King's celebrates Women's History Month by highlighting the efforts of women in our community who challenge and strive for change. 

International Woman's Day is March 8. The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is #BreakTheBias.

"Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. A world that's diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women's equality. Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias."


Learn about women’s history and a spectrum of other topics in one of the interdisciplinary courses in Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies (GSWS) at King’s.
A survey of selected topics in the study of gender structures and the status of women globally, using an inclusive, historical and cross-cultural approach to examine how gender differences are created and established.

Building on the foundation set by 1020E and expanding on those discussions, this course explores and analyzes the image of women (broadly construed and LGBTQI+ inclusive!) along several themes and topics.

Content From King's Experts

Our King's faculty have extensive knowledge and experience writing on women's history. Below are some books, essays, articles and podcasts to consider.

A Nation of Immigrants: Women, Workers, and Communities in Canadian History, 1840s- 1960s - Edited by Franca Iacovetta, Paula Draper, Robert Ventresca.

Dr. Robert Ventresca, Professor of History

This is an edited collection that brings together some of the most highly regarded and impactful essays in Canadian History. Dr. Ventresca was pleased to learn that the book was included in the Canada 150 Collection, which was organized by the University of Toronto Press to recognize Canada’s sesquicentennial. The Canada 150 Collection features what the University of Toronto Press describes as “a special selection of outstanding books published over the years that bear witness to the depth and breadth of the nation’s history and the diversity of its people.”

A Nation of Immigrants includes several important essays detailing the lives of immigrant women who, in one way or another, made a profound impact on their respective communities and on the country as a whole. Here is a link to the table of contents.
Women, Gender, and Transnational Lives: Italian Workers of the world by Donna R Gabaccia and Franca Iacovetta 

Co-authored by Dr. Robert Ventresca, Professor of History.

This book is a transnational analysis of women and gender in Italy’s world-wide migration. This book challenged the stereotype of Italian Immigrant women being silent and submissive and by using the international and internationalist perspectives, feminist labour history, women’s history, and Italian migration history to provide a women-centred, gendered analysis of Italian workers.
Making the Best of It: Women and girls of Canada and Newfoundland during the second world war - by Sarah Glassford and Amy J. Shaw. 

Contributed chapter by Dr. Graham Board, Associate Professor, Department of History. (Chapter 6- Shopping to win the War: Female Consumers and Canada’s Home Front.)

Ground-breaking collection of essays that examines the ways in which gender and other identities intersected to shape the experiences of female Canadians and Newfoundlanders during the war.
A Small Price to Pay - Dr. Graham Broad, Associate Professor of History. 

Examines how female consumers on the home front navigated the tensions between having more money than ever to spend and patriotic pressure to save for the war effort.

The Forever Protest: Why the perpetual fight for change is not futile (podcast)

Dr. Stephanie Bangarth, Associate Professor of History. 

Some protests hit with lightning speed and bring quick change in dramatic ways. But often the push for change takes much longer — decades, even generations. The change comes not from dramatic events but from a slow transformation of people, of culture, and society itself. IDEAS contributor Guy Dixon looks at the perpetual protest.
What Has Human Rights Discourse Meant for Canadian Immigration and Refugee Policy? 

Dr. Stephanie Bangarth, Associate Professor of History.

The “refugee experience” has never been a consistent one in Canada. Current immigration laws and policies are critiqued by many human rights activists and scholars who affirm that while many groups have been welcomed and have successfully integrated into Canadian society, others are still sent back to their home countries to face persecution or death. Others have experienced discrimination and a rather difficult, if not unsuccessful, process of integration once they have been admitted to Canada.

Canada has offered protection to over 700,000 refugees since the end of the Second World War. Political refugees, refugees of diverse sexual orientations, and others fleeing persecution and fearing for their lives have found their way to Canada in the search for “sanctuary.” However, the central paradox of asylum concerns the following question: What right does a non-citizen have to enter a foreign country without permission? Canada’s history on refugee reception provides a complicated answer. Some of my research and teaching explores the ways in which concerned citizens approached the state to argue for humane, more open, and fair reform to discriminatory and selective immigration policy using the language of human rights.

Listen to the CBC podcast here.
London Heritage Council - Heritage Fair 2021: Culture Shock! The Impact of Pandemics | Facebook

How have past pandemics impacted culture and society? Watch Culture Shock! The Impact of Pandemics, an online panel of local historians, medical professionals and cultural experts discussing how previous pandemics, such as the 1918 influenza pandemic, shaped culture and how the current pandemic is spurring change. Dr. Anisha Datta, Professor of Sociology was a panelist for this discussion.

