Author: Carli Gardner 

At Glendon, professors are committed to pursuing innovative research across diverse fields of study. Professor Jacinthe Michaud’s newly published book, Frontiers of Feminism: Movements and Influences in Québec and Italy, 1960-80 (UBC Press, 2021), is just one recent example of Glendon’s longstanding commitment to research innovation.

Dr. Michaud’s book, published in April 2021

Frontiers of Feminism analyses two types of feminisms, Québécois and Italian, which have never been compared. The book revisits current academic knowledge on the Italian and Québécois feminist movements to, as Michaud says: “improve our understanding of the evolution of feminisms in all their plurality and diversity into the 21st century.”

Jacinthe Michaud is a professor and researcher in the schools of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at York University’s Glendon and Keele campuses. Michaud’s research presented in Frontiers of Feminism focuses on the evolution of Italian and Québécois feminisms from the mid-1960s to the mid-1980s.

The study compares the two movement’s approaches to political activism, attempts at creative theorizing, and relations to a range of struggles. Michaud’s choice to conduct this comparative analysis is unconventional, requiring what she calls a “certain shift and a unique angle of vision.”

Frontiers of Feminism evaluates the evolution of Italian and Québécois feminist discourses and practices. The specific political contexts of Québec and Italy offer contrasting views of the shared struggles of the two feminist movements, like the relationship of these feminisms with the student movement and other political movements of the left; the difficult position of the double feminist activist; the influence of French feminism and American feminism; the fight for free abortion and the liberation of women’s bodies.

In her book, Michaud provides key insights into the international evolution of contemporary feminism. The research traces the historical perceptions of Italian and Québécois societies as homogeneous in terms of race, which established the resulting creation of hierarchies among social categories of women. Michaud’s research on the evolution of the feminist movement informs knowledge about the synergies between contemporary feminism and political movements like the Black Lives Matter movement. 

In comparing current political movements with the Italian and Québécois feminist movements of the mid-1960s to mid-1980s, Frontiers of Feminism highlights key forces which contributed to shaping contemporary feminisms, and establishes the feminist movement as a political movement, a movement of social change, and a formidable force of modernization of society.

Michaud’s analysis of the historical and contemporary forces influencing the feminist movement has been at the core of her research and teaching for several decades. Indeed, Michaud says “this [research] is where I see my most important contribution towards social and political change.”

In exploring the role of feminist practices and revolutionary theories, Michaud and her book Frontiers of Feminism make the rich history of feminism relevant to understanding contemporary feminism for readers today.

The Glendon Research and Innovation Office is thrilled to recognize Professor Jacinthe Michaud and her new book publication, Frontiers of Feminism, and looks forward to celebrating Michaud’s book at the virtual launch on October 26, 2021, at 4:00 pm EST. Click the link here for more information about Jacinthe Michaud’s upcoming book launch.

Invitation for Michaud’s book launch