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Newsletter, Fall/Winter 2007 Gillian, Creese; Leonora, Angeles; University of British Columbia. Centre for Women's and Gender Studies 2007

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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 Engendering Social Justice forum highlights Fall term Grad Advisor’s Report WSGSA Report Undergrad Program update News from SAGA Centre Visiting Scholar Reports News from alumni Engendering Social Justice 2007 Fall Lecture Series Dressing up Japanese History 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 13 14 Fall/Winter 2007 Gillian Creese, Director It’s been a busy and exciting fall at the Centre. The highlight of the term was our very successful research fo- rum, organized in collaboration with the Women’s and Gender Studies undergraduate program and Access and Diversity, held at St. John’s Col- lege on November 2nd. Engendering Social Justice: Celebrating Women’s and Gender Studies Research at UBC was organized to celebrate 35 years of feminist presence on UBC campus. 2008 will mark 35 years since the first Women’s Studies course was offered for credit at UBC. An earlier non- credit version was organized by four pioneering feminist scholars in 1971: Helga Jacobson (Anthropology), Mer- edith Kimball (Psychology), Annette Kolodny (English), and Dorothy Smith (Sociology). Largely through their efforts, in 1973 a suite of Women’s Studies courses was introduced as part of the regular Arts curriculum: two courses labelled Women’s Stud- President Stephen Toope delivers the keynote address at the Engendering Social Justice Forum at St. John’s College, Nov 2, 2007.  Photo John Corry. ....cont’d on 2 2     Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies     3 ies, an introductory course and one on women and literature, and two cross-listed courses taught in the de- partments of Psychology and Anthro- pology and Sociology respectively. Thirty-five years later, even if we too often still find ourselves defending the legitimacy of feminist scholarship, we also have much to celebrate in our vibrant graduate and undergraduate programs and a research Centre in Women’s and Gender Studies. The November 2nd forum was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate these accom- plishments with the large, standing- room only audience that turned out for the event. Engendering Social Justice fea- tured a keynote address by UBC President Stephen Toope. In EDU- CATING THE EYE: Engendering Issues of Social Justice at UBC and Beyond Professor Toope reflected on his own contributions to engen- dering social justice in family law and international human rights, and the im- portant role that Women’s and Gender Studies continues to play in facilitating socially relevant research while foster- ing community connections and social justice agendas locally and globally. We were heartened to hear that Pro- fessor Toope recognizes our diverse accomplishments while acknowledging the problems created by increasingly scarce resources, and we hope that this dialogue about the contributions of Women’s and Gender Studies and broader equity issues at UBC will con- tinue in the future. Following Professor Toope’s ad- dress a panel of five faculty presented brief and tantalizing overviews of their own research: Nora Angeles spoke on Gender and Global Citizenship: Mak- ing Feminist Sense of Community and International Service Learning at UBC; Susan Boyd talked about Feminism, Fa- milial Ideology, and Law Reform; Wen- dy Frisby addressed issues of Women, Poverty and Public Policy; Becki Ross spoke about Sex and (Evacuation from) the City: Making Vancouver’s West End Governable, 1975-1985; and Sunera Thobani discussed Race, Gender and the War on Terror: The Politics of Media Representations. All five talks were lively, provocative, and insightful reflections on recent or ongo- ing research that concretely engenders social justice among diverse communi- ties. These presentations were all the more remarkable in that the panelists accomplished so much in only 10 min- utes each! The forum also included outstand- ing research posters prepared by a number of our Ph.D. students: Rupa Bagga, Sirijit Sunanta, Sanzida Habib, Naomi Lloyd, Cecily Nicholson, Sally Mennill, and Almas Zakiuddin. The posters were both visually and intellec- tually engaging, and many members of the audience took the opportunity to engage the authors in conversations about their Ph.D. research. My thanks to everyone who made this event such a success: all the speakers, the poster authors, the graduate students, staff and faculty colleagues who helped to organize the event, set up the room, and clear up at the end. Special thanks go to Wynn Archibald and Jane Charles, our stalwart staff, and to Brian Charles for video-taping the proceedings. We look forward to a second successful event to mark our 35th anniversary on March 7, 2008 when we celebrate Women’s and Gender Studies teaching. Watch for more information to come next term. The Centre has been involved in a number of other important events this fall. In addition to hosting our speaker’s series every Wednesday at noon (the list of speakers for this term appears elsewhere in this newsletter) in September the Centre co-sponsored a one-day conference, along with the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Stud- ies and the Institute for Asian Research Director’s Report ...cont’d from 1 Audience members at “Engendering Social Justice” at St. John’s College.  