Western's Caucus on Women's Issues

Fall ll-2000 Newsletter


1999 Women's Caucus Essay Award Winner
Announcements and Events
Speakers on Feminism and Women's Issues
Contact your Caucus
Caucus Members - Your Dues Are Past Due
Notes and bibliography for the Women's Caucus Essay Award Winning Essay


Once again the Essay Award has been a resounding success.More than 30 students submitted papers to the 2000 Essay AwardCommittee. Due to the high quality of the submissions, two papers were selected for the award. "Washerwomen and Whoremongers: The Personal Journal of Xanthippe" by Murrielle Gaetane Michaud is published in this issue. Erin Tolley's paper, "The Influence of Political Culture on the Political Participation of Women in Two Provinces: A Case Study of New Brunswick and Saskatchewan," will appear in the January issue of the newsletter.


Your M.A. or Ph.D. thesis may be for sale, for profit, on the web.


1. The first session of Caucus' Brown Bag Lunch Series "Hey Woman! Your Vote Counts!".
Friday, November 24 Western's Caucus on Women's Issues presents the first session of our Brown Bag Lunch Series: "Hey Woman! Your Vote Counts!: The Issues and Interests of Canadian Women in the Up-coming Federal Election", noon-1, University College, Room 220. This informal presentation will be given by Lisa Widdifield, a representative of London Women Our Votes Count, a non-partisan campaign that engages women from their diverse communities to exercise their democratic right to vote. All are welcome. Bring your lunch.

2. The Caucus is looking for proposals for improving the safety of women on Campus.
Each spring, the President's Committee on the Safety of Women solicits proposals for initiatives relevant to improving the safety of women on campus. In the past, the committee has funded a wide range of projects, including: the installation of the emergency "code-blue" telephones, the improvement of campus lighting, support for foot-patrol, safety awareness and educational programs run through the Student Development Centre and the Residences, financial support for the development of the "box-fit" classes offered by Campus Recreation, and funding to assist the Pride Library in establishing a collection of lesbian materials. Caucus has not put together a proposal in quite some time (I believe that some of the funding for "Backlash" came from this grant, but I am not sure). It would be a good thing for caucus to take an active role in the promotion of women's safety on campus. One way of doing this is to come up with an initiative of our own. It has to be something that we, as an organization, are willing to undertake ourselves. If you have any ideas and are willing to work on the project, please contact Tracy Isaacs.

December 6

1. Ritual of Re-membering at Brescia College.
You are invited to the Annual Ritual of Re-membering - Wednesday, December 6 at noon in the Brescia Auditorium - to commemorate the tragic murder of 14 women at the Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal, Dec. 6, 1989.

2. Remembrance held at the Women's Memorial in Victoria Park.
There will be a remembrance held on Wednesday, December 6, at 5 p.m. at the Women's Memorial in Victoria Park, commemorating the women who died at the Ecole Polytechnique and other victims of violence against women. The choir, Women Spirit Song, will perform. All are welcome, dress warmly and bring a candle.

3. Other Services and Memorials to be held on December 6:
Fanshawe College, 11 am, Room A1056; Kings College, noon, Student Lounge; CUPW, 520 Wellington, 4 -6:30 p.m., Open House; CAW, Local 27, 606 First Street, 6:30 p.m.

On Campus

1. Three new initiatives focussed on improving teaching to be offered by the Educaional Development Office.
Effective August 1, Lesley Harman of the Sociology Department at King's College joined the Educational Development Office as Faculty Associate. This is one of two part-time positions; Mike Atkinson of the Department of Psychology occupies the other. Together they will plan and deliver teaching improvement activities, including the mini-courses for new and experienced faculty and the Fall and Spring Perspectives seminar series.Lesley specializes in small- and medium-sized classroom teaching. She is particularly interested in fostering diversity in the classroom and developing mentoring programs. She is a recipient of the King's College Award for Excellence in Teaching (2000) and the University Students' Council Teaching Award of Excellence (1996-97). Lesley can be reached at 433-3491 x 4351 or email.

Educational Development Office & Equity Services present a BROWN BAG LUNCH SERIES - "Fostering Diversity in the Classroom".
We will be hosting this series to have an open forum in the presence of experts in the field. Please bring your experiences, problems, questions and support as we explore new avenues for fostering diversity in the university classroom. We will meet from 12 noon to 12:50 p.m. Please bring your lunch. Coffee, tea and water will be provided.


Friday, November 24, 2000, "Attitudes and Blind Spots: Becoming Aware of Diversity Issues in the University Classroom," Room 3108, Social Science Centre.

