Memorial’s Department of Women Studies welcomes one of the most noted humanities scholars in Canada next week. Dr. Joy Parr, Canada Research Chair in Technology, Culture and Risk at the University of Western Ontario, will deliver a public address titled Hooked Rugs of Naked Ladies: Marital Life and Material and Emotional Strategies in the Shadow of Base Gagetown.
An esteemed scholar and prolific writer who has held professorships, lectureships and senior research fellowships around the world, Dr. Parr conducts research into issues of immigration, displacement, and technological change.
Her Sept. 18 talk will focus on one couple as representative of the community members moved from woodlots and meadows to make way for the military base at Gagetown, New Brunswick in the 1950s. Dr. Parr will explore their lives as they became a presence in their community, both as activists and as musicians. She will compare their lives and work before and after the move, and detail strategies the woman developed to help the man manage the depression that overcame him. Songs written for and about them and examples of their craft work – including hooked rugs of naked ladies – will be featured.
Dr. Parr is the author of nine monographs and essay collections, as well as numerous articles; she has won five major book prizes. 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 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 hydro-electric dams.
While in St. John’s, she will also present a seminar on 'The Tangled Lines of Ecology’ and 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.
Hooked Rugs of Naked Ladies: Marital Life and Material and Emotional Strategies in the Shadow of Base Gagetown, part of the Henrietta Harvey Distinguished Lecture Series, takes place on Tuesday, Sept. 18 at 8 p.m. in room A-1046, Arts and Administration Building, St. John’s campus.