academic work · canada · empowerment · faster feminism · women

3 Reasons 2 Opportunities to Speak Up About Women

November is a few days away, and with it comes two deadlines you should be aware of:

1) CWILA‘s Critic in Residence competition closes on November 1.

The Residency
CWILA supports a female Canadian writer (poet, novelist, storyteller, scholar) as its resident critic for a calendar year. The aim of the residency is to foster criticism that promotes public awareness of women’s literary and critical presence in Canadian letters. Specifically, the critic-in-residence works on critical essays and/or book reviews and submits them to one or more Canadian review venues (print and web). This work is also archived by CWILA and becomes available through its website following publication elsewhere, copyright permitting. The critic-in-residence is encouraged to support a climate of critical responsiveness in Canadian letters through a collaborative or community-based project of her choice. In addition, the Critic in Residence will comment on the results of the annual Count in a public forum. The residency is virtual, so the writer is free to work from home. The Critic in Residence will finish the term by submitting a dossier summarizing the work done while in residence. The deadline for submission of the essay or reviews to CWILA is December 31st of the year of the residency. At this time, the writer also provides documentation that the pieces have been submitted to other publications.
Application Criteria:
Applications should include a letter of intent describing the project or projects the applicant wishes to undertake, the venue or venues to which they plan to submit, a one-page CV, and one short sample of critical work.
We particularly encourage applications from writers with disabilities, genderqueer writers, Indigenous writers, as well as other women and/or genderqueer writers of colour.
Stipend:  $3,000
Applications: The deadline for applications is November 1, 2013
Please send applications to

2) Abstracts for Discourse & Dynamics: Canadian Women as Public Intellectuals are due October 31. 

This national conference proposes to appraise women’s contributions to dynamic discourse in Canada and Quebec. Scheduled in conjunction with Persons Day, 18 October 2014, the conference will feature among other notable participants Margaret Atwood, Nicole Brossard, Siila Watt-Cloutier, Jessica Danforth, Charlotte Gray, Smaro Kamboureli, Antonia Maioni, Pam Palmater, Judy Rebick, Janice Stein, and Lori Turnbull.
Canadian women have contributed enormously to public discourse, in important but often under-valued ways.  Across different generations and cultural communities, women in English Canada and Quebec address key questions that animate intellectual discussion, from concerns about the environment and the economy to issues of social justice, racism, poverty, health and violence.  But are their voices valued and heard, or are they subsumed in the general noise of public debate?  Why are they not accorded the attention and approbation they merit?

Both the Critic in Residence position and the Discourse & Dynamics conference hinge on the fundamental belief that women have a crucial role to play in working towards a more egalitarian future for people living in Canada. If you’re reading this blog then I suspect that point isn’t one you need to be convinced of; however, it is also almost November. If you’re reading this then chances are you have some affiliation with the Academy as well. Whether you’re a graduate student, sessional, adjunct, precariously or under employed, tenure track, or tenured faculty member we know that this time of year is busy. It is easy to let deadlines slip by. Here are three reasons to consider speaking in public, whether in an application to CWILA’s CIR, or in a proposal for a presentation to Discourse & Dynamics, or simply to circulate these and other opportunities to speak up and speak out. 

1) Indigenous women are leading the fight for land rights and environmental protection against a government that does not respect Indigenous peoples and their rights. 

2) We live in a country saturated with rape culture: from the chants on university campuses, to the ongoing systematic violence against women, to violently engendered language. For example, I just learned about #rapeface this morning, but apparently it has been in circulation for a few years. Speaking out against violence is one step, speaking with people — especially young people — about it is another crucial step towards eradicating rape culture.

3) We need more images like this one of women celebrating the recognition of their lifetime achievements.