Photo John Corry. 2     Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies     3 Convocation November 2007 Congratulations to our graduating students! PhD Lauren Hunter MA Manuela Valle BA Krista Jones Sara Malkin Centre for Japanese Research, en- titled Dressing Up Japanese History: Gender, Class, and Clothing from Pre- modern to Present. And in October we hosted two events concerning the situation of Afghani women. On October 3rd we screened a powerful documentary by Meena Nanji entitled View from a Grain of Sand. And on October 30th we co-sponsored, along with Students for a Democratic Soci- ety, a talk by Malalai Joya, Member of the Afghan Parliament and outspoken critic against the domination of war- lords. She spoke at the UBC Graduate Student Building about the Myth and Reality of Women’s Condition in War Torn Afghanistan. We have had fewer visitors to the Centre than usual because budget cuts led to the cancellation of funding for the Visiting Scholars program last spring. I am happy to report that our budget is not as bad as we expected, and the Visiting Scholars program has been reinstated for next term. We wel- comed Maureen Molloy who visited from the University of Auckland in New Zealand for several weeks in October and November. And on November 7th one of our Ph.D. students, Xin Huang, and I met with a delegation of visitors from Hunan Women’s Vocational Uni- versity in China. The situation with the College for Interdisciplinary Studies remains rather uncertain following the sudden death last June of the new Principal, Grant Ingram. Amidst the sadness of this event the College has soldiered on with successive short-term Acting Principles, Tim McDaniels and then Jim Thompson. The Centre’s own Sneja Gunew (former Director) agreed to join a committee of three ‘wise guys’ (as they have come to refer to them- selves) to advise on future leadership of the College. As a result of these consultations we expect a new Acting Principal to be named shortly to over- see an external search. We hope this brings leadership stability to the Col- lege soon. As always we have continued with our (very important) tradition of so- cial events. A welcome back pot-luck dinner/party was held at the Director’s house on September 14; a wine and cheese was organized to thank Faculty Associates for their support on October 3; and Engendering Social Justice was followed by a wine and cheese reception on November 2nd. A pot-luck ...All fi ve talks were lively, provocative, and insightful refl ections on recent or ongoing research that concretely engenders social justice.... dinner/party will be held on December 14 to mark the upcoming end-of-term and holiday season, so watch for more details soon. I would like to thank the members of the CWAGS Advisory Committee, Nora Angeles our Graduate Advisor, Wynn Gillian Creese.  Photo John Corry. Archibald and Jane Charles our in- trepid staff, and colleagues and friends Nikki Strong-Boag, Wendy Frisby and Sneja Gunew who are always willing to offer advice and support on the many occasions when it is needed. You all make my job much easier and far more enjoyable than it might otherwise be. 4     Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies     5 Graduate Advisor’s Roundup Welcome to the new and continuing graduate students in Women’s and Gender Studies! We are delighted to have four stu- dents who accepted our offer of place- ment for 2007-2008. We are joined by two new MA students – Jenny Faw- cett from the University of Montana and Gemma Hunting from McMaster University (both received Graduate Entrance Scholarships), and two PhD students – Emilia Nielsen from the Uni- versity of New Brunswick and Manuela Valle who has graduated from our MA Program. Congratulations to our new- est PhD Graduate, Dr Lauren Hunter. Lauren successfully defended her dissertation en- titled "From Multicultural Dif- ference to Different Multicul- turalisms: Locating Canada in International Debates on Gender, Anti-Racism and Hu- man Rights" on September 14, 2007. She was supervised by Dr Dan Hiebert (Geography) and co-supervised by Dr Gil- lian Creese (Sociology and Women’s and Gender Studies) and Dr Geraldine Pratt (Geog- raphy). We are proud of you, Dr Hunter! Congratulations too to our new MA graduate this fall, Manuela Valle, supervised by Dr. Bill French and co- supervised by Rita De Grandis. As in previous years, we have a very high success rate at the UGF competition for 2007-2008. Naomi Lloyd (PhD candidate), Kristine Engle- Folchert (MA candidate), Samantha Semper (PhD candidate), Hui-ling Lin (PhD candidate), Sanzida Habib (PhD candidate), and Manuela Valle (new PhD student) received UGFs. PhD Candidate Marilou Carrillo has received an award from the York Centre for International and Security Studies for its program on Democracy, Diasporas, and Canadian Security in International Perspective.  