva er various forces around gender is- sues, and which gave me such a warm welcome, will always be happy ones. Who knows? Perhaps I will have a chance to stay there again sometime. I would like to address my warmest thanks to Gillian Cresse, director of the Centre, as well as to Wynn Archibald, Jane Charles and Hui-Ling Lin for their very nice welcoming. “Piled Higher and Deeper” by Jorge Cham www.phdcomics.com cess rates in securing scholarships from SSHRC and UGF, and outside grants, such as the one garnered re- cently by Michele Murphy from Sorop- timist International. In the midst of all these activities, this business and busy-ness we have created for ourselves, I could not help but think how our graduate students are doing not just as students but as whole happy human beings – how are their family and love lives? Do they go out on dates or dinners on weekends? Do they take strolls along the beach, or watch the sunset? Do they take the time to cook their own food, or try out a new recipe in their kitchen? What form of physical exercise do they have? Do they have the time to do their yoga, dance, ski, skip-rope, receive or give a massage, have sex, or simply relish the fun of having some free time? I ask these questions because I wonder how our own graduate stu- dents may in fact mirror the very lives of harassed faculty members who juggle family, teaching, research, writ- ing, housework, community outreach, volunteer service, public engagement, committee work of all kinds. Because faculty members are of- ten cast as powerful authority figures who examine, evaluate, rank and put students to tasks, we tend to overlook, if not ignore, the many ways by which faculty are, and by extension train our graduate students to be, “docile bod- ies.” Lisa Disch and Jean O’Brien re- mind us that “docile bodies are neither passive nor inert” but rather “vigor- ously active” in producing and repro- ducing “an ethos of productivity that we took to demand not mere efficiency but an inspired commitment to work of all kinds … not only as scholars and teachers but as agents of political and social change who work against Graduate Advisor’s Report con’t from 3 Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies     5 Congratulations to our graduating students! Gemma Hunting, MA Sirijit Sunanta, PhD, and Marilou Carrillo, PhD May. 20, 2009 the university from within in order to produce it” (148, original emphasis). Politically committed academics, com- mon in service-oriented teaching and research programs, survive from cre- ating “innovation” through “overtime” (Disch and O’Brien 142). To imbue their academic positions with political meaning, they draw from the legacy of professionalism and regard their work as incommensurable, whose service, like that of doctors and preachers, is defined by public need. This notion of incommensurability, Disch and O’Brien argue, make them believe that their workplace -- the university’s “public sector,” which includes women’s and gender, critical sexuality, ethnic stud- ies and other units that could not at- tract corporate funding -- defy market logic and imperatives: “We are willing to do what needs doing rather than stop at what we are ‘paid for’ ” (149, emphasis supplied). As I observe our graduate students push themselves to the limit to finish program requirements, present con- ference papers in the very corners of the world, get grants and publications to land that precious tenure-track posi- tion – I feel that we are all complicit in this “innovation-is-overtime” ethos. As professionals, we do not literally work overtime, but we identify with overtime labor as a sign of our independence from market coercions. Our labour is not really flexible like that of an as- sembly line worker, but we identify with flexible labor as we relish the flex- ibility to do what we really want, to do more, and to do more in our own time. The overworked but poised academic, Disch and O’Brien assert, is really a “rate-buster” – “she makes everyone work longer and earn less” (164). I share these paradoxical aspects of academic life as I am reminded of two people I know: a Harvard graduate stu- dent, son of an overworked academic himself, who committed suicide not only because he was fighting demons within himself, but I imagine, also be- cause he was overworked and over- stressed. Another is a former admin- istrator who I met along with his wife, at a UBC Faculty Mentoring Circle who died of heart attack alone in his office at a time when he was overseeing a massive restructuring of our very own home College. In my other unit at SCARP, I chair the Teaching and Learning and Cur- riculum Committee, which