Recommendations from King's Library

Canadian women shaping diasporic religious identities
Becky Lee, B. & Terry Tak-ling Woo (Eds).

This collection of essays explores how women from a variety of religious and cultural communities have contributed to Canada’s pluralistic society. Focusing on women’s religiosity, it examines the ways in which woman have carried, conserved, and transformed their cultures—old and new—in modern Canada.
BL625.7.C35 2016, ebook

Beyond the altar: women religious, patriarchal power, and the church
Christine Gervais

Beyond the Altar illustrates how women religious overcome sexist subjugation by side-stepping the patriarchal power of the Roman Catholic Church. This book discusses how some current and former religious sisters challenge their institutional religion's precepts and engage in transformative strategies to effect change both within and outside the Roman Catholic Church.
BX1795.F44G47 2018, ebook

Limelight: Canadian women and the rise of celebrity autobiography
Katya Lee

Katja Lee examines the memoirs of famous Canadian women, including L. M. Montgomery, Nellie McClung, the Dionne quintuplets, Margaret Trudeau, and Shania Twain to trace the rise of celebrity autobiography in Canada and the role gender has played in the rise to fame and in writing about that experience.
CT25.L422 2020, ebook

An arrow in my heart: A First Nation woman's account of survival from the streets to the height of academia
Sharon Acoose

In her autobiography, Dr. Sharon L. Acoose, Associate Professor of Indigenous Social Work, allows us to walk with her on her healing journey, through what was a life of despair – sexual abuse, family abandonment, life on the street, addictions, prostitution, violence and incarceration – to a fulfilling life with sobriety and personal achievements, including earning a PhD.
E90.A26A3 2015


Behind the man: John Laurie, Ruth Gorman, and the Indian vote in Canada
Ruth Gorman & Frits Pannekoek

Working with John Lee Laurie, Ruth Gorman was a key figure in influencing public opinion for Aboriginal franchise through the 1940s and ’50s, despite the social convention that women remain in the shadows. Behind the Man introduces Gorman as one of Alberta's most interesting female historical figures, and reminds us that there is more than one point of view when it comes to recording history.
F1078.G67 2007, ebook


Viola Desmond: her life and times
Graham Reynolds & Wanda Robson

Many Canadians know that Viola Desmond is the first Black, non-royal woman to be featured on Canadian currency. But fewer know the details of Viola Desmond’s life and legacy. Her singular act of courage in 1946 was a catalyst in the struggle for racial equality that eventually ended segregation in Nova Scotia.
F2346.26.D48R49 2018

Our turn
Kirstine Stewart

Kirstine Stewart, VP Media for Twitter—named one of Canadian Business's Power 50 of 2016 for helping women discover their leadership potential—draws on her extensive experience to share her smart and practical approach to business. Whether you're a CEO or a fledgling administrative assistant, there is something for you in Our Turn.
HD6054.3.S789 2015


Trans studies: the challenge to hetero/homo normativities
Yolanda Martínez-San Miguel & Sarah Tobias (Eds.)

This interdisciplinary essay collection brings together leading experts in this burgeoning field to build on the insights of queer and feminist theory to raise provocative questions about the relationships among gender, sexuality, and accepted social norms. Winner of the 2017 Sylvia Rivera Award in Transgender Studies from the Center for LGBTQ Studies (CLAGS).
HQ77.9.T73 2016


The migrant maternal: "birthing" new lives abroad
Helen Vallianatos, & Anna Kuroczycka Schultes (Eds.)

This edited volume explores how and why immigrant/refugee mothers’ experiences differ because of the challenges posed by the migration process, but also what commonalities underline immigrant/refugee mothers’ lived experiences. The collection offers multiple perspectives on migrant mothering by including ethnographic and theoretical submissions along with mothers’ personal narratives and literary analyses from diverse locales.
HQ759.M547 2016


eGirls, eCitizens: Putting technology, theory and policy into dialogue with girls' and young women's voices
Valerie M. Steeves & Jane Bailey (Eds.)