Tuesday, December 12, 2000, "Gender Issues: How to Avoid Sexual Harassment and Maintain Sensitivity," Room 3101, Thames Hall.

Thursday, January 11, 2001, "Social Class: Understanding

Wednesday, February 14, 2001, "Gay and Lesbian Issues: Safety, Disclosure, Empowerment" Location: T.B.A.

Monday, March 12, 2001, "Race and Ethnicity: Honouring Otherness" Location: T.B.A.

Thursday, April 5, 2001, "Disability: How to Make Your Classrooms, Courses, Assignments and Office Hours Accessible," Location: T.B.A.

For information and registration, please call the Educational Development Office at 661-2111, ext. 84622 or e-mail.

"Peer Consultation Program"

Trying something new in the classroom this year and wondering how well it is working? Need some early feedback about how your classes are being received by students? In either case, you are welcome to participate in the Educational Development Office's Peer Consultation Program. By calling the EDO (ext. 84622), you will be put in contact with a volunteer consultant--an experienced faculty member in a discipline different from your own. This colleague will assist in gathering feedback by attending one of your classes and reporting his/her observations and/or talking with a representative group of your students about their reactions. The actual form of the mentoring differs from person to person, and is negotiated in advance at a meeting between you and the consultant. This service is confidential; the output of the consultation is for your use only.

"Mentoring Female Faculty"

In the fall we had a very interesting panel sponsored by the EDO on Mentoring Female Faculty. From that grew a sense that more meetings would be welcomed. In the new year we will hold at least three additional sessions on (1) finding a mentor (2) how to be a mentor and (3) work/home conflicts for female and male faculty. Lesley is very interested in hearing from the community about what other programs, sessions, workshops or resources could be generated in the future to fill what is perceived to be a noticeable gap.

2.FEMINIST SPIRITUALITY PROGRAM - June 2001 - Brescia College
Sponsored by "the Circle" at Brescia College, this program is creatively designed to deepen our experience of the sacred dimension of our lives through a variety of creative activities and interactive explorations. The program offers 2 options for participation: Option 1- 30-days (June 1-June 30, 2001) and Option 2 - 10 - days (June 5-15, 2001). Special features in both options are a 4-day workshop with renowned artist, Meinrad Craighead and on-campus residential accommodation. For more information call: 519-432-8353 x.288; email .

3.Broadly Speaking is a half-hour documentary style radio program at CHRW, Radio Western. Join the Broadly Speaking collective and help UWO and London get its feminist fix of interviews, discussions, and events important to and of interest to women. Email Nathalie (nathnoel@hotmail.com) or Pam (phaningt@julian.uwo.ca) or drop by CHRW, Room 250, University Community Centre. Broadly Speaking. Every Monday at 6:30 a.m. & p.m. on CHRW 94.7 FM

In the Community at Large

1.CANDIDATES MEETING Focusing on social policies
WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 22nd 7 - 9 pm LANDON LIBRARY, 167 Wortley Road Come out and hear one (1) candidate from each party discuss their party's social policies and answer your questions about a number of issues important to our community. For more information call: 438-0068
Sue Barnes - Liberal Party Tim Berg - Marijuana Party Nancy Branscombe - Alliance Party Lorie Johnson - Progressive Conservative Jeremy Price - Green Party Colleen Redmond - NDP Albert Smith - Marxist-Leninist
Sponsored by Women - Our Votes Count, a non-partisan campaign that engages women from our diverse communities to exercise their democratic right to vote. Women visibly taking an active role in the political process in our community.

Federal Election Materials available on the web:
Information on party platforms and issues
Information on party platforms and issues. 20 fact sheets on a variety of issues.
Excellent Voter's Guide and Women's Voter's Guide.
Check out party platforms under the "Alerts" section.
Information on issues, especially health care.Includes a voter's guide.
Information on health care platforms and sample questions to ask candidates.
Canadian Abortion Rights Action League Election information.
Equality for Gays and Lesbians Everywhere. Election information, press releases and more.
Website focusing on women's issues with links to resources and reference materials and election questions from the Canadian Women's March Committee.
Coalition of environmental groups producing a common environmental platform.
Website can be customized to an individual riding.

2.Cornelia Hoogland is reading poetry from "You Are Home", (coming out in the fall, 2001, with Black Moss Press) at the Landon Public Library, Thursday, November 30, at 7:30. Nationally acclaimed and award-winning Southwestern poet John B. Lee will also be reading from his new publications, "Following the Plough" and "Henry's Creatures: poems and stories on the automobile." If you know others who might want to attend, please pass this around.

