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Paperback 432 pp.
9 photos, 7" x 9"



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Imprint: OUP Canada

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Gender History

Canadian Perspectives

Willeen Keough and Lara Campbell

Combining primary and secondary sources with original discussions, Gender History examines the full range of gender experiences - past and present - beyond typical conceptions of masculinity and femininity. Addressing both the chronology and crucial themes of gender in Canada, this combination text/reader is an essential resource for understanding the evolution of the Canadian gender system.

Readership : Gender History: Canadian Perspectives is a core text for gender history courses, which are generally offered through history departments at Canadian universities in third or fourth year.


  • "This is a desperately needed update to the available literature on the subject of gender and Canadian history. It is, to my knowledge, unique in providing a single, coherent narrative on the topic."
    --G. Bruce Retallack, University of Toronto

Theorizing Gender: A History
Using This Book
Part I: Gender Continuities and Change
1. Gender - and Cultural Diversity in the Early Contact Period
Aboriginal Cultures
European Newcomers
Early Contact
Recommended Readings
Primary source
Paul Le Jeune: - "On the Good Things which are Found Among the Savages"
Jean-Guy A. Goulet: - "The "Berdache"/"Two-Spirit": A Comparison of Anthropological and Native Constructions of Gendered Identities among the Northern Athapaskans"
Allan Greer: - "Colonial Saints: Gender, Race, and Hagiography in New France"
2. Gender, Territorial Transitions, and Colonialism in the Eighteenth Century
The Emergence of British North America
Initial Expansion and Colonialism
Recommended Readings
Primary sources
- Governors' Orders regarding Irish Fishing Servants in Eighteenth-Century Newfoundland
- Excerpt from the Narrative of the Heroic Deeds of Madeleine de Verchères (1678-1747) aged 14 years, against the Iroquois 22-30 October 1692
Anne Marie Lane Johah: - "Unequal Transitions: Two Métis Women in Eighteenth-Century Île Royale"
3. Gender, Western Expansion, and Consolidation of the Colonial Order: The Early Nineteenth Century to the 1880s
Further Expansion and Consolidation
Middle-class Masculinity and Femininity
Gender Identities and Working People
Gender and Political Entitlement
Gender and African-Canadian Communities
The New Canadian State and Colonialism
Recommended Readings
Primary sources
- An Act to Amend and Consolidate the Laws Respecting Indians
- Cartoon: Henri Julien, "A Lancer of the N.W. Mounted Police"
- Cartoon: Unsigned, untitled cartoon from the Canadian Illustrated News, 1870
Adele Perry: - "The Autocracy of Love and the Legitimacy of Empire: Intimacy, Power and Scandal in Nineteenth-Century Metlakahtlah"
Deborah Stiles: "Martin Butler, Masculinity and the North American Sole Leather Tanning Industry: 1871-1889"
4. Gender, Citizenship, and Belonging: 1880-1920s
Aboriginal People and Métis at the Periphery
Immigration, Race, and Gender
Social and Moral Reform
First-wave Feminism and Suffrage
New Women and New Men
Recommended Readings
Primary sources
- Cartoon: J.W. Bengough, "I Stand for Justice: Answer, Shall I Have It?"
- Excerpt from speech by British Ambassador at presentation of National Geographic Society's Hubbard Medal to Arctic explorer Capt. Robert Bartlett, 1909
Mary-Ellen Kelm: - "Manly Contests: Rodeo Masculinities at the Calgary Stampede"
Jane Nicholas: - "Gendering the Jubilee: Gender and Modernity in the Diamond Jubilee of Confederation Celebrations, 1927"
5. Gender, Conflict, and the Re-imagining of Canada: From the Interwar Years to the Mid-Twentieth Century
The Interwar Years and the Great Depression
The Second World War, the State, and Citizenship
Post-War Canada and the Gendered Welfare State
Gender and Immigration Policy
The Baby Boom, the Cold War, and Suburbia
Recommended Readings
Primary sources
Shirley Chan: - "Laying It All on the Table: A Family Affair"
Phyllis Haslam: - "The Damaged Girl in a Distorted Society"
Robert Rutherdale: - "Just Nostalgic Family Men? Off-the-Job Family Time, Providing, and Oral Histories of Fatherhood in Postwar Canada, 1945-1975"
Tarah Brookfield: - "The Home Front becomes the Front Line: Fallout Shelter Madness"
6. Gender, Activism, and Change: From the Mid-1960s to the Late-Twentieth Century
Second-wave Feminism
LGBTQ Activism
Men's Movements and Late-Twentieth-Century Masculinities
Third-wave Feminism
Recommended Readings
Primary source
Michael Mainville: - "Men's Groups Drum up Some Dubious Ideas"
Danielle Naumann: - "Aboriginal Women in Canada: On the Choice to Renounce or Reclaim Aboriginal Identity"
Part II: Gender Issues
7. Gender and Work
From Pre-Industrial Work to the Industrial Transformation of Labour
Gender and Domestic Service
Gender and the Professions
Gender Stratification of Work: White, Blue, and Pink
The Gender Wage Gap
Labour Organizing and Unions
Cultural and State Participation in the Gendering of Work
Recommended Readings
Primary sources
- Photo: Jerry Lonecloud (1854- 1930), 1928. Mi'kmaq medical man, Nova Scotia.
- Photo: Barn Raising, Brampton, 1900.
- Photo: Cecil Roberts and his brother Charlie eating lunch about 2.5 miles out under the Atlantic, 800 feet below the ocean floor.
Christina Burr: - "Some Adventures of the Boys: Enniskillen Township's 'Foreign Drillers,' Imperialism, and Colonial Discourse, 1873-1923"
Becki L. Ross: - "Bumping and Grinding on the Line: Making Nudity Pay"
8. Gender and Legal Systems
Marriage and Divorce
Sexuality and the Formal Legal System
Race, Class, and Ethnicity
Negotiating Formal and Informal Justice
Challenging Gendered Laws
Recommended Readings
Primary source
James Armstrong: - A Treatise on the Law Relating to Marriage in Lower Canada (Montreal, 1857), 14-21 (abridged)."
Mary Anne Poutanen: - "Regulating Public Space in Early Nineteenth-Century Montreal: Vagrancy Laws and Gender in a Colonial Context"
Nicki Darbyson: - "'Sadists and Softies': Gender and the Abolition of the Death Penalty in Canada: A Case Study of Steven Truscott, 1959-1976"
9. Gender and the Body
Reading the Body
Challenging Sex: Intersex and Transsexual Bodies
Health, Reproduction, and Control of the Body
Recommended Readings
Primary source
Henry Napheys: - "Secret Bad Habits"
Barbara L. Marshall: - "Climacteric Redux? (Re)medicalizing the Male Menopause"
Deborah Findlay: - "Discovery Sex: Medical Science, Feminism, and Intersexuality"
10. Gender and Sexuality
Ideas about Sexuality
"Normal" and "Abnormal" Sexualities: Constructing Boundaries
Sexual Desire: Definitions and Interventions
Diverse Sexual Identities
Recommended Readings
Primary source
- Excerpt from "We Demand" manifesto of the Canadian gay liberation movement, presented to Parliament on 28 August 1971.
Lyle Dick: - Same-sex Intersections of the Prairie Settlement Era: The 1895 Case of Regina's "Oscar Wilde"
11. Gender and Violence
Gendering Violence
Sanctioning Violent Masculinity
Domestic Violence
Sexual Violence
Violence, Marginalization, and Inequality
Recommended Readings
Primary sources
- On the Practice of Duelling in Upper Canada
Maya Rolbin-Ghanie: - "An Olympic Failure: At least 137 Native Women Murdered or Missing in BC since 1980"
Willeen Keough: - "'Now you vagabond [W]hore I have you': Plebeian Women, Assault Cases, and Gender and Class Relations on the Southern Avalon, 1750-1860"
Marlene Epp: - "Heroes or Yellow-Bellies? Masculinity and the Conscientious Objector"
12. Gender, Religious Institutions, and Spiritualities
Indigenous Spiritualties
Recommended Readings
Primary sources
- Excerpt from "Report of the meetings held in Montreal, Sept. 9th and 10th, 1886, called by the Provisional Committee which was authorized by the Board of Missions for the purpose of organizing a Woman's Auxiliary to the Board of Foreign and Domestic Missions of the Church of England in Canada" (Montreal: J. Lovell), 8-10.
Rhéal Séguin: - "Invited to Quebec Legislature, Sikhs then Barred for Carrying Kirpans"
Helle-Mai Lenk: - "The Case of Émilie Ouimet: News Discourse on Hijab and the Construction of Québecois National Identity"
Dan Horner: - "'Shame Upon You as Men!': Contesting Authority in the Aftermath of Montreal's Gavazzi Riot"
13. Gender, Popular Culture, and Mass Media
Objectification: Representations of Gendered Bodies
Masculinity: Popular Culture and Violence
Creative Consumption and Unintended Readings
Recommended Readings
Primary sources
- Poster: 2010 Canadian CBBF Bodybuilding Championships Poster, 14 August 2010.
- Photo: Bobby Hull, 1966.
- Transgender Contestant Falls Short at Miss Universe Canada
Stephen Fielding: - "Ethnicity in Trail, British Columbia, 1970-77"
John Wong: - "The Unbearable Lightness of Being Black: Race, Class, and Victorian Vancouver's First Lifeguard"

