Artist: Sarah Jackson

Image from :
Pocketbook of monoprints (Flower thoughts), 1984

"This pocketbook of monoprints was printed with a Xerox machine in Toronto. I designed the book and wrote the text in Halifax." -Leaf preceding 1st xerograph.

Image courtesy: Bruce Peel Special Collections Library, University of Alberta

Image reproduced by permission of Artist's family

About the project

This site documents and reports on the development of a research project, Women Writing and Reading in Canada from 1950. It personalizes literary history as it explores the bond between reader and writer, world and text. MA and PhD students are partners in this research; they assist in designing surveys, uploading material, and maintaining the forums, and also create their own professional development projects.

Our central focus is the immense productivity of women writers within the rapidly changing culture of the mid-twentieth century to the present day. The project embraces "writing" as a large and diverse field, including established (poetry, fiction, drama, non-fiction) and emerging (graphic novels, film and song writing, cartooning) forms. Popular and elite markers of circulation, appeal and critical judgment contribute to the criteria for inclusion.

In addition to chronicles of women's writing in Canada, arranged by decade, and times lines of important cultural and political events during this period, the site contains transcripts and video clips of interviews with writers, archival and manuscript material, links to related sites, professional and amateur commentary, discussion forums, and results of the reading survey. The survey reflects the attitudes of undergraduate and graduate students (in English and Film Studies courses and in the School of Library and Information Studies) and of patrons of the Edmonton Public Library to contemporary Canadian writing. In some instances survey participants also contribute commentaries on specific titles.

By underscoring that writers and readers live in interconnected worlds, this site provides open-source materials and encourages feed-back from a range of visitors, within and beyond the academy.

About the Investigator

As a member of the Department of English at the University of Alberta for over three decades, I have enjoyed the wonderful privilege of teaching courses and supervising research in areas ranging from medieval cycle plays to postmodern narratives. My interests in children's literature (From Instruction to Delight: Children's Literature to 1850, 3rd Edition, Oxford University Press, 2008) and early modern literature (Women's Writing in English: Early Modern England, University of Toronto Press, 2005) have coalesced more and more around women's writing in these fields. Having already collaborated on an edition of contemporary experimental plays (Staging Alternative Albertas, Playwrights Canada Press, 2002) and preparing an edition of a manuscript of the Canadian Press Club pioneer Miriam Green Ellis (1879-1964) (Down North 1922 for the University of Alberta Press), I feel entirely chez moi in the zesty, robust mix of Canadian women's writing since 1950.

Women Writing and Reading, a SSHRC-funded project on women writing and reading, was the genesis of CanWWR.

Contact Information

Dr. Patricia Demers

Email: patricia.demers@ualberta.ca
Telephone: (780) 405-1190

Research Assistants

Jocelyn Badley (2008-09)

Matt Bouchard (2007-09)

Ian Craig (2007-08)

Lindsay Doll (2008-10)

Amy Dyrbye (2010-13)

Caitlin Elm (2012-13)

Carlos Fiorentino (2008-10)

Emily Hass (2010-11)

Calen Henry (2009-10)

Chloe Jones (2011-12)

Devorah Kobluk (2009-10)

Katie McConchie(2009-10)

Ashley Moroz (2011-12)

Claire Mulcahy (2009-10)

Khati Nagar (2007-09)

Jessica Ratcliffe (2011-12)

Scott Sharplin (2007-09)

Amy Stafford (2007-10)

Joyce Tam (2007-08)

Wenjuan Xie (2011)