This collection explores the many forces that shape girls’ and young women’s experiences of privacy, identity, and equality in our digitally networked society. Drawing on the multi-disciplinary expertise of leading Canadian and international scholars, as well as Canada’s foremost digital literacy organization, MediaSmarts, it presents the complex realities of digitized communications for girls and young women.
HQ1178.E45 2015, ebook


100 questions about women and politics
Manon Tremblay; Käthe Roth (translator)

Both yesterday's suffragists and today's feminists have battled for women to vote and hold office. Despite these notable advances, women are still largely underrepresented in parliaments and governments around the world. 100 Questions about Women and Politics discusses electoral politics in Canada and abroad, demystifying the major issues dominating the study of gender and government.
HQ1236.T7366 2018


Compelled to act: histories of women's activism in western Canada
Sarah Carter & Nanci L. Langford (Eds.)

This collection of essays showcases fresh historical perspectives on the diversity of women’s contributions to social and political change in prairie Canada in the twentieth century. Diverse in time, place and purpose, these women demonstrate the myriad ways women have challenged and confronted injustices and inequalities, correcting wrongs, achieving just solutions, and creating change.
HQ1236.5.C2 C64 2020, ebook

The Persons case: the origins and legacy of the fight for legal personhood
Robert J. Sharpe & Patricia I. McMahon

In 1929, England's Lord Chancellor ruled in the Persons case that women were eligible for appointment to Canada's Senate. Initiated by Edmonton judge Emily Murphy and four other activist women, the case, one of the most important constitutional decisions in Canadian history, challenged the idea that the meaning of the constitution could not change with time.
HQ1236.5.C3S53 2007


Runaway wives and rogue feminists: The origins of the women's shelter movement in Canada
Margo Goodhand

In the “enlightened” '60s and '70s, violence against women was widespread. In 1973, with no money and little public support, five disparate groups of Canadian women quietly opened Canada's first battered women's shelters. Journalist Margo Goodhand tracks down the "rogue feminists" whose work forged an underground railway for women and children, weaving their stories into an unforgettable history.
HV1448.C3G66 2017


Sisters or strangers?: Immigrant, ethnic and racialized women in Canadian history
Franca Iacovetta & Marlene Epp (Eds.)

Spanning more than two hundred years of history, from the eighteenth century to the twenty-first, Sisters or Strangers? explores the complex lives of immigrant, ethnic, and racialized women in Canada. The second edition of this essay collection expands its chronological and conceptual scope with 15 new essays that reflect the latest research in Canadian women’s history.
HQ1453.S58 2016, ebook

A great rural sisterhood: Madge Robertson Watt and the ACWW
Linda McGuire Ambrose

A feminist imperialist and a liberal internationalist, Madge Robertson Watt was central to the establishment of two organizations that remain active around the world today. The founding president of the Associated Country Women of the World, she imported the “made-in-Canada” concept of Women’s Institutes to the British countryside during the First World War. 
HQ1455.W38A43 2015, ebook


From Suffragette to Homesteader: exploring British and Canadian colonial histories and women's politics through memoir
Emily Van der Meulen (Ed.)

A compelling story of early and mid-twentieth century social justice advocacy, women’s and feminist histories, From Suffragette to Homesteader is built around a memoir that begins in 1883 by Ethel Marie Sentence, who is frustrated with women’s social and political inequality. Surrounding Ethel’s memoir are chapters by leading historians and life-writing scholars that provide further analysis and context.
HQ1459.S3F76 2018


Older sister. Not necessarily related
Jenny Heijun Wills

Delving into gender, class, racial, and ethnic complexities, as well as into the complex relationships between Korean women, this memoir describes in visceral, lyrical prose the painful ripple effects that follow a child's removal from a family, and the rewards that can flow from both struggle and forgiveness. Winner of the 2019 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction.
HV875.7.C2W55 2019

Digital feminist activism: Girls and women fight back against rape culture
Kaitlynn Mendes, Jessica Ringrose & Jessalynn Keller

Feminists are using participatory digital media as activist tools to speak, network, and organize against sexism, misogyny, and rape culture. The first book-length study to examine how girls, women, and some men negotiate rape culture through the use of digital platforms, including blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and mobile apps, the authors explore four primary questions.
HV6558.M45 2019, ebook


Taking the rap: women doing time for society's crimes
Ann Hansen

When Hansen was arrested in 1983, her commitment to prison abolition became personal. During more than 30 years in prison and on parole, the experiences Hansen shared with other imprisoned women strengthened her resolve to fight the prison industrial complex. In Taking the Rap, she shares gripping stories of women caught in a system that treats them as disposable.
HV8738.H36 2018, ebook


Our voices must be heard: women and the vote in Ontario
Tarah Brookfield

In 1844, seven widows cast ballots in an election in Canada West, an act that was quickly punished: the government struck a law excluding women from the vote. It would be seven decades before women regained voting rights in Ontario. Our Voices Must Be Heard explores Ontario’s suffrage history, examining its ideals and failings.
JL192.B87 2018, ebook

