Western's Caucus on Women's Issues

Fall l-2000 Newsletter

A colleague of mine always wishes everyone "Happy New Year" on the first day of classes. As for me, my personal mantra for the fall is "Next stop April!" In a way, however, my colleague is right. Many of us and many of the students approach September with high expectations and numerous resolutions about making this year different and hopefully, better. Some of those expectations get fulfilled and others get filed under "try again next year," but we mean well. I suppose the most important thing is to believe that we have the power to change things for the better.

Our work with Caucus certainly encourages that belief. Plans for Caucus for 2000-2001 are taking shape. We accomplished quite a lot last year in terms of raising our profile here on campus and that remains a priority. When administration or campus organizations want to know what women at UWO think, they come to us, and more importantly, when policy is being made, our opinions are sought and our concerns are addressed. For 2001, we want to continue building our membership to serve the community of women here at Western. Our Fall general meeting will take place on Wednesday, 20 September at 4:00 p.m. in UC 224A. At that time we will introduce this year's executive and give you an outline of upcoming events. Our speaker will be Dr. Jean Hewitt, a well-known London educator, who will tell us about the London Women's Archives Project. Annual membership renewals are due now and will be available at the door. Please plan to join us and why not invite a friend or co-worker to accompany you to the meeting and/or to join caucus.

Looking forward to seeing you on the 20th.

Best wishes for 2000-2001.

Margaret Kellow

The Pride Library is pleased to report that the integration of their holdings into Western's Library Catalogue is continuing. This has been made possible by a renewal of a grant from the President's Committee on the Safety of Women on Campus. The grant last year was initially given to support the cataloguing of the Lesbian Safety Collection. In the past the President's Committee has funded projects designed to combat homophobia. The increased visibility given to gays, lesbians and bisexuals by the integration of these holdings into the University's library catalogue and the credibility given the Pride Library are important steps towards creating a safer, more tolerant campus for sexual minorities.
To date, 1142 books have been catalogued and it is hoped that the collection (which now exceeds 2000 titles) will be totally integrated into the library catalogue sometime next year. Soon the University Library will be taking on the burden of funding the cataloguing of Pride material. Once 2000 titles are catalogued and paid for by the Pride Library the University Library has agreed to catalogue 500 titles per year at their cost.

The location codes of the titles in the Pride Library that are now available on WebPAC and OPAC are as follows: PRISTK for stacks, PRIPER for periodicals, PRIAVC for audio-visual, PRIREF for reference works and PRISPE for special collections. Thanks to efforts of work study students, summaries of the books are included in the entries (under the heading 'UWO note'), as are enhanced key terms for searches.

Although the Pride collection is being integrated into the system, it is not being assimilated. The Pride Library Board still has complete control over future acquisitions and general policy. In the past year an acquisitions policy has been drafted by the board and there are plans for drawing up a constitution. The Director, Professor James Miller, hopes that eventually the library will be able to circulate materials and efforts are presently being made to acquire a photocopier.

The Pride Library is also pleased to announce that the collection has seen an increase in donations by women. Because the holdings are expanded by donation alone (the library receives no funding internally or externally other than donations and the grants for which they apply), a diverse donor base is crucial to truthfully reflecting the diverse community. Some new acquisitions which may be of interest to Caucus members include: "Lesbian Health: Current Assessment and Directions for the Future," ed. Andrea L. Solarz. "Married Women Who Love Women," Carren Strock. "Dykes-Loving-Dykes: Dyke Separatist Politics for Lesbians Only," Bev Jo, Linda Strega and Ruston.
One of the most exciting acquisitions (and impressive) is not a book at all. Irshad Manji has donated the Big Q table which originally served as the set for "The Q-Files". "The Q-Files", which appeared on CityPulse 24 (the cable network of City TV) between October 4, 1998 and June 28, 1999, was the first mainstream television show on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues to be aired in North America. Irshad Manji donated the set this past summer and it presently sits in the middle of the library. She has moved on to host the internationally syndicated "Queer Television (QT)", launched on City TV and on the internet at www.planetout.com, on March 5, 2000.

