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A Workshop in Transnational Feminism/Atelier sur le féminisme transnational

LR Wilson Institute for Canadian History
10-12 May 2018


As a field of study, transnational feminism emerged in the 1980s in response to a singular “global” feminism that erased differences within and between nations. While it underscores the emancipatory potential of inter-national networks and alliances for activist women, this scholarship also addresses the challenges to solidarity that arose from, among others, economic globalisation, (neo-)colonialism, and racism. It consequently uses multiple frameworks of difference, epistemologies, and methodologies to tackle the complexity of women’s lives and politics. Transnational feminism is a highly interdisciplinary field that seeks to disrupt national narratives and nation-oriented approaches while remaining attentive to differences among women within countries. In the Canadian context, transnational feminist analyses can be used, for example, to think about the country’s multinational and diverse realities, that is, the ways in which Indigenous, Diasporic, and Québécois feminisms related to, as well as diverged, from one another and Anglo-Canadian feminisms. Hosted by the L.R. Wilson Institute for Canadian History at McMaster University from 10-12 May 2018, A Workshop in Transnational Feminism/Atelier sur le féminisme transnational, through the participation of leading and emerging scholars, will showcase the very best of the new work being done in the field of transnational feminism by bringing together an interdisciplinary group of specialists in a workshop format.

Tentative Programme

L.R. Wilson Institute for Canadian History

Thursday, May 10, 2018

6.00 PM:Dinner at a nearby restaurant (TBA)  


Friday, May 11, 2018

Breakfast at Hotel

All Panels in McMaster University, L.R. Wilson Hall, LRW 2001

10:00 AM: Opening Remarks and Registration

10:15 AM: Panel 1 – Understanding gender oppression across borders and communities
Chair: TBA

  • Miglena S. Todorova (University of Toronto): Race and Socialist/Postsocialist Transnational Feminisms in Central and Southeastern Europe
  • Shahina Parvin (University of Lethbridge): The Significance of Inclusion of Women’s Standpoints within Transnational Feminist Epistemology and Methodology 
  • Ana Stevenson (University of the Free State): Transnational Feminism in North American and Australian Settler Societies: The “Slave Class” and the “Colonising Sexual Urge

11:30 AM — Catered Lunch (at LRW 2802) 

12:30 PM: Panel 2 –Sources and self-representation in postcolonial, settler colonial, and imperial contexts
Chair: TBA

  • Lynne Marks (University of Victoria) & Margaret Little (Queen’s University): Family Matters: Divisions Between Immigrant Women Activists and Mainstream Feminists in Ontario and BC,1960s-1980s
  • Safaneh Mohaghegh-Neyshabouri (University of Alberta): Everyday Forms of Resistance in Two Travel Narratives by Qajar Women

2:00 PM: Break and light snacks

2:15 PM: Panel 3 – Creating transnational feminist networks
Chair: Joëlle Papillon, Department of French, McMaster University

  • Eve-Marie Lampron (Université du Québec à Montréal): ‘Puisque la France regarde désormais l’Italie de haut’ : défis et apports méthodologiques/épistémologiques relatifs à l’étude des réseaux entre femmes auteures françaises et italiennes (1770-1840)
  • Daria Dyakonova (Université de Montréal) & John Riddell (OISE): Transnational Networking among Communist Women in the Early 1920s
  • Audrey Lasserre (Université Catholique de Louvain): Écrire une histoire transnationale de la littérature francophone (en contexte)féministe : l’exemple de la Rencontre québécoise internationale des écrivains (1975)
  • Jacqueline-Bethel Mougoué (Baylor University): Cameroon’s Catholic Women’s Association: Gender, Political Power, and Transnational Feminism in 20thCentury West Africa

3:45 PM: Break

4:00PM. Panel 4 –Thinking through the periodization of women’s movements
Chair: Karen Balcom, Department of History, McMaster University

  • Lara Campbell (Simon Fraser University): Modernity, Progress and Militancy: The Transnational Politics of Suffrage in Canada
  • Patricia Harms (Brandon University): Higher Moral Ground: The First and Second Inter-American Congresses of Women, 1947 and 1951
  • Whitney Wood (University of Calgary): ‘Why not a choice in obstetrics too?’: Feminism, Choice, and Natural Birth in Canada and the World, 1950-1990


Saturday, May 12, 2018

Breakfast at Hotel

All Panels in McMaster University, L.R. Wilson Hall, LRW 2001

9:00 AM: Panel 5 – Gender in the international political economy
Chair: Julien Mauduit, Wilson Institute for Canadian History, McMaster University

  • Nancy Forestell (St. Francis Xavier University): Reaffirming White Privilege: Commonwealth Feminism(s) During the Era of Decolonization, 1947-1967
  • Aliénor Béjannin (Université du Québec à Montréal): Le féminisme altermondialiste au Canada, quel potentiel de dé-marginalisation ?

10:30 AM: Break and Light Snacks

10:45 AM: Panel 6 – Transformative spaces and pedagogies
Chair: Jennifer Tunnicliffe, Wilson Institute for Canadian History, McMaster University

  • Funké Aladejebi (Trent University): Let’s Talk About It: Black Women, Diasporic Feminisms and the Limitations of Women’s Liberation, 1960s – 1980s
  • Alison Norman (Trent University): Six Nations Soldiers and British Women’s Transatlantic Activism during and after the First World War
  • Devaleena Das (Northern Arizona University): Transnational Feminism Beyond Westoxification: Theory and Praxis VIA SKYPE

12.15: Closing Remarks