Voice, Agency, Gendered Tropes: Grad Students work with Feminist Thought

I forgot to take pictures.  Too busy eating and listening.
Thanks to the three panelists, this Friday’s Feminist Friday was another classic set of seemingly unconnected scholarly projects which are twining themselves around each other in my mind.

OHLS PhD candidate Estair Van Wagner spoke about non owner claims in Ontario’s land use planning regimes.  Her work looks closely at the situation unfolding in Melancthon County, Ontario, where a U.S. based company has proposed a mega quarry on what was considered prime farmland.  Estair uses ideas from Davina Cooper, Sarah Keenan, and others to consider how property can be imagined as embedded in a web of relations.

Emily Rosser, from Gender, Feminist and Women’s Studies, spoke about her work uncovering the theoretical underpinnings of Guatemala’s major truth and memory projects, exposing the ways in which the attention now paid to gendered violence in conditions of war and civil oppression may fail to challenge older notions of women as victims and objects in human rights discourse.   Here is an earlier piece of Emily’s work on Guatemala.

Using the work of Dr. Lamia Karim and others, Osgoode PhD candidate  Shanthi Senthe illustrated how microfinance models, whether run by major financial institutions or by NGO’s, either fail to provide access to credit for poor women, or provide such access but use gendered notions of honour and shame in order to secure repayment.  Since microfinance is not what many proponents claim it is (that is, fair and equal credit access for women) she argues, it should be regulated as banking is, rather than treated as something small, charitable and harmless which can operate without regulatory measures aimed at consumer protection.  Shanthi’s work focuses on building a model for regulation which aims to provide access to credit without reifying or relying on gendered inequities.
I hope that these women will forgive the extent to which I have no doubt mistated their work!  On the poster for the event you can see “their own words”.  Thanks to the presenters and the faithful audience for attending this last Feminist Friday of the year.  No more Fridays.  Tuesdays and Wednesdays, from here on in.  Hope to see you there!

Stop the MegaQuarry Sign

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