Every one is invited to come and visit the Pride Library. Whether you wish to peruse the collection, do research, chat with people who are guaranteed to be Queer friendly or sit next to a table that's a piece of Queer history, the Pride Library is a space designed to feel comfortable and safe for all people. The hours for the Pride Library are 9-5 on weekdays - subject to the timetable restraints of the work study student librarians. It is located on the third floor of the Modern Languages Wing (central block) of University College. Maps to the library may be found just inside all the main entrances to UC (although, be warned - some of the less progressive members of the university community have been know to remove or deface these maps). Information about the library (including a map and information on how to search for Pride materials) may be found at . Also, anyone interested in receiving the Pride Library Newsletter is welcome to email a request to jmiller@julian.uwo.ca.

Joan Grant-Cummings, president of NAC since 1996, is stepping down. Here is a part of her "Farewell" to the readers of NAC's newsletter, "Action Now" (Spring 2000): "Sistahs, Sistrens, Sisters, Soeurs... My message over the past four year has not changed and it will not change now - feminism is an equality-seeking revolution - non-violent, persistent, tenacious, consistent, inevitable in its success. For feminism to be successful and meaningful to women it must put women who are pushed to the margins in the centre, it must bring women who are being trampled upon and suffocated at the bottom of the heap up for air - these women must be the priority now. If patriarchy, racism, ablism, ageism, classism, heterosexism seek to marginalize, disempower, ravage and violate women, then feminism must turn these 'systems' on their heads.
It is not enough for us to break into 'traditional male territory' like the media, academia, the corporate world, the House of Commons, the Shop floors, etc. We must change these locations permanently, to make them spaces where all women can fully participate. We must keep all doors open. NAC is of importance and of fundamental value to every equality-seeking woman in this country.

When we participate in starving NAC, by omission or commission, we drive a nail into the coffin of women's equality. When we withdraw our work from NAC, we turn our backs on women's struggles. NAC was built to be a non-partisan, 'uncooptable' voice, deliberately 'un-popular' in our uncompromising message about women^Òs equality! We cannot be delicate or apologetic about women^Òs poverty, male violence against women, women^Òs unequal status in many workplaces, at home or in school, or about women's unheard voices in our so-called democratic institutions.

What I challenge you to commit to as feminist leaders in this Century is to stop walking away from the differences and difficulties. Set the example for Canadian society, for our communities and families and deal with the creation of a model, a living way of working, thinking, loving that makes us invincible and unshakable as a movement that guarantees not a mediocre Canada, but one based on excellence through true equality.

We must do this if we want to end up with political, economic, social and cultural equality; a national childcare program we can all use; employment and pay equity that we can all benefit from; schools where all of our children are respected; a knowledge base that validates us all.

NAC is poised to make history again when at May's end we will elect our first Aboriginal woman President. I, for one, am humbled by the fact that Aboriginal women see this space as a place they believe they can work - given the level of colonialism, racism and white supremacy still present in this country and globally.

I thank you all for the support - from women in the grassroots organizations, labour, education, a myriad of workplaces, women living in poverty, Black women, Aboriginal women, women of colour, women with disabilities, older and younger women, activists and business women, and the list goes on. Thanks for reminding me always that 'one bracelet does not jingle'. -Joan Grant-Cummings, NAC President, 1996-2000." To find out more about NAC visit their website.


Western's Caucus on Women's Issues invites graduate, staff, PMA and faculty women from UWO and its affiliates to join us for our Fall General Meeting, Wednesday, 20 September from 4:00 - 5:30 p.m. in Room 224A University College. Come and hear noted London educator, Dr. Jean Hewitt, speak on the London Women's Archives Project with which she is involved. Please join us for conversation and refreshments. Why not invite a friend or coworker to accompany you?

This year I am hoping to add to the newsletter a couple of new sections: one announcing "Caucus members' activities" and another listing on-campus (or local) papers or speeches being given which may be of interest to Caucus members (i.e. on subjects concerning feminist theory or women's issues).
For the section on Caucus members' activities the idea is that when members are engaged in activities on or off campus which they think my be of interest to other Caucus members (whether it's getting a new book published, receiving a grant, directing a play, giving a talk at the local library, or organizing a rummage sale for a local charity), there should be a not-merely-academic venue for letting others know. The Women's Caucus has always been a means for providing support and encouragement for the women of Western's community in all their endeavours. I hope that this section may help to foster this support for all Caucus members. If you have an announcement which you think might fit into this category, be sure to send me the information for the next newsletter, which is planned for mid-November.

