A Video Tribute to 30 Years of Gender and the Politics of History, by Joan Wallach Scott


In October 2018, the Department of History at Simon Fraser University invited Joan Wallach Scott to give a public lecture in Vancouver, Canada. In the months leading up to the visit, Roxanne Panchasi, an Associate Professor of History at SFU (who worked with Professor Scott at Rutgers in the 1990s) sent an open invitation to colleagues, friends, and other former students to participate in a video installation to honor the 30th anniversary of Gender and the Politics of History, and the publication of a new, revised edition.

Asked to select a passage meaningful to them, each participant recorded a video reading in the setting of their choice: an office, a living room, a library, outdoors. The resulting installation features 51 participants and is almost an hour long.

The video was screened once publicly, at a reception following Professor Scott’s lecture in Vancouver. This reception was sponsored by the Departments of History at Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia, along with Columbia University Press. Copies of the 30th anniversary edition of Gender and the Politics of History were available for purchase from local, independent bookseller Pulp Fiction Books.

Professor Scott was completely unaware of the project until the first frames played quietly on monitors on either side of the reception hall, and she was visibly moved by the readings. A tribute to the ideas and words that have inspired so many scholars working in history, gender studies, and feminist theory, the installation is a testament to the power of Gender and the Politics of History over three decades.

 

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