Marilou will present a research paper entitled, “Pushed from the Philippines, Pulled by Canada:  Emergence of Transnational Filipino Women’s Praxis from Living Forced Migration, Marginalization, and Social Transformation,” prepare a pol- icy brief, and participate in a workshop at York University in May 2008. Our PhD students have done us proud with their poster presentation of their research projects during the "Engendering Social Justice: Celebrat- ing Women’s and Gender Research at UBC" event at St John’s College last November 2. We thank Ruppa Baga (International Adoptions:  Intersections of Class, Gender, and Race in Move from India and the Republic of Korea to Canada), Sanzida Habib (Culture as the Barrier: South Asian Women’s  Ac- cess to Cancer Screening Services), Naomi Lloyd (Recovering Queer His- tory: Homoeroticism, Evagelicalism, and Empire in the Life and Writings of Constance Maynard (1849-1935), Sally Mennill (Caesarean Sections in Canada, 1945-1970), Cecily Nich- olson (On "Exiting" Entrenchment: Women Labouring in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside Sex Trade), Sirijit Sunanta (Transnational Marriages and the Transformation of Rural Life: Case Study from Thailand’s Northeastern Villages), and Almas Zakkiudin (Mod- ernising Islam: Religion, Gender & Development in Bangladesh) for their colorful, well-designed, and informative posters that speak of the high quality of graduate student research at the Centre. Our three hardwork- ing students in WMST 500 – Emilia Nielsen, Gemma Hunting and Jenny Faw- cett – are gearing up their preparations for the April 2008 Graduate Student Conference in Women’s and Gender Studies. This is a good opportunity to pres- ent a conference paper and get published in the "Views from the Edge" conference proceedings publication se- ries. Watch out for the call for papers coming in your mailboxes very soon! A friendly reminder from the Gradu- ate Advisor to all students to please pay attention to the total number of course credits they should complete in their programs. This will avoid the inconvenience of taking additional courses after successful completion of the capstone thesis or extended essay requirement. Leonora C. Angeles Halloween at the Centre: Grad Students Eunkyung Choi, Jenny Faw- cett, Emilia Nielsen and Jane Lee. 4     Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies     5 Manuela Valle and Jenny Fawcett Greetings from your WSGSA MA and PhD reps! We have been hard at work planning, researching and advocating over the past several months. While the WSGSA went into stealth mode over the summer our graduate stu- dents were all busy writing, publish- ing and presenting. Since our annual graduate student conference in April, at which many of our grads presented their work, several of us have been spotted on the conference circuit. Hui- ling Lin attended the Inter-Asia Cultural Studies Society Shanghai Conference. In May of 2007 Sally Mennill presented with her supervisor, Dr. Veronica Strong-Boag, their paper “Abused and Murdered: One Often Forgotten Story in the History of Children and Youth in Canadian Families” at the UBC Social Work Department’s symposium on Childhood’s End. This paper has been accepted for publication in a forthcom- ing edition of the Canadian Bulletin of Medical History. In September of 2007 Jane Lee presented a paper entitled “Footnotes on Hannam: Searching for Diaspora, Community, Home, and Be- longing in Greater Vancouver’s ‘Kore- atown’” at the Vancouver Tri-University Community Conference, “The 1907 Race Riots and Beyond: A Century of TransPacific Canada.” Almas Zakiud- din has published a couple of book reviews in addition to a forthcoming accepted publication, “Rediscover- ing Christmas”, in Dasgupta Geri & Jennifer Jianghai Mei, eds. Refining, Reading, Writing: Essay Strategies for Canadian Students. In November of 2007 Almas will also be presenting her paper “’Modernising’ Islam: Gender, politics, and international development in Bangladesh” at the Women, Religion and Development Conference, Univer- sity of Ottawa. Congratulations to ev- eryone on their many successes! Congratulations also to the winners of various scholarships and grants: Kristi Engle Folchert, Hui-Ling Lin, Naomi Lloyd, Sam Semper and Manu- ela Valle all earned University Gradu- ate Fellowships, Jane Lee won the Vancouver Korean Canadian Founda- tion Scholarship, and Sally Mennill won a Hannah Senior General Scholarship for the History of Medicine. With all of these achievements un- der our belts, the graduate students of CW&GS have been hard at work cre- ating community, advocating for women’s and gen- der rights, and, of course, focus- ing on academic achievement. We are continuing to foster active relationships with AMS student groups including the Feminist Col- lective, Colour Connected, and the Sexual As- sault Support Centre. We held Women’s Studies Graduate Student Association report Browsers at September’s book sale outside the Centre. our annual Welcome Back Potluck on September 22nd at Kristi’s house, where we were able to welcome our new students, Emilia Nielsen (PhD), Manuela Valle (PhD), Jenny Fawcett (MA) and Gemma Hunting (MA). We also held a book sale in Sep- tember, at which we earned $200 to fund further WSGSA activities. Thanks to everyone who donated materials to this effort. The Gender Performance Group has remained an active and dynamic part of life at the Centre. In the spring they won a $5000 grant from the UBC Innovative Project Fund; stay tuned for news on the events being planned with the help of these funds. Finally, elections for new WSGSA representatives and coordinators are coming up in early November. We are excited for new members and activities for the new year! PhD student Manuela Valle and friend. 