The section on up-coming papers and presentations is pretty self-explanatory. Many Women's Caucus members have an interest in research pertaining to women and feminist theory, yet often we don't know what is happening in departments and colleges other than our own. (For instance, Joan Grant-Cummings spoke at King's College last year, but I for one did not know of this until it was too late.) For this list to be at all successful, Caucus members have to help me out by sending me speakers lists and announcements from their own departments, faculties and colleges. Don't assume someone else will do it or that we^Òll all see the posters. If you have speakers lists (preferably on-line), or, better yet, knowledge of particular presentations which you have good reason to think will be of interest to Caucus members, and which will be taking place after mid-November, please send them to me (lmmeynel@julian.uwo.ca) and I^Òll include them in the next newsletter.

All Caucus members are invited to come to Feminist Lunch every Wednesday at the Wave at noon in booth 25 (by the window) beginning September 13. This is a time to connect with other feminists on campus, get support when needed, rant, and laugh. All are welcome.

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

Cornelia Hoogland, the author of the poetry volumes "The Wire-Thin Bride" (Turnstone Press, 1990), and "Marrying the Animals" (Brick Books, 1995) is reading at the University of Western Ontario, in Somerville House on Thursday, September 21, 2000 at 12 noon.
In the Community at Large
The Take Back the Night March is coming up. People will meet at 6:45 p.m., September 21 at the Victoria Park band shell. The Women's World March will be promoted with a banner and information.

Centre for research on Violence Against Women and Children announces a new small grants program. The Centre for Research on Violence Against Women and Children is announcing the startup of a new Small Grants Program. The Program is able to offer up to $5000 to researchers who have an original proposal for research in the area of violence against women and children. The Small Grants Program is directed to interested members of community groups and agencies in the fields of anti-violence, women^Òs and children^Òs services, and to students and faculty members from The University of Western Ontario and Fanshawe College. In keeping with the Centre^Òs mandate, we are particularly interested in the practical and policy implications of the research findings. The Centre will endeavour to facilitate research partnerships between educational institutions, and community groups and agencies, where appropriate. Interested researchers are invited to send a brief Letter of Intent by September 30, 2000 to the Small Grants Review Committee. A specific format is not required in submitting the Letter of Intent, but the following should be included: - description and objectives of the research - outline of the need for such research - brief description of the methodology - start and end date for the project - identification of partners ^Ö if any - outline of a budget ^Ö within the $5000 limit If the Letter of Intent meets the criteria, a more detailed proposal will be required. Please mail submissions to: Nora Shanahan, Administrative Assistant, Centre for Research on Violence Against Women and Children, Room 101, University College, The University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario N6A 3K7. If you have any questions about the Small Grants Program please call the Centre at (519) 661-4040.

The Coalition for Equality has arranged for an "Equality Summit" to be held on the evening of Friday, September 29 at the Art Gallery (the first night of the Promise Keepers conference). Speakers are being arranged. An information picket is planned for 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 30 at the site of the Promise Keepers conference on the University of Western Ontario campus. The Coalition for Equality will be arranging a meeting with local faith communities to discuss the Promise Keepers.

Heather-Jane Robertson, author of "No More Teachers, No More Books", and co-author of "Class Warfare" (with Maude Barlow), regular contributor to "The Kappan" - Phi Delta Kappa Monthly Magazine (Phi Delta Kappa is a International Organization of Professional Educators and its members are advocates for the public schools) is speaking in London on Thursday, November 30, 2000, 7:30 p.m. at the TVDSB Auditorium (Thames Valley Board Office -Dundas Street). There is a fee of $5.00 per person. The event is sponsored by : Phi Delta Kappa, London Chapter (Professional Educators). For more information contact John Stewart 686-4806 or stewjohn@mail.on.rogers.wave.ca.