we appropri- ately call TLC. I like the acronym be- cause it reminds us about the tender loving care we have to give ourselves, our colleagues and students as we go about our academic lives as research- ers, teachers and learners. TLC should also stand for Total Living Credits or Credentials we have to build as we nurture others and ourselves. The “rate-buster” academic can transform herself from a paragon of the costly “in- novation-is-overtime” motto into a life- coach wellness instructor for her own sake and that of others. As I step down from my post as CWAGS Graduate Advisor, I am op- timistic that the new Grad Advisor, Dr Dawn Currie, will lead our graduate students and our program in taking fur- ther this critical feminist examination of “the everyday” in our lives as academ- ics. I drink to the health and wellbeing of our graduate students -- it is time to take it easy, as the slow but steadfast turtle, in the end, still wins the race.  I am confident that the grad program will be in good hands under the leadership of Dawn. Reference Cited: Lisa J Disch and Jean M OBrien, “Innovation is Overtime: An Ethical Analysis of “Politically Committed” Academic Labor, in Feminist Waves, Feminist Generation: Life Stories from the Academy, ed. Hokulani K Aikau, Karla A Erickson and Jennifer L Pierce (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2007), pp. 140-167. 6     Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies News from the RAGA Centre Race, Autobiography, Gender and Age Sunera Thobani, Director Along with Dr. Sneja Gunew (Associ- ate Principal, College for Interdisciplin- ary Studies, UBC) and Dr. Malashri Lal (Professor, Delhi University), RAGA Director, Dr. Sunera Thobani, was a convenor of the interdisciplinary Sym- posium, Beyond Binaries and Borders, held March 13-14, at the Liu Institute for Global Issues.  The Symposium addressed the theme of food, with a particular focus on salmon.  The pre- sentations examined different intercul- tural and interdisciplinary approaches to food, and included papers by Dr. Michael Burgess, Principal of CFIS, on the ethics of genome sequencing of salmon; Dr. David Close on the re- lationship of the sacred to food among West Coast Indigenous peoples; Dr. Malashri Lal on fasting traditions among different communities of wom- en in India; Dr. Kornelia Slavova on the changing relationship of women to food and cultural representations in post- communist Bugeria; Dr. Sneja Gunew on the use of food in family narratives among diasporic communities; and Dr. Thobani on the representation of the relationship among gender, nation, citizenship and food in Indian cinema. Graduate students responded to many of the presentations as discussants. It is anticipated that the exchange of ideas at the Symposium will lead to collaborative research initiatives in the future.   (See full report on the Sympo- sium in this newsletter). The RAGA Centre has had three Visiting Scholars this term: Dr. Grace Puja was an IDRC Visiting Scholar from Carleton University; Dr. Laurence Bachmann was visiting from the Uni- versity of Geneva and Dr. Michelle Bastian from the University of New South Wales. Dr. Thobani is also a Steering Com- mittee member of the Researchers and Academics of Colour for Equity (RACE) cross-Canada network.  The network is committed to promoting critical race feminist scholarship in Canada and it be hosting the Annual RACE confer- ence in Montreal at Concordia and McGill Universities.  The theme of this conference is The Politics, Cultures and Economies of ‘Doing Good’.  Racelink, the bi-annual newsletter published by RACE, is available to members.  For more information, kindly contact Dr. Thobani. The 9th Annual Critical Race Conference  Compassion, Complicity and Conciliation: The Politics, Cultures and Economies of ‘Doing Good’ Montreal, June 5-7 2009 Concordia and McGill Universities  CALL FOR PAPERS Global political activism, official apolo- gies, charity, advocacy and solidarity campaigns, ‘rescue’ missions, truth and reconciliation hearings, private philan- thropy, ‘humanitarian’ interventions…. The politics, cultures and economies of doing good seem to have gained a re- demptive, sanctioned and empowering status, which has elevated actions and actors above critical scrutiny.  This con- ference is aimed at interrogating the politics and practice(s) of ‘doing good’. It asks: What is defined as ‘doing good’ and how is it tied to constructions of benevolent others? Who is positioned and empowered  to ‘do good’? How is ‘doing good’ historically embedded and what are some of its foreseen and un- foreseen consequences?  