One hundred years of struggle: the history of women and the vote in Canada
Joan Sangster

The achievement of the vote in 1918 is often presented as a triumphant moment in the advancement of Canadian women. Acclaimed historian Joan Sangster looks beyond the rhetoric of anniversary celebrations and Heritage Minutes to show that the struggle for equality included gains and losses, inclusions and exclusions, depending on a woman’s race, class, and location in the nation.
JL192.S36 2018, ebook


Two firsts: Bertha Wilson and Claire L'Heureux-Dubé at the Supreme Court of Canada
Constance Backhouse

Bertha Wilson and Claire L'Heureux-Dubé were the first women judges on the Supreme Court of Canada. Polar opposites in background and temperament, the two faced similar challenges. Their 1980s judicial appointments delighted feminists and shocked the legal establishment. Constance Backhouse delves into the sexist roadblocks both women had to face in education, law practice, and in the courts.
KE8246.B33T86 2019, French ebook


Solitudes of the workplace: women in universities
Elvi Whittaker (Ed.)

Solitudes of the Workplace focuses on experiences of marginalization, uncertainty and segregation created by the hierarchical structures of categories in universities and by gendered identities. Addressing longstanding issues such as the entanglement of gender and the assessment of merit, attention is also given to how new identities are claimed and successfully projected.
LB2332.34.C3S65 2015, ebook

Iskwewak kah' ki yaw ni wahkomakanak: neither Indian princesses nor easy squaws
Janice Acoose

Blending personal narrative and literary criticism, this groundbreaking work of literary and cultural criticism analyzes representations of Indigenous women in Canadian literature. By deconstructing stereotypical images of the “Indian princess” and “easy squaw,” Janice Acoose calls attention to the racist and sexist depictions of Indigenous women in popular literature.
PS8103.I53A26 2016, ebook


Women talking: a novel
Miriam Toews

Eight Mennonite women--ordinary grandmothers, mothers and teenagers -- will climb the ladder into the hayloft of a barn, and the day's true task will begin: they have forty-eight hours to make a life-altering choice on behalf of all the women and children in the colony. A finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award.
PS8589.O6352W66 2018


Toronto trailblazers: women in Canadian publishing
Ruth Panofsky

The first-ever study of women in Canadian publishing, Toronto Trailblazers delves into the cultural influence of seven key women who, despite pervasive gender bias, helped advance a modern literary culture for Canada. Guided by the resolve to make industry-wide improvements, these women disrupted the dominant masculine paradigm and reinvigorated the culture of publishing and authorship in Canada.
Z488.6.T6P36 2019, ebook

Intersectional feminist readings of comics: Interpreting gender in graphic narratives
Sandra Cox

These essays employ a range of interpretive lenses drawn from theoretical models used in contemporary aesthetics, media studies, and literary criticism to analyze mainstream figures like DC’s Catwoman and Marvel’s Miss America and Doctor Strange, to contextualize historical and speculative comics by Indigenous American illustrators, and to explicate autography by critically lauded Jewish, queer and female cartoonists.

Global feminist autoethnographies during COVID-19: Displacements and disruptions
Melanie Heath, Akosua K. Darkwah, Josephine A Beoku-Betts, & Bandana Purkayastha (Eds.)

Global Feminist Autoethnographies bears witness to our displacements, disruptions, and distress as tenured faculty, faculty on temporary contracts, graduate students, and people connected to academia during COVID-19. The authors document their experiences arising within academia and beyond it, illustrating our distress and trauma and how we have worked to lift each other up amidst severe precarities.


Flora!: A woman in a man's world
Flora MacDonald & Geoffrey Stevens

Flora Isabel MacDonald was a politician, humanitarian, adventurer, and role model for a generation of women. In this memoir, co-authored by Geoffrey Stevens, she tells her story. Flora was a force of nature. In her own words and drawing from interviews with those who knew her, Flora! grants us insight into this woman who changed the course of history.

Indian in the Cabinet: Speaking truth to power
Jody Wilson-Raybould

This is the story of why Wilson-Raybould got into federal politics, her experience as an Indigenous leader, her proudest achievements, the SNC-Lavalin affair, and how she got out and moved forward. Now an independent member in Parliament, Wilson-Raybould believes there is a better way for politics—one that will make a better country for all.
F1034.3.W75 A3 2021


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