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creating the feminist history book society

October 28, 2008

A group of women have come together to develop a book collection “that tries to depict accurately the richness and diversity of feminist activity in Canada and Quebec between 1960 and 2010.” Right now, the group is eager to hear from people who want to discuss how this project should be developed, and from possible contributors.

Here’s more:

the project

We intend to publish a multi-volume collection of books that tries to depict accurately the richness and diversity of feminist activity in Canada and Quebec between 1960 and 2010. The books will be written by many different authors, and presented in many different formats: autobiographies, biographies, single- and multi-themed volumes, edited collections, plays, novels, etc. The unifying feature is that the books will be centrally edited and marketed as part of a comprehensive series. The diversity of feminism, including the complexities of gender, race, class, geography, culture, dis/ability, language, sexual identity, and age are central to the project.

Feminism has a history that predates the 1960s and will continue long after 2010. However, historical documentation has to start and end somewhere.

The topics we hope to cover will include:

  • the history of feminist organizations (local, regional, national, direct service, topical etc.)
  • autobiographies/memoirs/biographies of individuals who have been involved in the movement
  • feminism in politics and the public service
  • feminists in business, the professions, the workplace, unions
  • feminism in art and sports
  • feminism in social and human sciences
  • feminism in reproductive issues and health
  • feminism in education, religion, science, international affairs
  • feminism and the media, and
  • a host of other issues as suggested by potential contributors
publication and marketing format

We anticipate that this series will be widely read and widely accessible, and that it will provide a marvelous opportunity for diverse writers to come together to join in the chronicling of our history for posterity.

We expect to publish a minimum of one book a year, beginning in 2010. We will try to select feminist publishers, and anticipate using a variety of publication venues in accord with the wishes of our authors. We expect that all books will be published in both hardcover and paperback. The hardcover copies will be bound with uniform covers and spines that mark each one as part of a larger “collection.” The paperbacks can be more diverse, with different covers and formats. We also intend to make some or all of these books available in digital format on the internet.

The hardcover “collection” will be marketed as a series, much like a “book of the year club.” We hope to sign up thousands of feminists in Canada and Quebec as “members” of Our Feminist History Book Society, a built-in purchasing group for the books we will be publishing. For an annual fee of $75–100, members will receive the selected “book of the year.” Other books published in the series that year can be purchased as “optional extras.” The paperback books will be sold separately in commercial bookstores and outlets.

who is involved in this project?

The project is still in its preliminary formation, and has benefited from the input and assistance of a variety of feminists to this point:

  • Marguerite Andersen
  • M. Elizabeth Atcheson (Co-Editor)
  • Constance Backhouse (Co-Editor)
  • Monique Begin
  • Mary Breen
  • Susan G. Cole
  • Margaret Conrad
  • Shelagh Day
  • Francine Descarries
  • Margrit Eichler
  • Ursula Franklin
  • Lorraine Greaves
  • Sylvia D. Hamilton
  • Danielle Juteau
  • Linda Kealey
  • Michele Landsberg
  • Tracey Lindberg
    – Meg Luxton
    – Diana Majury
  • Lorna Marsden
  • Maureen O’Neil
  • Francine Pelletier
  • Judy Steed
how to participate in this project

If you would like to be involved in the discussions about how this project should be developed, we would be pleased to hear your comments, suggestions, and ideas. If you would like to discuss writing a book, or part of a book, please contact:

The steering committee (Francine Descarries, Sylvia Hamilton, Tracey Lindberg, Beth Atcheson and Constance Backhouse)


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