Canadian women have worked, individually and collectively, at homeand abroad, as creators of historical memory. This engaging collectionof essays seeks to create an awareness of the contributions made bywomen to history and the historical profession from 1870 to 1970 inEnglish Canada. Creating Historical Memory explores the widerange of careers that women have forged for themselves as writers andpreservers of history within, outside, and on the margins of theacademy. The authors suggest some of the institutional and intellectuallocations from which English Canadian women have worked as historiansand attempt to problematize in different ways and to varying degrees,the relationship between women and historical practice.
The authors raise many interesting questions about how genderinfluences historical consciousness and whether looking at the pastthrough women's eyes alters the view. Women engaged in history ina wide variety of ways -- as authors of fiction, popular history,juvenilia, and drama -- as well as more academic research andpublishing. They worked as individuals, as both professional writersand academics, and within formal and informal communities of women suchas religious groups or local clubs. The essays also talk about thebarriers that existed for women who wanted to be recognized ashistorians and teachers of history and point out how gender differenceshave coloured perceptions of what constitutes history and who shouldwrite that history. This anthology shows how, instead of beingintimidated or defeated by their marginalization, women developed newand interesting ideas about what constituted history.
The final essay in the volume assesses the impact the burgeoning offeminist history in the 1970s had on the academy and examines theconnection between feminist activism and women's history. Thisoriginal and lively book highlights the pioneering efforts of women indeveloping alternate paths to historical expression. It makes animportant contribution both to Canadian historical studies and towomen's and gender history in the West and will appeal toscholars interested in Canadian history, women's studies,literature, and historiography.
Beverly Boutilier is currently an advisor to theWomen's Studies Program of CUSO in Indonesia. AlisonPrentice is one of Canada's most distinguishedhistorians of women. She is one of the authors of the pathbreakingCanadian Women: A History and has worked on numerous books onthe history of women in Canada. She currently resides in Victoria, B.C.
Introduction: Locating Women in the Work of History / BeverlyBoutilier and Alison Prentice Part 1: Community Building Cultivating a Love of Canada through History: Agnes Maule Machar,1837-1927 / Dianne M. Hallman Women's Rights and Duties: Sarah Anne Curzon and the Politics ofCanadian History / Beverly Boutilier The Ontario Women's Institutes and the Work of Local History /Linda Ambrose Part 2: Transitions 'Writing Teaches Us Our Mysteries': Women ReligiousRecording and Writing History / Elizabeth Smythe 'I walk my own track in life & no mere male can bump me offit': Constance Lindsay Skinner and the Work of History / JeanBarman Isabel Skelton: Precursor to Canadian Cultural History / TerryCrowley Part 3: The Academy Laying Siege to the History Professoriate / AlisonPrentice A View from the Front Steps: Esther Clark Wright and the Making of aMaritime Historian / Barry M. Moody Kathleen Wood-Legh: A Canadian in Cambridge / Megan Davies andColin Coates Part 4: New Departures Women's History: Founding a New Field / DeborahGorham Index