6     Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies     7 Wendy Frisby, Chair In 2008, we will be celebrating the 35th Anniversary of the Women’s and Gender Studies (WaGS) program. UBC was amongst the first universities in Canada to approve undergraduate courses in Women’s and Gender Stud- ies, so we are marking this important milestone with two major events. The first was a Research Forum held in conjunction with the Centre for Wom- en’s and Gender Studies and Access and Diversity on November 2, 2007. Professor Toope, the President of UBC, gave the keynote address which was followed by a panel on research being done by the Centre’s faculty and faculty associates. Graduate students presented posters and many under- graduates and instructors attended the event. Some attendees claimed the event was the best one they had been to at UBC. Our second major event to celebrate our 35th anniversary will be held on March 7 at St. John’s College in conjunction with Interna- tional Women’s Day. This event will highlight pedagogy and we plan to invite presentat ions from undergrad- uate students. Despite the important role our program plays in “educat- ing the eye”, a phrase used by Professor Toope to emphasize how our program unmasks inequali- ties to contribute to the transformative role of universities, we continue to be hit hard by budget cuts. We now have only 2.8 faculty and our sessional budget was recently cut by one third. The WaGS Coordinating Committee is examining a number of different strategies for dealing with the budget cuts that are putting our program in jeopardy. Despite these set backs, we will offer 30 course sections this year that will be taken by over 1,100 students. The interdisciplinary nature of the pro- gram is enhanced by having instruc- tors with appointments in Computer Science, Nursing, Law, Education, Community and Regional Planning, Sociology, Critical Studies in Sexuality, Asian Studies, English, and the Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies. We appreciate all the hard work that our instructors and teaching assistants do to continually improve our high qual- ity program which “changes students’ Update Women’s and Gender Studies Undergraduate Program lives in meaningful ways,” according to many comments made by students on teaching evaluations. Sheanthi De Silva is the President of the WaGS Student Association and she organized a “Chocolate and Chat” event for students and instructors on a rainy afternoon in November. The desserts were delicious, the conversa- tion was stimulating, and we plan to make this an annual event. Dr. Becki Ross is heading up our Alumni/Career Night initiative that will be held next term. She has co-chaired the Critical Studies in Sexuality (CSIS) program that has a close affiliation with WaGS. We would like to congratulate CSIS on the large donation received to support their program. I would also like to extend warm ap- preciation to Jane Charles and Wynn Archibald who quietly and competently keep things running at the Centre while creating the collegial and intellectually stimulating atmosphere that is envied by many on campus.Guests at “Chatting with Chocolates”, held Nov. 15th at the Centre. Students Cody Yorke, Sheanthi De Silva, Fernanda Fukamati, Nimerta Dayal, and Serena Mason at “Chatting with Chocolates”. 6     Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies     7 check it out. thirdspace the journal for emerging feminist scholars www.thirdspace.ca Valerie Raoul, Director I would like to begin by reporting on my five-week stay in India last March, when Sunera Thobani (our future SAGA Director) and myself were both Visiting Scholars at the University of Delhi for two weeks. We were invited by Meenakshi Thapan, Head of the Department of Sociology there, who has visited CWAGS twice in the past. We received a warm welcome, not only from Meenakshi but from our very own Rupa Bagga, whose assistance certainly made our stay memorable in many ways. (Many thanks, Rupa!) We were accommodated in a guest house on the campus, and had many opportunities to interact with faculty and students there, as well as to take advantage of side-trips to the Taj Ma- hal and (in my case) Chandigarh and Amritsar in the Punjab. Sunera was able to further her research on media coverage in India of the “war on terror” and women’s issues. We both partici- pated in an international conference on “The Nation State, Embodied Practices and the Politics of Identity”.  