Women of Montreal

Updated: May 9, 2018


Armed with my trusty notebook and a large selection of pens, I made my way to the Montreal History Group's Colloquium at McGill University last Friday.


Shortly after I started this blog, my friend, Jackie, contacted me about a project she had been thinking about for quite some time, which we are now (maybe temporarily) calling the "Women of Montreal project." Our goal is to set up an online, interactive platform for people to discover and learn about lesser-known women throughout history who have had an impact on Montreal.


Needless to say, we both met up ready to talk about heading to this colloquium. And I'm very glad we did.


Jackie came up with a great idea as we listened to interesting talks from Denyse Baillargeon (who made the opening remarks), to Constance Backhouse ("Claire L'Heureux-Dubé: A Socio-Legal Biography"), and Amélie Bourbeau ("Institutions de femmes, pour les femmes, sans les femmes: regards féministes sur des lieux de pouvoir plurivoques"), to name only a few.


We decided to begin our project by contacting some of these influential speakers, historians and researchers to ask which women they think we should know about. That way, we are not only focusing on women of the past, but also those of the present - like Andrée Lévesque and Bettina Bradbury - who are changing the way history is told.


We finally created a solid timeline at our last meeting, and will hopefully begin these interviews soon. Of course, I will keep you posted on the process and stay tuned for the launch of "phase one" online.


The colloquium was very interesting, and has led to a new pile of books in my wish list. On a side note, lunch was pretty delicious, too. It was great meeting some of the members of the MHG and getting positive feedback for our burgeoning ideas. I was furiously taking notes the entire time, to the point where the woman sitting next to me actually commented about it.


July 2016 update: Jackie and I have interviewed nine academics on a woman of their choice from Montreal’s history. We are now in the process of transcribing and editing the video interviews. We hope to have them up on an interactive website really soon!


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