The Status of Women Committee is pleased to announce its Conference, "Mobilizing for the 21st Century", October 26-28, 2000, Windsor, Ontario. This three day conference features speakers from across the country, including activists from the academic sphere, the labour movement and social justice movements. Opportunities to network and strategize with members around successful mobilizing strategies for the new century is the goal for this equity conference. The Keynote Speaker, Maude Barlow, is among a distinguished list of participants which promises fresh perspectives, interesting discussions and successful histories of equity organizing. Lowell Ewert of the University of Waterloo will also be speaking at the conference dinner on the UN initiative on "Human Rights and the Culture of Peace". The following topics will be the main themes at the conference sessions: Strategies for Dealing with Discrimination; The Work - Family Balance; Women's Studies Programs : Past & Present; Contract Academic Staff; Women in Faculty Associations; Mentoring & Networking; Workshop on Equity Issues; and finally there will be an opportunity for a round table discussion with the members of the Status of Women Committee and the conference participants on the way forward for equity organizing. Register early to reserve your spot at the conference! The Hilton Windsor Hotel will be the location for the conference. A block of rooms has been reserved for this conference with a cut-off date for reservations of SEPTEMBER 24, 2000. Reservations after this date cannot be guaranteed. For the complete conference agenda and the on-line registration form and online hotel reservation form go to our web site www.caut.ca or for a complete conference package contact Ms. Johanne Smith, CAUT Phone: 613-820-2270 Email: . Nancy Gordon, CMP CAUT Conference Coordinator Phone: 613-820-2270 x 312 Fax: 613-820-7244 Email: ngordon@caut.ca

The World March of Women is a global action, marking the new millenium by demonstrating women's continuing determination to change the world. The focus of the 2000 March is to urge governments to take steps to eliminate poverty and violence against women. Between March 8 and October 17, activities have taken place at local and national levels. All these activities are aimed at building support for the major rally planned for October 15, 2000 in Ottawa, where women will gather to present our demands to the federal government. Travel to Ottawa from London and join the March and Rally on Parliament Hill on October 15. CAW will provide free bus transportation to all those that wish to go. To sign up call CAW Local 27 at 455-3430 or SAAC-L at 439-0844.

Call for Proposals: CWSA (Canadian Women's Studies Association) Conference May 25-27, 2001 Location: Universite de Laval, Quebec City, Qc. 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
Helen J. Harper (Education) has a new book, "Wild Words, Dangerous Desires: High School Girls and Feminist Avant-Garde Writing" (New York: Peter Lang).

Goli Rezai-Rashti (Education) is one of the co-editors of "Canadian Woman Studies: An Introductory Reader" (Toronto: Inanna Publications) which also includes her article, "Racism and Sexism: The Dilemma of Working with Minority Female Students in Canadian High Schools."

Rebecca Coulter (Principal Investigator) and co-investigators Sheila Cavanagh, Helen Harper, Suzanne Majhanovich, Goli Rezai-Rashti, Aniko Varpalotai and Janice Wallace were awarded a three-year SSHRC research grant valued at nearly $250,000 for a project on the history of the woman teacher in twentieth-century Ontario. Alison Prentice is also involved with the project as a collaborator
Margaret Kellow, President...mmkellow@julian.uwo.ca
Tracy Isaacs, Vice President and Safety Committee Rep ...tisaacs@julian.uwo.ca
Sara Steers, Past President...ssteers@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
Alison Lee, Essay Award and Programs...alee@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
Last year the Women's Caucus instituted a policy whereby all membership renewals would come due each September. This has greatly facilitated the administration of Caucus finances and the membership list. September has come and so all members who wish to renew their membership need to do so now. You may either send a cheque to the Caucus treasurer, Stephanie Macleod in Education FEB 1001 or (better yet) join us at the Fall General Meeting (Wednesday, 20 September at 4:00 pm in the Faculty Lounge, 3rd floor, Social Science Centre) and pay Stephanie then.

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, here are the fees for membership: Graduate student $5.00, Modest income $10.00, Regular member $20.00, Sustaining member $30.00, Charter member $50.00. The membership fees are used to support Caucus programmes and special initiatives, such as student awards and Caucus events. If you have questions or would like to join, please contact Janice Wallace. Janice Wallace, Membership Co-ordinator, Faculty of Education, 661-2087 Xt. 8608, jwallace@julian.uwo.ca.

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, at .

Thanks to Jenifer Meynell for her assistance with the newsletter.

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