A volume of essays from that conference, includ- ing contributions from both of us, is now being prepared for publication by Routledge. At the banquet at the end of the conference there were several other former Visitng Scholars,  includ- ing Malashri Lai of Women’s Studies (U. of Delhi) and Neelu Kang (Panjab University , Chandigarh). Meenakshi will be coming back to UBC as a Shas- tri Scholar this term (Nov. 25-Dec. 23), sponsored by our colleague Dawn Cur- rie of Sociology. She will be working on a project on citizenship in relation to the integration of immigrant teens at Charles Tupper School. Neelu will also be coming back to Vancouver soon. These are invaluable academic and personal connections that we hope will enable us to build closer links to India, for research and for our students. I was fortunate to be able to go on to spend a week in Kerala, in the south, where I was the guest of the editorial board of a feminist journal of autobiog- raphy at the University of Kerala (Trev- andrum). Two of the editorial board have also visited CWAGS. Rathi Me- non, another fre- quent visitor here, arranged for me to speak on Inter- national Women’s Day at the Sanskrit University close to Kochi. It was fasci- nating to compare the political and soc io -economic situation in Kerala (which has an elected communist government) with Cuba, which I had also recently vis- ited. My last stop was Mombai, where I met up with one of our first Visiting Scholars from India, Veena Poonacha, Director of the Wom- en’s Studies Centre at SNDT Women’s University.  As well as meeting faculty and students on two campuses there, I had the privilege of visiting a Rural Development Project in a tribal area of Gujurat, and to see first-hand how the micro-credit system benefits poor women. This was a memorable expe- rience, and I plan to return.  Sunera was able to pursue her own research interests and follow up on contacts in Benares and elsewhere in Gujurat. This visit has inspired both of us to look for sources of funding to build on these connections. During the fall term I am meeting once a month with a group of students from CWAGS to discuss issues related to auto/bio/graphics in relation to their research projects. Anyone with these Malashri Lai (University of Delhi), the Rector of the University of Delhi, Sunera Thobani (CWAGS), Rupa Bagga (PhD Candidate, CWAGS), Neelu Kang (University of Panjab), Valerie Raoul (SAGA Director), and Meenakshi Thapan (University of Delhi), March 2007 at the University of Delhi, Department of Sociology conference. News from the SAGA Centre Studies in Autobiography, Gender and Age cont’d on 8 8     Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies     9 Views from the Edge Proceedings of the Women’s & Gender Studies Graduate Student Conference, April 2007 Available now at the Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies 1896 East Mall interests is welcome to join us.   I was happy to welcome in November a visitor from the US, Peg Cruikshank of the University of Maine, a specialist in feminist critical gerontology whose research is certainly very relevant to SAGA’s mandate. As a Board member of BCCEAS (Coalition to End Abuse of Seniors) I am finding out more about issues affecting seniors. As more of my generation reach retirement, we are planning to launch in January a Feminist Faculty Emeritae Network associated with SAGA. For more infor- mation, please contact me. Remember that SAGA has a lot of amazing equipment that is available for your use! Thanks as always to Hui-Ling, who keeps the place running. continued from 7 SAGA Report I was very pleased to re-activate my association with the Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies for the period October 21 to November 11, 2007. During the time I was at UBC I gave a paper in the Centre’s seminar series and attended seminars given by other scholars, both in the Centre and in other locations at UBC. I also at- tended the Centre’s 35th anniversary celebration, a great achievement and heartening to see. I was pleased to be able to talk to the Doctoral studen ts and many staff involved in the Women’s Studies Programme and to hear President Toope’s remarkable keynote. As my own institution is in the process of considering the future of Women’s Studies it was most useful to see how a different model has worked, and what challenges the Centre faces. My work over the period consisted in construction of an index for my forthcoming book On Creating a Us- able Culture: Margaret Mead and the Origins of American Cosmopolitanism (University of Hawai’i Press, 2008). This gave a fitting closure to a task which I commenced during a sabbati- cal leave at the Centre in 1999. I wish to convey my thanks to all of those who made me, once again, welcome: Gillian Creese, Sneja Gunew, Wynn Archibald, Jane Charles and Hui-ling Lin. Visiting Scholar Report Maureen Molloy, University of Auckland Visiting Scholar Report Maria Ng, University of Lethbridge Academic projects take time to gestate and come to completion. Sometimes, a combination of the right elements is also necessary – down time from teaching, a congenial working space, supportive colleagues to discuss ideas with, an appreciative audience to read to. That was my luck when I was awarded a study leave from the University of Lethbridge where I teach in the English Department; I was then invited as a visiting scholar by Profes- sor Sneja Gunew, Director of the Cen- tre for Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of British Columbia. Things were indeed falling into place. In 2005 Canada Council for the Arts for Professional Writers gave me a generous award to write a memoir of my childhood in colonial Hong Kong. The project was easier to imagine, but much harder to actualize. I couldn’t find a stretch of time away from teaching that would allow me to research and to write. As well, there were other proj- ects that needed equally immediate at- tention, such as the final work on a col- lection of essays with my co-editor and a former visiting scholar at CWAGS, Philip Holden of the National Univer- sity of Singapore. Not until Reading Chinese Transnationalisms: Society, Literature, Film was published in 2006 by the Hong Kong UP did I feel ready cont’d on  12 8     Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies     9 Shutting down the Border: CWAGS alumna Sara Koopman’s research with women in Colombia Sara Koopman completed her MA in Women’s Studies in Nov. 2005. She is now a Phd candidate in Geography at UBC.  