What does an anti-racist and anti-colonial lens reveal about past and present humani- tarian actions and  interventions, and how might it inform present and future practice(s)? What are the relations be- tween humanitarianism  and imperial- ism? How can these relations be ex- posed and meaningfully addressed?  We invite panels and papers from scholars, activists, and researchers whose work engages an antiracist, anti- colonial, and anti-imperialist frame- work.  We welcome papers in French. Topics can include, but are not lim- ited to:  •	 Truth and reconciliation commis- sions •	 The discourses and politics of apologies •	 Dynamics and representations of benevolence •	 The politics of humanitarianism •	 Geopolitics and ethics in the con- text of empire, colonial relations and histories of citizenship Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies     7 •	 NGOs and the politics of ‘doing good’ •	 Cultural activism, coalitions and collaborations •	 Environmental justice vs conser- vation •	 Hierarchies of ‘doing good’ •	 Reproducing colonial hierarchies through  “change agents” •	 Racialized and gendered dynam- ics of compassion •	 Cause-related marketing •	 Working across lines of power in solidarity/coalitions •	 Problematizing Aid (health, medi- cal, food) •	 Exaltations of ‘civil society’ •	 Academic-activist research part- nerships and interventions •	 Militarization, occupation and hu- manitarianism  The deadline for abstracts has been extended to March 16, 2009.  Please send a 250-500 word abstract with title, keywords and institutional affiliation to RACE.Montreal@gmail.com, or to Yas- min Jiwani, Communication Studies, Concordia University, 7141 Sherbrooke St. West, Montreal, QC, H4B 1R6, or Charmaine Nelson, Dept. of Art History, McGill University, 853 Sherbrooke St. West, Montreal, QC, H3A 2T6. Revealed at last, the mysterious downstairs neighbour who’s been making a racket con- structing a nest beneath CWAGS Director Gil- lian Creese’s office this spring.  Babies should be arriving shortly..... 8     Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies Community Visitor Report Niki Silva Philippine Women Centre of BC As a second generation young Filipino woman, and a community organizer for the Philippine Women Centre of BC (PWC-BC), I was inspired by the sto- ries of Filipino women to help research issues affecting them mainly around Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s Live-In Caregiver Program (LCP).  As a young single mother, I was able to per- sonally connect issues of the childcare crisis and saw how Canada uses the LCP as a de-facto childcare program. I made the connection between the need for affordable healthcare and childcare, and how it affects Filipino domestic workers making them vulnerable to various forms of violence. For the last 5 years I have been active in PWC, and recently began focusing specifically on violence against women and young women’s issues. It has been an educational and excit- ing stay here at the Centre for Women and Gender Studies at UBC.  Though two months is not long enough to com- plete a research project on Violence Against Filipino Women in Canada, it has been a compliment to the grass- roots community-based research we have been doing on the issue over the last 20 years.  Not only has it given us the opportunity to deepen our under- standing on Canadian policies around the problem, but also the current situa- tion facing other migrant and immigrant communities here in Canada. We appreciate the opportunity given to us by the staff and faculty at CWAGS and remember back in 1991 when the visiting scholar program was first intro- duced. It was Cecilia Diocson who now sits as the Executive Director of the Na- tional Alliance of Philippine Women in Canada, who was the visiting scholar at the time. Through her stay at UBC, PWC made long term ties and connec- tions with UBC professors and students who began to study the situation of Fili- pinos in Canada further bringing out the economic marginalization of our com- munity, and still continue to support our work.  I feel this opportunity has been just as positive. The resources, databases, and con- tacts we accessed in the last two months will assist us in pushing forward our work in order to continue providing services for Filipino women who suffer from violence.  