AWC-Sponsored Speaker Series

Also Known As:  On and Of Women (OOW)

Beginning in 2002, the AWC launched the OOW speaker series. The series provided an informal opportunity for all members of the University community to meet and learn about their collegues. Speakers were faculty members who were either faculty women (addressing any subject) or faculty men (addressing a subject pertinant to women’s issues).

The OOW series has not been actived since 2007, but may be re-activated in the future. Read below about past speakers.

Past Speakers

1. Professor Gillian Calder, Faculty of Law

Penguins and Polygamy: The Essence of Marriage in Canadian Family Law

In this talk, Gillian aims to explore how challenges to a “traditional” notion of “the family” in Canada have in the process cemented a more rigid boundary around a monogamous, conjugal understanding of the family form.

2.  Dr. Lorna Williams, CRC in Indigenous Studies Assistant Professor, Aboriginal Education Programme Director, Aboriginal Teacher Education Faculty of Education

Wisdom and Practice

In this talk, Lorna will explore the blessings and challenges of choosing an academic life at the end of a long and active professional career

3. Dr. Hester Lessard, Faculty of Law

Theorizing Backlash: The Evolution of Campus Sexual Harassment Policies

The implementation and evolution of sexual harassment regimes on university campuses over the last 25 years presents paradigmatic example of the backlash against feminist attempts to shape law and policy. The policies, instituted in the 1980’s, came under heavy fire in the early 1900s. The flashpoint was a series of cases that attracted widespread public attention and fuelled a media backlash that was often misogynist in flavor. To what extent did the first wave of sexual harassment obstruct attention to the intersectional and systemic dimensions of academic inequities? How does this story of reform, reaction, and more reform fit into the larger story of the restructuring of universities and higher education that now dominates campus politics?

4.  Dr. Nancy Turner, Department of Environmental Studies

“Lucille Clifton’s Feasts: One Woman’s Legacy in a Northwest Coast Community”

Dr. Turner is an ethnobotanist and professor in the Department of Environmental Studies. Her major research contributions have been in demonstrating the pivotal role of plant resources in past and contemporary aboriginal cultures and languages, as an integral component of traditional knowledge systems.

5.  Dr. Laura Bowman, Greek and Roman Studies

Spike Meets Sophocles: Prophecy in the Buffyverse

The use of prophecy in the Buffyverse is based on the uses of prophecy originating in ancient drama, but confounds and subverts classically-founded expectations of the function of prophecy in a text. These subversions of classical expectations emphasize the profound differences between the orderly, fixed, and hierarchical worldview of classical drama, and the constantly evolving worlds of the two series, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel”.

6.  Dr. Analee Lepp, Women’s Studies

Interrogating Contemporary Anti-Trafficking Initiatives

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS and especially in women has recently attracted growing attention from the United Nations, other international bodies, national governments, non-governmental organizations, as well as human rights/sex workers/migrant workers activists. Two important policy initiatives are the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons signed by 81 nations, including Canada, in 2000 and the sections covering trafficking and smuggling in persons in Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

This lecture, based on extensive and collaborative research and interviews with the affected women, will explore how often in the name of protecting women, such initiatives effectively curtail women’s freedom of transnational movement in some countries of the South and/or to control and fortify national borders in countries of the North, thereby fueling already existent anti-immigration and anti-(migrant) sex work agendas.

7.  Dr. Jamie Cassels, Vice President Academic and Provost

Provost’s Forum

Professor Cassels spoke about Faculty Renewal and Gender Equity at UVic.

8.  Mid-Term Impact: Exposing the impact of Provincial Government Decisions.

A Studies in Policy and Practice forum sponsored by: School of Nursing, School of Social Work, Innovative Training and Research Initiative in Policy and Practice (ITRIPP), Vancouver Island Public Research Group (VIPRG).

9.  Dr. Matt James, Political Science


Materialists: Women’s Organizations and the Struggle for Recognition in Canadian Constitutional Politics.

Women’s organizations have played important and often controversial roles in Canada’s decades-long constitutional debate. Much of the controversy centres around feminist efforts to secure positive recognition and favourable civic symbolism in the constitutional text. This talk offers a different perspective by looking at a variety of examples drawn from the rich history of women’s participation in the Canadian constitutional field.

This talk drew on Dr. James’ forthcoming book, Misrecognized Materialists: Social Movements in Canadian Constitutional Politics, 1938-1992.

10. Dr. Misao Dean, Department of English

Reading the Canadian Canoe Museum

Dr. Dean (English Department) addresed OOW! on the subject of romantic notions of (and resistance to) colonial readings, not only of the narratives of Canadian fiction, but also of the authority of historical “fact” in the architectural layout of Canadian museums.

11.  Rebecca Johnson, Faculty of Law

Taxing Choices: The Intersection of Class, gender, Parenthood, and the Law.

Inaugurating our On and Of Women Speakers’ Series Rebecca Johnson, Faculty of Law spoke around and about her Taxing Choices: the Intersection of Class, Gender, Parenthood and the Law.

Launched under UBC Press’s “Law & Society” series, the book looks at two interwoven problems as they appear in Symes v. Canada: first, the relationships between women, childcare and work; and, second, the meaning of equality in contexts where people are located at the intersection of both privilege and disadvantage.


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