In Colombia, as part of her dissertation research, Sara is collabo- rating with the group Ruta Pacifica de Mujeres (Women’s Peaceful Way). On November 25th, the international day against violence against women, the Ruta mobilizes to where the war is par- ticularly bad.  They go to be in solidarity with the women there, and to highlight how the war affects women.  This year they went to the border with Ecuador, and Ecuadoran women’s groups met them there.  The violence in the border region has been particularly bad (from several ‘rearmed’ paramilitary groups, both of the guerilla groups, and various official armed forces), and thousands have had to flee over the border into Ecuador.  Sara’s report follows. Dear friends, family, colleagues and compas, Thank you all so much for holding us in your hearts – the Colombian-Ecua- doran women’s peace mobilization was fantastically more successful than I (or the organizers) expected.  They were hoping for 3,000, but more than 5,000 women came, including a great many from small towns and indigenous reser- vations near the border, many of whom told me they had never been in any kind of political action before.  The plan was to do several brief interruptions of border traffic (as long as they could stand the tear gas). Instead they shut down the border for a full hour and a half, women wandered around the bor- der bridge hugging and chatting, and amazingly there was very little police presence at all! Maybe this was because there was, in the end, a good bit of accompani- ment by both national and international organizations, which raised the politi- cal cost of repression.   Maybe it was because the Ruta Pacifica de Mujeres (Women’s Peaceful Way) did a lot of negotiating beforehand with the au- thorities.  Maybe it was because those authorities just don’t take women seri- ously or see us as a threat. On the ride home an army officer managed to get on the bus at a check- point (the leaders usually got off to talk before any armed personnel could get on, but it was very early in the morning and I think they were trying to sleep – I certainly was).  I sat up when he passed my seat (in the second row), which was just when he looked around and said “Ay! son-of-a-b*, they’re all women!” and turned right around to get off.  It seems he had second thoughts about how that sounded because just before he stepped off he turned his head around to say “and all very pretty”.  Ah hah.  But it is precisely getting written off that way that seems to offer the Ruta the space to exercise citizenship and work for peace.  These are some of the contradictions that I’m thinking through with them in my research. The other major worry about this ac- tion was that we were traveling through some of the most dangerous territory in Colombia.  We drove down one of the worst roads, from Cali to Pasto, late at night no less! We were 33 buses caravaning (which makes for very slow going), so it would have been hard for the guerrillas to take all of us.  In the end the worst visible danger, yet again, was really the traffic.  I couldn’t bear to watch when the bus driver passed, it seemed suicidal to me.  I also couldn’t sleep much, since it was windy roads and he took the curves so fast that your body got thrown around.  After four days spent mostly on the bus (getting out for various marches and vigils at towns along the way, as other buses of women from other parts of the country met up with us), not really sleeping, and having pretty high anxiety throughout, I came back exhilarated but utterly ex- hausted. This business of putting your body with other bodies to make space for peace is actually pretty hard on the body. There was so much beautiful symbol- ism in the march, but what moved me most was that indigenous women led the march on the Colombian side, and on the bridge that is the border between the two countries, they held up their ceremonial staffs of authority to make another bridge that Ecuadoran women passed under.  The picture attached is of this, and there are more photos at: http://www.rutapacifica.org.co/ The mobilization was a beautiful coming together in so many ways. Thank you for being a small part of it from afar and weaving new connec- tions for peace. 10     Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies     11 Engendering Social Justice photos from the forum held November 2, 2007 at St. John’s College Cecily Nicholson’s poster: On “Exiting” Entrenchment: Women La- bouring in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside Sex Trade. Valerie Raoul asks a question following President Toope’s talk. Hui-Ling Lin, Bethan Theunissen, Xin Huang, and Naomi Lloyd. Audience members. Participants at the reception following the Forum. Juanita Sundberg (right), Assistant Professor Geography. Lauren Hunter (far right) recent CWAGS PhD gradu- ate, and Bianca Rus, CWAGS PhD candidate. P ho to  J oh n C or ry P ho to  J oh n C or ry Photos courtesey Xin Huang except as noted. 