3.The ODA Committee is a coalition of organizations and individuals working to have enacted an Ontarians with Disabilities Act based on 11 principles. Please visit the Committee's excellent website.This is a particularly critical time for the work of the ODA Committee: just about a year ago, on November 23, 1999, a resolution was passed unanimously in the legislature committing the Ontario government to introduce a bill within two years. A cabinet document leaked in late August disclosed that the government's true intentions are to maintain the status quo, except for increasing fines for those who park in disabled parking spots without permits.

What an amazing world it would be if stiffer fines for parking offences could level the playing field for people with disabilities, bringing them into the workforce, getting them off their disability pensions, enabling them to be customers of hairdressers, restaurants, clothing shops, theatres and fitness centres on an equal footing with the able-bodied! The government claims to have consulted on the issue, but refuses to disclose the list of those with whom it consulted. It seems to believe that Ontarians do not really care about this issue, and that business interests favour voluntary measures - and this despite the fact that at least 20 municipalities have passed resolutions in support of a strong ODA, including London. As feminists, we are keenly aware of the kinds of barriers which voluntary measures leave intact. I encourage my fellow feminists to visit the ODA website, and to do what they can in support of this important equity issue.

4.Call for Proposals
CWSA (Canadian Women's Studies Association) Conference May 25-27, 2001 Location: Universite de Laval, Quebec City, Quebec.

The Canadian Women's Studies Association is now seeking proposals, in either English or French, for its annual conference, held in conjunction with the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences Federation of Canada. We encourage presentations in a variety of formats, including papers, panels, workshops, roundtables, poster sessions, film and video screenings, performance art pieces, exhibits, and cultural events. We particularly welcome proposals specifically addressing the conference theme described below, but are interested in all proposals for presentations that explore new scholarship, knowledge, ideas, thinking, and issues related to Women's Studies. Submissions can be made by individuals or groups, and as joint sessions with other associations.

"Across, Between, and Within Generations: Re-thinking Women's Studies"

At the start of the new millenium, the meaning and status of the term "Women's Studies" have become increasingly contentious in a variety of venues as multiple voices and positions subject the question of defining the term to increased scrutiny, challenge and re-examination. This year's special conference theme seeks to explore some of the current debates, questions, issues, conflicts, anxieties, possibilities, and opportunities raised by these multiple re-examinations through asking (and answering?) questions such as: "What is Women's Studies today?" "How is Women's Studies imagined across the many definitions of generations?" "How might it be re-imagined?" "Is Women's Studies (still) relevant? How is that relevance understood by those different generations?"

New this year: We are planning to include more joint sessions with other associations and an increased number of participant proposed panels, workshops, and roundtables for more interactive participation. In addition, we will have several plenary sessions addressing topics related to the conference theme, such as current challenges and opportunities in rethinking Women's Studies, interrelationships between Women's Studies and other 'new' critical approaches such as queer studies, postcolonial studies, etc., and issues in institutionalizing Ph.D. programs in Women's Studies.

How to submit:
Proposals will be reviewed anonymously. All submissions must include a 300-word abstract or description of your presentation and a completed proposal form. Please also indicate on the form if you are submitting as part of this year's conference theme. Please note that you must be a member of CWSA in order to present. (Proposal and memberships forms are also available online at the CWSA website at http://www.brocku.ca/cwsa_acef).

Proposals can be sent either via regular mail or submitted electronically to the following address:
CWSA / ACEF Conference abraithwaite@upei.ca c/o Women's Studies Program University of Prince Edward Island 550 University Ave Charlottetown, PE C1A 4P3

Deadline: All proposals must be received by midnight Sunday, December 3, 2000.
No late proposals will be considered. For more information: Contact Ann Braithwaite, abraithwaite@upei.ca, Barbara Crow, crow@ucalgary.ca, or Liz Kaethler, lkaethle@spartan.ac.brocku.ca.

Caucus Members' Activities

"Rumour Has It," a one-act play by Caucus member Monda Halpern, will be performed along with another play at Or Shalom synagogue at Huron and Adelaide Streets in London. It will have three performances: on Saturday, Nov. 25 at 8pm, and on Sunday, Nov. 26 at 2pm and 7pm. Tickets are $5 for students, and $10 for adults. The play is a comedy about the social benefits of gossip for women, and takes place in a synagogue kitchen. The play's director is a Western student, and its cast is comprised of several Western professors, including Sonia Halpern of The Centre for Women's Studies. Act soon! Tickets are moving! Call Congregation Or Shalom at 438-3081.