Thank you to everyone who welcomed me into the centre, and for the continuous support for myself and PWC. CWAGS Community Visitor Program The Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies (CWAGS) has established a Community Visitors Program (CVP) as part of its outreach initiatives. The CVP is intended to assist community- based and grass roots organizations in research initiatives that could be undertaken using the resources of the Centre and the university. The CVP offers wage replacement for up to two months for one staff member in a community-based orga- nization which will thus be able to hire a replacement. The staff person will be affiliated with the Centre and be able to focus on the development of new programs, the design of new proj- ects, the analysis of current policies or trends, or the preparation of discus- sion papers for public consumption or policy-makers. The Community Visitors Program is open to all community organizations working broadly to advance the in- terests of women and gender equity. Preference will be given to groups af- filiated with the undergraduate and/or graduate Practicum in Women’s and Gender Studies at U.B.C. The Centre works to stimulate femi- nist research and to facilitate inter- change of ideas and collaboration among researchers, students, and communities both locally and globally. Community Visitors will be expected to participate in the activities of the Centre and to give a public presenta- tion at the Centre during the subse- quent university term. The deadline for application falls in January of each year.  For further in- formation about the program contact us at wmst1@interchange.ubc.ca. ...As a young single mother, I was able to personally connect issues of the childcare crisis and saw how Canada uses the LCP as a de-facto childcare program..... Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies     9 News from CWAGS Graduate Student Association Gemma Hunting Over the speedy passing of another ac- ademic year, the WAGS-GSA has had the pleasure to support and participate in a variety of events and initiatives. As your MA and PhD representatives (Gemma Hunting and Emilia Nielsen respectively), we feel privileged to have worked with a dedicated team of grad students. The energy and time put in by many on the GSA (and its supporters), has contributed to the great success of both International Women’s Day events and the Gender Performances Project.  In celebration of International Women’s Day in March 2009, ac- claimed feminist author Evelyn C. White joined us at the Centre for an afternoon ‘tea and chat’ and later delivered a key- note address at the GSS Penthouse. It was clear among those that partici- pated in both events that Evelyn’s mes- sage was inspiring; her positive outlook and vision challenged each of us to re- flect on what allows us to be our truest selves and live with mindful intention. We would like to thank everyone who helped make these events a success, especially the fine folks at Access & Di- versity, CCFI, CSIS, CCIE, Gender Per- formances Project, CWAGS, WAGS, and the WAGS-GSA. In other important news, the WAGS- GSA’s own Gender Performances Proj- ect is the proud recipient of financial assistance from the 2009/2010 AMS Innovative Projects Fund. Based on ex- emplary achievements at UBC and an innovative proposal for future events, Gender Performances was awarded $5000.00 to continue highlighting art and activism at UBC. This is the second time Gender Performances has been selected for funding by the Innovative Projects Fund! In addition to organizing the top-notch one-day symposium “Creating Resis- tance” at UBC this fall, Gender Perfor- mances also facilitated an artist talk by body performance artist Orlan (notable co-sponsors included The Consulate General of France as well as CWAGS and the WAGS-GSA!), and a lecture and discussion by internationally-laud- ed queer activist Louis-George Tin (an event co-sponsored with Arsenal Pulp Press and The Consulate General of France). Subsequently, Gender Performances was asked to co-sponsor a number of progressive events at UBC, and across Vancouver, including: in November 2008, “Showcasing Research on South Asian Diaspora in Canada”; in Decem- ber 2008, “WACK!: The After Party” at VIVO; in February 2008, “The Vagina Dialogues”; and in March 2009, Evelyn C. White’s keynote address for Inter- national Women’s Day. Gender Perfor- mances also co-sponsored a special screening of the much discussed film Examined Life that was shown at the SUB’s Norm Theatre in March 2009. Gender Performances invites new members to get involved in their numer- ous upcoming projects. Current initia- tives include reactivating a study group on performance studies, launching cre- ative projects, and organizing a student conference proposed for March 2010 to highlight undergraduate and gradu- ate student work in the rubric of per- formance, gender, and sexuality. We invite all undergraduate and graduate students interested in developing any of these ideas, or other ideas associat- PhD candidate Xin Huang (3rd from left) with fellow presenters at the International Association for the Study of Sexuality, Culture, and Society conference in Hanoi, April 15-18, 2009.  