Word from the Director

Welcome to the Institute of Feminist and Gender Studies of the University of Ottawa

Feminist and gender studies are booming in Canada and abroad, attracting increasing numbers of students year after year. Since its inception in 1999, the Institute has hosted in its classrooms many students from all faculties and disciplines offered at the University of Ottawa who are enrolling in a Bachelor's degree with a major or minor in Feminist and Gender studies. Our graduate programs are also at the heart of the Institute's activities, with 19 students enrolled in the M.A. program and 34 in the doctoral program, including 20 international students and 11 students in the French program (May 2018). It is an honour and a challenge for our members to continue to promote feminist and gender studies within the Francophonie here and elsewhere.

As a space for exchange, research and bilingual and friendly education, the Institute of Feminist and Gender Studies is first and foremost a community that promotes collaboration, critical reflection and mutual learning. It brings together a dedicated and competent staff, as well as an interdisciplinary faculty from, among others, sociology, law, international development, French literature, history, education, criminology, political studies and health. Recognized both in Canada and internationally, many of the professors have received SSHRC grants and are pursuing research that, for example, focuses on the engagement and status of women, Aboriginal people, racialized groups and other minority groups. Feminist and intersectional theories, methodologies and practices are at the heart of the Institute's members and partners to better understand historical and contemporary forms of oppression and gender relations, as well as experiences and innovations to promote diversity, social justice and equity.

Students can count on a dynamic team of researchers-teachers who are committed to their success as well as the advancement of research and the improvement of the living and working conditions of individuals and communities that are often marginalized. For example, our students completed studies on power dynamics, the situation of trans people and people with disabilities, sexual diversity, violence, women's rights, public policies, the role of media and artistic performance, colonialism, the differential impact of migratory flows and globalization according to gender or sexual orientation, queer, post-colonial and anti-racist theories, or transnational social movements.

Research is also being used with the Women's Café Series and the Shirley Greenberg Annual Conference. The event features inspirational speakers such as Anthropologist Audra Simpson, who came in April 2018 to present her upcoming book on autonomy, political self-recognition and colonial imperialism issues. Previously, the Shirley Greenberg Conference also hosted, for example, the Abenaki filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin, who has produced many documentaries on indigenous people’s realities, and Sara Ahmed, theorist on issues of migration, inclusion, racism and sexism. For the year 2018-19, we will once again count on the participation of Dr. Ummni Khan in the Joint Chair of Women's Studies, in partnership with Carleton University, whose ongoing work focuses on the construction and regulation of socio-legal practices of stigmatized sexual practices. Thus, this year will be no shortage of hot topics with, for example, Prime Minister Trudeau who claims to be both feminist and committed to the environment and the defense of indigenous people’s rights, while engaging some 4.5 Billion dollars of public money to buy Kinder Morgan's controversial Trans Mountain Pipeline that has raised the grumbling of many First Nations communities.

On behalf of staff and Faculty members, we wish you a year filled with new challenges and exciting projects. We hope to be able to respond to the needs and interests of the University of Ottawa’s community and feminist networks in the region. Do not hesitate to contact us to discuss more about our programs and activities, the Faculty’s specializations and the many researchers affiliated with the Institute.

Marie-Josée Massicotte

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