The Department of Women’s Studies kicks off its inaugural semester by welcoming one of the most noted scholars of women’s studies in Canada. Dr. Joy Parr, Canada Research Chair in Technology, Culture and Risk at the University of Western Ontario, will be in St. John’s from Sept. 17-21.
The author of nine monographs and essay collections, as well as numerous articles that are frequently republished, she has won five major book prizes, including the 1991-92 Social Sciences Federation of Canada award for the best social sciences book for The Gender of Breadwinners.
Her earlier writings are considered key readings in women’s studies and the social sciences generally; her later work has dealt with ecology and conservation, health and welfare, and technology and its applications. Her forthcoming book is Sensing Changes: Bodies, Technologies, Livelihoods, Landscapes.
Dr. Parr has been a Killam, Bunting and Swedish Institute Fellow and held professorships, lectureships and senior research fellowships at many universities, including Harvard, Yale, Queen’s, British Columbia, Toronto, and All Souls College (Oxford). She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a recipient of its Tyrrell Medal.
Her research often concerns immigration, displacement, and technological change. Current fieldwork examines B.C., Ontario and New Brunswick communities radically transformed by large engineering works such as nuclear reactors, heavy water plants, NATO bases and hydroelectric dams. Recently, she and graduate students have been exploring new media presentations in environmental history and the history of technology.
On Tuesday, Sept. 18, at 8 p.m., Dr. Parr will deliver a public Henrietta Harvey Distinguished Lecture titled Hooked Rugs of Naked Ladies: Marital Life and Material and Emotional Strategies in the Shadow of Base Gagetown.
In the 1950s, community members were moved from woodlots and meadows to make way for the military base at Gagetown, N.B. This talk focuses on one couple, their lives and work before the move, and the strategies the woman developed to help him manage the depression that overcame him. Songs written for and about them, and examples of their craft work, will be featured.
Dr. Parr will also present a seminar on The Tangled Lines of Ecology that explores one woman’s experience of the lakes and land in B.C. before and after the Columbia Treaty dams flooded her family’s agricultural area in 1968.
On Friday, Sept. 21, Dr. Parr will launch the 2007-08 Women’s Studies Speakers Series with an examination of Ruth Schwartz Cowan’s classic text More Work for Mother, and subsequent research into domesticity and technology. Event information is available on today.mun.ca.
For more information on Dr. Parr and her activities, visit www.mun.ca/womenst/joy.php.