Xin’s presenta- tion From “Hyper-Feminine” to Androgyny: Gender Politics in Contemporary China was part of the panel “Chinese Alternative Genders, Same-sex Sexualities and the Media” 10     Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies check it out. thirdspace the journal for emerging feminist scholars www.thirdspace.ca ed with gender, the politics of sexuality and performance, to become involved!  Some student updates we are happy to acknowledge include Gemma Hunting’s upcoming graduation in May 2009 and Jenny Fawcett’s receipt of the Patrick David Campbell Graduate Fel- lowship this past January.  Jenny also co-hosted the very successful “Vagina Dialogues: A Critical Response to Eve Ensler’s ‘The Vagina Monologues’” with Cody Yorke, Anoushka Ratnara- jah and Andrea Carlson in February 2009 and acted as guest editor for the Ubyssey’s annual women’s issue in March 2009. We look forward to this year’s WAGS Graduate Conference, entitled Outside the Lines: A Conference for Interdis- ciplinary Feminist Research that will take place on April 29, 2009 at the Graduate Student Centre. WAGS-GSA members are actively involved in the conference as organizers, presenters, and panel moderators. In addition, we invite those who are interested to pick up a newly-released copy of Views from the Edge 15, which includes pa- pers from last year’s graduate student symposium, Shifting Boundaries: Inter- disciplinary Feminist Research. WAGS Graduate Student Accomplishments GEMMA HUNTING Conferences: “Understanding Health Inequity: Mov- ing Beyond ‘Culture’ Paradigms” (co- presenter). “Race-ing Hegemonies, Resurging Imperialisms: Building Anti-Racist and Anti-Colonial Theory and Practice for Our Times.” The 8th Annual Critical Race and Anticolonial Studies Conference of Researchers and Academics of Colour for Equality. Ryerson University, Toronto, ON, Can- ada. Nov. 2008. “Decolonizing Policy Discourse: Re- framing the ‘Problem’ of FASD” (poster presentation). “Looking Back, Think- ing Ahead: Using Research to Im- prove Policy and Practice in Women’s Health.” The Atlantic Centre of Excel- lence for Women’s Health. The Westin Nova Scotian, Halifax, NS, Canada. March 2009. “The BC Conversation on Health: A Conversation for the Privileged.” “New Directions for Social Research.” Soci- ology Graduate Student Conference. University of British Columbia, Van- couver, BC. March 2009. JANE LEE Conferences: “Vancouver’s ‘Koreatown’: Compli- menting and Contesting Discoures of ‘Race’, Space, and Nation.” 7th Annual Hawaii International Conference on Art and Humanities. Vancouver’s Session Chair of the Panel, “Ethnic Studies.” Honolulu, Hawaii. January, 2009. “Vancouver’s ‘Koreatown’: Compli- menting and Contesting Discoures of ‘Race,’ Class, and Nation in ‘Multicul- tural’ Canada.” Pacific Worlds in Mo- tion II: An Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference on Asian Migrations. Ses- sion: Contesting Discourses of Race. National University of Singapore, Sin- gapore. March 2009.  Publications:  Lee, Jane. `Vancouver`s `Koreatown`: Complimenting and Contesting Dis- courses of `Race`, Space, and Nation In `Multicultural`Canada.` 7th Annual Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities. Conference Pro- ceedings. January 9-12, 2009. ISSN/ 1541 - 5899. Hawaii Press.  Lee, Jane. `Book Review: Han Ku`: Critical Art and Writing by Korean Ca- nadian Women`. Atlantis: A Woman`s Studies Journal. (Spring 33.2) SALLY MENNILL Conferences: “Safety, Nature, and Choice: Post-War Mothering Discourses in Canada and the Rising Incidence of Caesarean Section.” 17th Annual Conference of the Women’s History Network. Univer- sity of Glasgow, Scotland. September 2008. Publications: Mennill, S. and V. Strong-Boag. “Abused and Murdered: One Often Forgotten Story in the History of Chil- dren and Youth in Canadian Families” Canadian Bulletin of Medical History 25:2 (2008). EMILIA NIELSEN Publications: “Unfulfilled Promises: Troubling Traf- ficked Women in Eastern Promises” Re-public: Re-imagining Democracy (Greece), Winter 2009. Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies     11 Update Women’s and Gender Studies Undergraduate Program Outgoing Program Chair Wendy Frisby (centre) with Sheanthi De Silva (1) and April Tam(r), Presi- dent and Vice-President respectively of the Women’s and Gender Studies Undergraduate Associa- tion, at the end-of term party, April 3, 2009. Wendy Frisby, Chair It has been a great pleasure serving as Chair of the undergraduate program in Women’s and Gender Studies for the last 5 years. It is gratifying to know that Dr. Becki Ross will be taking over for a 3 year term starting July 1, 2009. Becki brings with her an intimate knowledge of the program, students, instructors, and staff along with many exciting new ideas on how to make the program continue to thrive in this economic and political climate. I wish Becki all the very best in her new position and look forward to working with her through the transition. At the Centre, I have found my collegial and intellectual communi- ty and look forward to attending events to stay connected to the wonderful people and important initiatives being undertaken. There are a number of people that I would like to thank for making my time as Chair such a stimulating and rewarding one. First, Jane Charles and Wynn Archibald have been excep- tional and have quietly assisted me in numerous ways. I am truly amazed at their dedication to Women’s and Gen- der Studies and how they go above and beyond their job descriptions time and time again. Catching up and see- ing their smiling faces every morning is something I am really going to miss. WAGS students are also amazing and my life has been enriched by having the opportunity to work with members of the undergraduate association in- cluding Mary Ann Brown, April Tam and Sheanthi DeSilva. Students work hard to counter the chilly climate that they still encounter and I know they will make exceptional contributions where ever their post UBC days take them. I would also like to thank Sneja Gunew, a brilliant woman, who was the Director of the Centre when I started this position. I learned much about the politics of the academy from Sneja and how to survive the difficult times. Gil- lian Creese, the current Director, has amazing energy and has also been fabulous to work with. A highlight for me has been co-editing a forthcoming book with her, Feminist Methodologies in Community-Based Research, as part of the 35th anniversary of the pro- gram. It has been a great honor to work with so many internationally renowned scholars who are highly dedicated to teaching and service. Working with Nora Angeles, Sneja Gunew, Sharalyn Orbaugh, Valerie Raoul, Becki Ross, Nikki Strong-Boag and Sunera Tho- bani has been a highlight of my career and I am grateful for your ongoing sup- port, friendship and encouragement. The sessional instructors in Women’s and Gender Studies have such pas- sion for the work they do and contribute in such important ways to the interdis- ciplinary nature of the program, even though they are never compensated adequately. There have been too many of you over the last 5 years to name individually, but you know who you are and I hope our paths will continue to cross in the future. I am also grateful to the CWAGS graduate students who have contributed to the program as teaching assistants. In addition to saying my goodbyes, there is some additional news. I am thrilled to announce that Dr. Deena 12     Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies Convocation May 2009 Congratulations to our graduating students! Bachelor of  Arts Heidi Chan Sheanthi De Silva Jasmeen Dosanjh Seyedeh Ehsan Alavi Derek Eidick Souzan Eliassi Bakhtiari Stephanie Hallett Karen Ko Kelly Lau Jane Li Lauren McIllfaterick Saadia Rai Anna Reiser Brodie Rogers Christina Rzepa Carolina Sandoval Jen Sung Pooneh Yazdani Cody Yorke  Carellin Brooks, Women’s and Gender Studies sessional instructor, with daughter Clover, born March 4, 2009. The WAGS Undergraduate Association has once again come up with some great t-shirt designs. The t-shirts can be purchased at the Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies reception desk:  $20 each or 2/$35.  All proceeds to the Women’s and Gender Studies Undergraduate Society. Rhymes has been hired in the English, Gender and Indigenous Studies posi- tion and will be joining us in July, 2009. Deena is filling the position vacated when Valerie Raoul retired and has a joint appointment in WAGS and Eng- lish. She does research with aboriginal prison writers and will be a wonderful addition. And, even though the Centre has served as a cozy space for many wonderful events and stimulating ideas, it is not a permanent structure. We have had to deal with leaks, mold and various critters for years. I can- not make an official announcement at this time, but it looks like WAGS and CWAGS has found a new permanent space on campus and they could be moving in this summer. I have great faith in the ability of all those connect- ed to the Centre to recreate the climate and community in the new space and I look forward to visiting often. Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies     13 The intercultural and interdisciplin- ary symposium “Beyond Binaries and Borders” took place March 13th - 14th at the Liu Institute for Advanced Stud- ies.   The Symposium’s mandate was to look at the ways in which intercul- tural and interdisciplinary approaches intersect using the case study of food with an emphasis on fish.  Interdisci- plinary UBC speakers were joined by two scholars from India and Eastern Europe.  The symposium was part of UBC’s Celebrate Research Week. Sneja Gunew, Sunera Thobani, and Malashri Lal were convenors, and the event was sponsored by UBC’s College for Interdisciplinary Studies (CFIS), the Social Sciences and Hu- manities Research Council (SSHRC), and St. John’s College.  Björg Hjartar- dottir (doctoral student in the Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies) and Saadia Rai (undergraduate student in the Women’s and Gender Studies pro- gram) were the organizers. Sneja Gunew began the conference by discussing the symposium mandate and the reasons for bringing scholars together across disciplines.  Dr. Gunew focussed on the possibilities that she hoped would arise from this collabora- tion and emphasized that this is a work in progress.  Possible goals included future symposia and conferences, re- search collaborations and publications, and most importantly creating a forum and network for discussions that may open up new ways of looking at re- search while examining the concept of interdisciplinarity itself. The format of a symposium was chosen specifically to create an envi- ronment more open for discussion and conversation.  Guests and speakers were invited from many disciplines in- cluding: Genetics, Biomedical Ethics, Applied Ethics, Asian Studies, Fisher- ies, English, Women’s Studies, Art His- tory, and Film Studies.  A few Graduate students were invited to respond to se- lect papers, speaking to the collabora- tive nature of this project and the possi- bilities for its continuation and growth. Papers presented included: •	 Dr. Mike Burgess: Cultural Repre- sentations of Salmon in deliberative public engagement. Respondent Alice Hawkins. •	 Dr.Tim Cheek Professor and Dr. Louis Cha: The Challenge of Ben- tuhua (Localisation of Knowledge): Doing Social and Natural Science Research with Chinese Scholars. Respondent Xin Huang. •	 Dr. David A. Close (Himko-Kaps- kap):  “Tamaalwit” the Sacred Law •	 Dr. Margery Fee: Is Race Real?  Re- spondent Sonnet l’Abbé. •	 Dr. Sunera Thobani:  From Mother India to India Shining: Representa- tions of Food, Gender and Nation in Popular Indian Cinema.  Respon- dent Rajdeep Singh Gill. •	 Dr. Sneja Gunew: Affective Anxiet- ies; Eating ‘Chinese’ Across the World •	 Dr. Kornelia Slavova Slavova:  The ‘Wheel of Life’ Turning: Women and Food Practices in Postcommunist Bulgaria. •	 Dr.  Malashri Lal Lal:  Promises to Keep: Women’s Ritual Fasting in India The final session was a roundtable of sorts that allowed all the participants of the symposium - presenters, orga- nizers, and audience - to discuss the events of the symposium and work- shop and list ideas of “where to go next.”  Of particular interest was the issue of hunger and participants were keen to discuss areas that were of in- terest for further research and future symposia. Thanks to Kim Snowden, PhD, RA to the project, for this excerpt from her con- ference report to SSHRCC. Photos courtesey of John Corry and Francesca Lanata. Symposium Beyond Binaries and Borders symposium Dr. David A. Close (Himko-Kaps-kap) Dr. Malashri Lal 14     Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies January 14 Jerilynn Prior Scientific Director, Centre for Menstrual Cycle & Ovulation Research; Profes- sor, Endocrinology and Metabolism, UBC The Estrogen Misogynacle - Progester- one Is Ignored or Vilified in Women’s Health” January 21 Bruce Fulton Asian Studies, UBC Body Parts and Family Fragments: The Fictional Worlds of P’yon Hye-yong and Kim Ae-ran January 28 Kim Snowden Women’s and Gender Studies, UBC Fairy Tale Film in the Classroom: Femi- nist Cultural Pedagogy, Angela Carter, and Neil Jordan’s The Company of Wolves February 4 Afua Cooper Ruth Wynn Woodward Endowed Chair, Women’s Studies, SFU Gender and Slavery: The Canadian Experience February 11 Beth Seaton Women’s and Gender Studies, UBC Believing in Nature in an Environment of Denial February 25 Claudia Ruitenberg Educational Studies, UBC The Ghost That Won’t Give Up:  Wom- en’s Studies and the Persistent Spec- ter of Relativism March 4 Laura Hurd Clarke Human Kinetics, UBC Women, Beauty Work, and Aging March 11 Michelle Bastian University