On Campus

Thursday, November 23, Holly Johnson, Chief of Research and Analysis, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, presents "Making Sense of Survey Research Data on Spousal Violence," Room 2024, Social Science Centre, 4 p.m. (sponsored by the Centre for Women's Studies and Feminist Research).
Thursday, November 23, Tracy Isaacs, Philosophy Department, presents "Using Non-Sexist Language in Your Philosophical Writing: A Workshop on Why and How," Room 305, Talbot College, 4 p.m.
Friday, November 24, "Attitudes and Blind Spots: Becoming Aware of Diversity Issues in the Classroom," Room 3108, Social Science Centre, noon-1 (sponsored by Educational Development Office and Equity Services).
Monday, November 27, Poonam Saxena, Faculty of Law, University of Delhi, presents "Domestic Violence, Dowry, and Sexual Harassment in the Work Place," Room 84, University College, 1 p.m.
Friday, December 1, Ann Cudd, University of Kansas, presents "The Paradox of Liberal Feminism," Room 205, University College, noon (co-sponsored by the Centre for Women's Studies and Feminist Research and the Philosophy Department).
Friday, December 1, Ann Cudd, University of Kansas, presents "Social Groups," Room 340, Talbot College, 4 p.m. (co-sponsored by the Centre for Women's Studies and Feminist Research and the Philosophy Department).
Tuesday, December 12, "Gender Issues: How to avoid Sexual Harassment and Maintain Sensitivity," Room 3101, Thames Hall, noon-1 (sponsored by Educational Development Office and Equity Services).
Off Campus

Monday, November 27, Constance Backhouse, Professor of Law at the University of Ottawa, presents "Engaging the Legal System for Sexual Violence" at the Central Library, 305 Queens Ave., Room 3, 7-9 p.m. Presented by the Sexual Assault Centre of London.
Monday, November 27, Constance Backhouse, Professor of Law at the University of Ottawa, presents "Engaging the Legal System for Sexual Violence" at the Central Library, 305 Queens Ave., Room 3, 7-9 p.m. Presented by the Sexual Assault Centre of London.
Tuesday, December 12, Mark Nagler, Professor of Sociology at the University of Waterloo, speaks on "Sexual Abuse of Individuals With Disabilities" at the Central Librry, 305 Queens Ave., Room 3, 7-9 p.m. Presented by the Sexual Assault Centre of London.
Margaret Kellow, President...mmkellow@julian.uwo.ca
Tracy Isaacs, Vice President and Safety Committee Rep ...tisaacs@julian.uwo.ca
Alison Lee, Vice President, Essay Award and Programs...alee@julian.uwo.ca
Adeline Falk Rafael, Secretary...arfalkra@julian.uwo.ca
Stephanie MacLeod, Treasurer...smacleod@julian.uwo.ca
Janice Wallace, Membership...jwallace@julian.uwo.ca
Sylvia Burrow, SOGS Rep and Grad Student Rep ...sjburrow@julian.uwo.ca
Letitia Meynell, Newsletter and Grad Student Rep ...lmmeynel@julian.uwo.ca
Members at Large:
Sheila Cavanagh...scavana2@julian.uwo.ca
Catherine Hundleby...chundleb@julian.uwo.ca
Andrea Purvis...ajpurvis@julian.uwo.ca
Goli Rezai-Rashti...grezaira@julian.uwo.ca


Many thanks to those members of Caucus who have already renewed their membership, but for those of you who have forgotten, your membership with the Caucus is due to be renewed. As you know, the majority of our operating funds comes from membership dues, and this makes your contribution to the smooth operation of the group very important. At the present time, we find ourselves with a very small operating fund; therefore, it is vital that we maintain our membership base.

As a reminder, suggested membership levels are as follows:
Graduate student $5.00
Modest income $10.00
Regular member $20.00
Sustaining member $30.00
Charter member $50.00

I hope that you will decide to continue to support the Caucus through your membership for another year. Please forward payment to Stephanie Macleod, Faculty of Education Building, Room 1001.

Janice Wallace, Membership Coordinator

For New Members

Anyone employed either part-time or full-time by the university or its affiliates is eligible for membership. The current membership includes staff, graduate students and faculty members representing most academic and non-academic departments.

Membership fees are annual and the Caucus membership year begins in September each year. If you would like to join the Caucus or have let your Caucus membership lapse, please contact Janice Wallace.

Janice Wallace, Membership Co-ordinator Faculty of Education 661-2087 Xt. 8608 email

If you have comments or concerns regarding the format or the content of the Women's Caucus Newsletter, please feel free to contact me, Letitia Meynell.
Thanks to Jenifer Meynell for her assistance with the newsletter.
Webpage version formatted by Sylvia Burrow and posted by Samantha Brennan .


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