10     Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies     11 Engendering Social Justice photos from the forum held November 2, 2007 at St. John’s College Sunera Thobani viewing Naomi Lloyd’s poster project on Queer History. Rupa Bagga (left) discussing her poster presentation on International Adoptions. Sanzida Habib (left) and Naomi Lloyd view Sanzida’s poster concerning South Asian Women’s  Access to Can- cer Screening Services. Sirijit Sunanta discussing her poster on Transnational Marriages with guests at the Forum. Sally Mennill’s poster: Caesarean Sections in Canada, 1945-1970. Almas Zakiuddin being interviewed about her poster on Modernising Islam: Religion, Gender & Development in Bangladesh. P ho to  J oh n C or ry 12     Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies     13 Malalai Joya, Member of the Afghan Parliament and head of the NGO “Organization for Promoting Afghan Women’s Capabilities”, speaking on Oct. 30th at the Graduate Student Centre.  The talk was part of her speaking tour of British Columbia, organized by the StopWar Coalition and BC Labour Against War.  Her presentation at UBC was sponsored by the Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies and Students for a Democratic Society. Congratulations! Honours: Sneja Gunew (past Director) received the Honorary Award 1st Class of Sofia University “St Kliment Ohridski” in June 2007 in recognition of outstanding scholarship. New Books: Leonora Angeles and Penny Gurstein (co-editors), Learning Civil Societies: Shifting Perspectives in Democratic Planning and Governance, University of Toronto Press, 2007. Sunera Thobani, Exalted Subjects: Studies in the Making of Race and Nation in Canada, University of Toronto Press, 2007. to tackle my next book-length project. An academic’s schedule is always so precisely planned that friends not in the profession find our fixation with schedules bemusing. While my friends could not be sure if their clients would be around next season, we know to the date when our term begins next year and the year after, and what we will be teaching. Applications for grants and study leave also require the same regimented forward thinking. I applied for my study leave in 2005. In 2006, I knew that I would be using this block of time to write. But where? There were two alternatives: write in isolation or write within an intellectual community. I chose the second and after hearing from Sneja Gunew, knew immediately that I had made the right decision. With my gig at CWAGS, as a friend called it, I got a work station, proximity to two libraries important for my project: Koerner and Asian Library, printing and photocopying facilities, and a crack team of administrative staff. I also got to talk to students like Liu Hui-ling and Medha Samarasinghe, who reminded me what fun it was to be a graduate student and to work with materials pro- duced by the latest technology. And I got to meet academics from other parts of the world: Sanjukta Dasgupta from Calcutta, G.S. Jayasree from Kerala; to hear academics give papers about other subjects than English lit- erature: Alison Bailey on the trope of feminine vengeance in Chinese cul- ture, Paul Kershaw on social welfare issues and so on. My own paper in the lecture series dealt with the borderland anxiety an ethnic autobiographer feels. I expected a polite audience of a few people. Instead, it was a sizeable and very appreciative gathering, including Nikki Strong-Boag, who gave me a most important pointer regarding how to write about my mother. Other useful comments came from Valerie Raoul and Tineke Hellwig, both involved members of the CWAGS community, and Gernot Wieland, head of the Eng- lish Department, as well as a very as- tute group of students. Apart from the lecture series, I also gave a paper at the “Serial Accom- modations: Diasporic Asian Women’s Writing” symposium, organized by Sneja Gunew and the very capable Kim Snowden, Medha Samarasinghe, and Terri Tomsky. At this symposium, I met more colleagues and writers, such as Shani Mootoo and Lydia Kwa. It was an intense two days with very diverse speakers and buzzing discussions. I experienced the sort of high that people outside the academic field, the type who think that intellectuals spend time at conferences bolstering their own egos and wasting time, could not understand. I gave myself a deadline of April 30 to finish a first draft of the manuscript. This I achieved and I think the papers I gave, the talks I attended, the conver- sations amongst colleagues, and the overall atmosphere at the CWAGS, of intellectual industry and generous sup- port, made it possible. Sneja Gunew, who was challenging and humorous and a good listener, was a most impor- tant element. cont’d from 8 Maria Ng, Visiting Scholar Report 12     Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies     13 CWAGS Fall Lecture Series,  Sept.