Agendas, Horizons, and the Canadian Introductory Reader: A Review Essay


  • Ilya Parkins University of British Columbia


women's studies, gender studies, representation, textbooks, teaching


This essay reviews three Canadian Introduction to Gender and Women’s Studies readers, asking what they might reveal about the investments and values that animate teaching in Gender and Women’s Studies. It argues that the texts are incommensurable with current theoretical and methodological trends in Gender and Women’s Studies and considers what each offers to the field.

Cet essai examine trois recueils de textes canadiens pour le cours d’introduction aux Études sur le genre et les femmes, en se demandant ce qu’ils pourraient révéler au sujet des investissements et des valeurs qui animent l’enseignement dans le domaine des Études sur le genre et les femmes. Il soutient que les textes sont en contraste flagrant avec les tendances théoriques et méthodologiques actuelles des Études sur le genre et les femmes et examine ce que chacun offre à ce domaine.


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Author Biography

Ilya Parkins, University of British Columbia

Ilya Parkins is Associate Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan. She is the author of Poiret, Dior and Schiaparelli: Fashion, Femininity and Modernity (2012) and co-editor of Cultures of Femininity in Modern Fashion (2011). Her essays on fashion history and theory, feminist theory, and early twentieth-century cultural formations have appeared in Feminist Review, Australian Feminist Studies, Biography, and Time & Society, among other journals.


Biggs, C. Lesley, Susan Gingell, and Pamela J. Downe, eds. 2011. Gendered Intersections: An Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies. Second Edition. Halifax, NS: Fernwood, 2011.

Braithwaite, Ann. 2009. “Origin Stories and Magical Signs in Women’s Studies.” In Open Boundaries: A Canadian Women’s Studies Reader, Third Edition, edited by Barbara A. Crow and Lise Gotell, 50-57. Toronto, ON: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Crow, Barbara, and Lise Gotell, eds. 2009. Open Boundaries: A Canadian Women’s Studies Reader. Third Edition. Toronto, ON: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Grewal, Inderpal, and Caren Kaplan, eds. 2006. An Introduction to Women’s Studies: Gender in a Transnational World. Second Edition. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Hemmings, Clare. 2011. Why Stories Matter: The Political Grammar of Feminist Theory. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Hobbs, Margaret, and Carla Rice, eds. 2013. Gender and Women’s Studies in Canada: Critical Terrain. Toronto, ON: Women’s Press.

Kolmar, Wendy. 2012. “History.” In Rethinking Women’s and Gender Studies, edited by Catherine M. Orr, Ann Braithwaite, and Diane Lichtenstein, 225-239. New York, NY: Routledge.

Reilly, Niamh. 2011. “Rethinking the Interplay of Secularism and Feminism in a Neo-Secular Age.” Feminist Review 97: 5-31.

Sawchuk, Kim. 2009. “Making Waves: The Narrativization of Feminist History and Intellectual Matricide.” In Open Boundaries: A Canadian Women’s Studies Reader, Third Edition, edited by Barbara A. Crow and Lise Gotell, 58-64. Toronto, ON: Pearson Prentice Hall.


Additional Files





37.2 - Belaboured Introductions