Chronology of Events


  • University of Ottawa conference: “Women’s Studies: At the Cutting Edge?” Cyber Committee created to keep CWSA apprised of issues of concern to women and the new communications technology
  • CWSA/ACEF launches a website


  • Memorial University, St. John’s, Newfoundland conference


  • Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario conference


  • UQAM, Montréal, Québec, conference. "Justice and Equality in Women's Studies and Feminist Practices."


  • University of Calgary, Alberta, conference
  • CWSA members organize an International Women’s Studies conference hosted by Ottawa University
  • CWSA decides to assume the administration of Atlantis, an Atlantic Canadian based women’s studies journal (was temporarily suspended, so CWSA stepped in)
  • AGM becomes focused on the place and power of different caucuses (ie. student and lesbian), visibility, funding, etc.


  • Carleton University conference. "Women's Studies: Academic Discipline, Political Engagements and Future Directions;" one day devoted to requirements and contents of proposed MA and PhD Women’s Studies programs in Canada
  • Sub-committee created at AGM to look at chilly climate at Canadian universities


  • University of PEI conference; joint sessions sponsored by the Society for Socialist Studies and the Canadian Sociology and Anthropology Association
  • Student Caucus established; Brenda Ponic (Memorial University) is the first rep.: “Why have a student caucus? Because several students who attended the Learneds believed that bridging the barriers between students and professors in a systematic way should be a philosophical foundation of Canadian Women’s Studies meetings, programs, and publications. Students are a disempowered group within academia. Having a student caucus is one mechanism whereby students can work to ensure that CWSA meetings, such as the Learneds, are accessible and supportive of women entering academia, and that the CWSA is there for students to share their research and ideas."
  • Financial problems - 3 year grant not renewed by SSHRC; proposed a membership fee increase
  • Creation of Publications Committee; ‘92 to look at the formation of publications policies (for conference or to journal?). Weaving Alliances/Tisser les liens.


  • Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, conference. "Weaving Alliances: Feminist Education and Practice."
  • First ever Programme Committee for conference
  • Women of Colour Caucus newsletter included in fall newsletter: “It was agreed ... that the caucus should provide contexts for women of colour to get to know each other as persons, colleagues and as researchers.” - Vanaja Dhruvaragan, University of Winnipeg. “Organizing as women of colour in academia is a potentially powerful means of sisterhood and solidarity. The potential will be fulfilled with great recognition of ‘third wave’ feminist praxis and with solid structural support fot he caucus” - Farah Shroff (Nov. ‘92)
  • Mention of using e-mail for communication in spring newsletter; also a request to create a computer symposium
  • Affiliated with Resources for Feminist Research / Documentation sur la recherche feministe
  • Membership increased 74% since 1988
  • Lesbian Caucus is the first to suggest that child care is covered at the conference


  • University of Victoria, British Columbia, conference. "Women Changing Academe."
  • Sandra Kirby drafts a Code of Ethics for CWSA and publishes it in Winds of Change in Academe


  • Conference at Université Laval, Québec.


  • University of Windsor conference; appears to have been the first time that bilingual sessions are available (English and French). "Concepts of Self in Literature and What They Mean for Feminist Theory" (joint session)
  • Deborah Poff suggests that the CWSA be affiliated with a learned journal; most agree to be part of the Resources for Feminist Research / Documentation sur la recherche feministe; finalized at a later date
  • CRIAW conference highlights lesbian issues as a sub-theme for the first time
  • Lesbian Caucus established at June AGM; Janice Ristock is the first rep.


  • McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, conference. "Feminist Pedagogy in Feminist Studies Courses and in Disciplinary Courses."
  • Member status in the Canadian Humanities Federation
  • Lesbian Caucus newsletter included in fall ‘87 newsletter: “We agreed that our goals are to increase lesbian visibility and to encourage research on lesbians and the inclusion of lesbian material in courses. In other words, teaching, research and networking. We want to make the presence of lesbians visible in the CWSA and push for lesbian content on the CWSA program, We need to encourage work on lesbians because having a place to present work makes a difference. We also need to ask for the integration of lesbian content into regular sessions.” - Sharon Stone, York University
  • Lesbian Caucus goals: lobby women’s studies professors to get lesbian content in courses; ask for a position on the executive of CWSA (achieved in ‘88); raise $ to support graduate research on lesbians, newsletter to be distributed two time a year


  • University of Winnipeg, Manitoba, conference - first conference with CWSA as an official Learned society.
  • CWSA granted member status in the Social Science Federation of Canada


  • Université de Montréal, Québec, conference. "Spirituality, Empowerment and Autonomy."
  • French and English newsletter incorporated into one (first fully bilingual newsletter).


  • University of Guelph, Ontario, conference. "Language, Culture and Gender." CWSA adopts constitution and plan of organization.
  • CWSA newsletter logo--the symbol for woman with a book inside the loop--is adopted.


  • CWSA applied for funding ($2540) to the Women’s Program, Secretary of State (letter March 7, 1983 from Frances Early to Joanne Linzey)
  • Spring newsletter
  • Draft constitution in letter from Sylvia Van Kirk to Francis Early, on May 10.
  • First CWSA Conference held at UBC jointly with the Canadian Studies Association and the Canadian Association of Adult Learners
  • Secretariat move to Carleton University, Ottawa, with Jill Vickers; funds transferred in June 1983.


  • CWSA/ACEF is founded at the Learned Societies' Conference in Ottawa\
  • The first entry on its first “Running Acct” sheet is dated July 30, 1982, and is identified as “Deposit for beginning expenses- provided by S. Van Kirk from women’s studies funds available to her” -- $100.00.
  • First newsletter produced, autumn 1982. Francis Early, in the “Anglophone Co-ordinator’s Report” on the first page, indicates that the membership has more than doubled since June, and now stands at 121 individual memberships and 9 institutions. Although 15% of the membership is francophone, they are having difficulty recruiting a francophone co-ordinator.
  • Early’s report ends enthusiastically: “In closing, I wish to leave in your minds the sense I have than an incredible energy and creativity and purpose exists in all of us. I am looking forward to hearing more from you all. We have made a promising start--onward!” / “Pour conclure, je tiens à vous signaler à quel point je ressens que nous sommes animées par une énergie, une créativité et une raison d’être tou à fait remarquables. J’ai bien h^ate de recevoir de vos nouvelles. Nous avons eu un début prometteur ...continuons! Mes meilleurs voeux, Frances Early’
  • Frances Early put out a call for Women’s Studies outlines and the status of Women’s Studies programs nation-wide.

Please notify the website manager of any errors or omissions in the above historical listing of members of the WGSRF executive or in the association's chronology of events, or if you have any information to be added.