Women, War, and Conflict on Turtle Island before 1914

Amy Shaw's picture

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Call for Papers
December 1, 2022
Subject Fields: 
Canadian History / Studies, Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies, Indigenous Studies, Military History, Women's & Gender History / Studies

Women, War, and Conflict on Turtle Island before 1914


Women have been fundamentally affected by war and armed conflict, as victims and participants, throughout the long history of the lands that eventually became Canada. However, beyond the celebration of heroines like Laura Secord and Madeleine de Verchères (meant to be read as exceptional) they remain largely absent from our historical memory. To address this deficiency, we invite scholars of any historically-minded discipline and any geopolitical focus (as long as it touches on the predecessor territories of today’s Canada) to propose chapters for a new edited collection that examines female experiences of war and conflict on Turtle Island prior to the First World War.

At the local level, life in wholly-Indigenous territories, early contact zones and borderlands, New France, British North America, and Canada (1867-1914) was frequently marked by war and lesser forms of armed conflict. Meanwhile, war and territorial conquest were major forces shaping the growth, contraction, and interaction of European empires, their individual colonies, and the Indigenous nations they strove to displace or destroy. By casting a wide temporal and geographic net, this collection will draw together diverse perspectives that explore how women were affected by war and conflict and how war and conflict were shaped by ideas of gender, before 1914. As such, it will bring women a newfound visibility within the conflict-ridden histories of Indigenous and settler societies in the place we now know as Canada.


Possible topics include:

  • The roles and experiences of women in Indigenous ways of war
  • The significance of shifting borders for women, and/or borderlands in wartime
  • Women as military wives, nurses, and other careworkers or camp followers
  • Women’s experiences living, working, or sojourning at military bases and fortifications
  • Women’s involvement in economic, political, cultural, social (etc.) aspects of war
  • Wartime girlhood
  • Material history and/or artefacts of women and war
  • Women in popular memory, historiography, and/or artistic portrayals of war and conflict
  • Acadian women in wartime, or as Grand Dérangement refugees
  • The Loyalists (white and/or Black) in wartime, or as American Revolution refugees
  • Women and specific conflicts (Seven Years’ War, War of 1812, uprisings of 1837-38, 1869-70, 1885, Fenian Raids, South African War, etc.)

Interested scholars should send a short (250-500 words) abstract of their proposed chapter and a one-page CV by December 1, 2022 to either co-editor: Dr. Amy Shaw (University of Lethbridge)

amy.shaw@uleth.ca or Dr. Sarah Glassford (University of Windsor) sarah.glassford@uwindsor.ca .

Authors of accepted proposals will be notified by February 15, 2023.

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