E-Book (ISBN 9780195443431):
Available through CourseSmart.com

Willeen G. Keough is an associate professor in the Department of History at Simon Fraser University. Actively teaching in the areas of gender history, pre-Confederation history, and Irish history, Keough is also involved in research surrounding ethnic and gendered spaces and Irish-Newfoundland women in Canadian history.

Lara Campbell is a professor and department chair in the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies at Simon Fraser University, where she teaches Canadian women's history and the history of gender and social protest. Campbell has published on the Great Depression, gender and the welfare state, and gender and the Vietnam War.

Writing History - William Kelleher Storey and Towser Jones
Rethinking Canada - Lara Campbell, Tamara Myers and Adele Perry
Home, Work, and Play - Edited by James Opp and John C. Walsh

Special Features

  • Original chapter overviews and end-of-chapter material provide unique coverage and help students solidify their understanding of key concepts.
  • Primary and secondary source material - including 23 meticulously edited readings and 27 primary sources - expose students to engaging first-hand accounts and insightful analysis.
  • Covers from pre-European settlement to the present day, with perspectives from across Canada, resulting in a comprehensive and balanced introduction to Canadian gender history.
  • Chronological and thematic sections help students understand Canadian gender history's linear development and guides them in exploring broad patterns expressed through key themes.