of New South Wales Visiting Scholar at CWAGS, UBC The Timing of an Apology: Re-shaping community through re-articulations of time March 18 Chris Shelly Women’s and Gender Studies, UBC Trauma and Teleology: Embodied Ide- als in Trans Somatechnics March 25 Jade Boyd Women’s and Gender Studies, UBC The Body Never Lies: Dance reality television and the fashioning of (Amer- ica’s) authentic-self April 1 Neelu Kang Department of Sociology, Panjab Uni- versity, India Activism in Transition: Women Groups in Post 1990s India  Centre for Women’s & Gender Studies Spring 2009 Lecture Series Jerilynn Prior Chris Shelley Aufa Cooper Claudia Ruitenberg Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies     15 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 working 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 re- search and to facilitate interchange of ideas and collaboration among schol- ars, at UBC and elsewhere. Scholars will be expected to participate in the activities of the Centre and to give a public lecture during their term. The Visiting Scholar program 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 who reside in areas outside the B.C. Lower Main- land. Some funding for travel expens- es (to a maximum of $3000) is avail- Visiting Scholars Program 2010-2011 Academic Year able for scholars from “developing” countries. In its selection of visitors, the Centre hopes to create a diverse community of junior and senior schol- ar-researchers. The Centre is particu- larly interested in applicants who are situated within existing Women’s Stud- ies centres which might be interested in forging future international links. Scholars will normally be pro- vided with shared office space at the Centre or a computer workstation in the RAGA Centre, Koerner Library, phone and secretarial assistance. The University’s academic year runs from September to April; there- fore applicants are encouraged to schedule the majority of their visit to the Centre during these months. This program is likely to be of particu- lar interest to scholars who are on sab- batical. Applications must include: •	 Curriculum	vitae •	 	A	 detailed	 statement	 of	 re- search plans for the time pe- riod •	 	The	 length	 of	 stay	 proposed and the dates •	 	Estimate	 of	 travel	 costs	 (for scholars from “developing” countries requesting financial support) The applicant must also arrange to have two referees forward their assess- ments to: Visiting Scholar Program, UBC Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies, 1896 East Mall, Vancouver, B.C., Canada, V6T 1Z1. The closing date for receipt of appli- cations is December 31, 2009.Lucy DeLap, St. Catharine’s College, Univer- sity of Cambridge, will visit the Centre Apr. - Aug. 2009. Michelle Bastian (1), (Department of Philosophy, University of New South Wales), with PhD Can- didate Xin Huang. Michelle was a CWAGS Visiting Scholar Feb. - May, 2009. 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 Gillian Creese, Director 604-822-9175  creese@interchange.ubc.ca Leonora Angeles, Graduate Advisor 604-822-4085 gradadv@interchange.ubc.ca Sunera Thobani,  RAGA Director 604-822-9265 sth@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: Gillian Creese, Director CWAGS (Chair) Leonora Angeles, Graduate Advisor Erin Baines, Liu Institute for Global Issues Susan Boyd, Law Anne Condon, Computer Science Margery Fee, English Wendy Frisby, Chair, Women’s Studies Program Gemma Hunting, MA Student, Women’s and Gender Studies Madeleine MacIvor, First Nations House of Learning Emilia Nielsen, PhD Student, Women’s and Gender Studies Jerilynn Prior, Medicine Valerie Raoul, Director of SAGA Veronica Strong-Boag, Educational Studies Sunera Thobani, Women’s and Gender Studies Manuela Valle, PhD Student Women’s and Gender Studies Colleen Varcoe, Nursing Amanda Vincent, Fisheries Centre Dominique Weis, Earth and Ocean Sciences The Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies is a part of the College for Interdisciplinary Studies at The University of British Columbia.  Our primary purposes are to: •	 Highlight	the	significance	of	research in Women’s Studies or Gender Relations and feminist research in all fields; •	 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. This Newsletter is published by The University of British Columbia’s Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies twice a year.  It is available in electronic form (PDF) on our website: http://www.wmst.ubc.ca/publicationsNewsletters.html. 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 the coordinator of the newsletter wmst1@interchange.ubc.ca.


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