- Dec., 2007 Veronica Strong-Boag Maureen MolloySunera Thobani and Meena Nanji Jeannie Shoveller Health Care and Epidemiology, UBC “Ageing out”: When policy and social orders clash with the “disordered” realities of young mothers Sept. 12, 2007 Amy Hanser Dept of Sociology, UBC Gender and Consumer Logics in China Sept. 19, 2007 Veronica Strong-Boag Women’s Studies / Educational Studies, UBC “Children of Adversity”: Disabilities and Child Welfare in Canada from the 19th century to the 21th Sept. 26, 2007 Meena Nanji Filmmaker View from a Grain of Sand, documentary film screening, to be followed with discussion with the filmmaker. (Co-sponsored by RACE.) Oct. 3, 2007 Becki Ross Dept of Sociology, UBC Exiting, Aging, and Disappearing: Transition in the Industry of Exotic Dancing Oct. 10, 2007 Sunera Thobani Centre of Women’s and Gender Studies, UBC The Crisis of American Masculinity: Race, Gender and the War on Terror (Co-sponsored by RACE.) Oct. 17, 2007 Penny Gurstein School of Community and Regional Planning, UBC Imagining the Just City for Lone Mothers in Extreme Poverty Oct. 24, 2007 Maureen Molloy Dept of Anthropology, University of Auckland Regendering Globalisation: Niche Fashion and Women’s Work in the Developed World Oct. 31, 2007  Margaret Cruikshank Dept of English, University of Maine Feminist Gerontology: Origins, Scopes, and Challenges Nov. 7, 2007 Alexia Bloch Dept of Sociology, UBC Post-Soviet Mistresses and the Turkish State: Negotiating Intimacy, Kinship, and Labor Migration in a Time of Transnationalism Nov. 14, 2007 Mary Chapman Dept of English, UBC Revolution in Ink: Sui Sin Far (Edith Eaton) and Reform Nov. 21, 2007 Carrie Yodanis Social Work & Family Studies, UBC “Why Marry At All?”  A consideration of the institution of marriage Nov. 28, 2007 14     Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies 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 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 interchange of ideas and collabora- tion among scholars, 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 programme is open to faculty, both untenured and tenured, as well as to indepen- dent scholars who are engaged in critical work on women and gender, who are not currently working on a higher degree at any institution and who reside in areas outside the B.C. Lower Mainland. Some funding for travel expenses (to a maximum of $3000) is available for scholars from “developing” countries. 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 ap- plicants who are situated within exist- ing Women’s Studies centres which might be interested in forging future international links. 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; 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 par- ticular interest to scholars who are on sabbatical. 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, 2007. Visiting Scholars Program September 2008-April 2009 The “Dressing up Japanese History: Gender, Class, and Clothing from Pre- modern to Present” workshop was held September 5, 2007, supported by the Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies, the Centre for Japanese Re- search, and the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies. The event brought together historians, literary scholars, sociologists, and anthropologists to examine Japanese clothing from the ninth century to the present. Present- ers and respondents consisted of five cultural historians based in Japan and eight scholars from North America, in- cluding Sharalyn Orbaugh of CWAGS. The papers took up topics ranging from ninth-century undergarments to postmodern deconstructionist cou- ture. Despite being held on the second day of classes, the event was extremely well-attended. Over fifty people joined the sessions and discussion was lively, particularly surround- ing issues of sexual- ity, nationalism, and women’s clothing. Japanese presenters included Fukai Akiko, curator of the Kyoto Costume Institute; the writer Mori Mayumi; Takeda Sachiko, an authority on premodern clothing; Wakita Haruko, a leader of postwar research in women’s history; and Wakita Osamu, known for his work on discrimination in the early-modern period. A volume based on the papers presented is intended for publication within the next two years. Workshop on Gender, Class and Clothing “Dressing up Japanese History” 14     Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies     15 International Women’s Day 2008 and the Women’s and Gender Studies 35th Anniversary Celebration Friday, March 7th, 2008 Location on campus to be announced... for updates check our website www.wmst.ubc.ca or www.ws.arts.ubc.ca It was 35 years ago that the first courses in Women’s and Gender Studies were launched at UBC.  Join us in celebrating our 35th Anniversary!  The evening includes a panel on pedagogy, an undergraduate panel, and reception (with great food, as usual!) to follow. 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 Valerie Raoul,  SAGA Acting 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 wmst1@interchange.ubc.ca Members of the Advisory Committee: Gillian Creese, Director CWAGS (Chair) Leonora Angeles, Graduate Advisor Margery Fee, English Wendy Frisby, Chair, Women’s Studies Program Jane Lee, MA Student, Women’s and Gender Studies Madeleine MacIvor, First Nations House of Learning Sally Mennill, 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 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. The Newsletter is published by The University of British Columbia’s Centre 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 wmst1@interchange.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 the coordinator of the newsletter wmst1@interchange.ubc.ca.


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