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Branching Out, 1973-1980: Canadian Second-Wave Feminism, Periodical Publishing and Cultural Politics Open Access


Other title
Canadian second-wave feminism
Branching Out
Feminist periodicals
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Jordan, Tessa E.
Supervisor and department
Wallace, Jo-Ann (English and Film Studies)
Slemon, Stephen (English and Film Studies)
Examining committee member and department
Read, Daphne (English and Film Studies)
Hammill, Faye (School of Humanities, University of Strathclyde)
Bishop, Ted (English and Film Studies)
Gotell, Lise (Women's Studies)
Department of English and Film Studies

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
“Branching Out, 1973-1980: Canadian Second-Wave Feminism, Periodical Publishing and Cultural Politics” considers the intersection of culture and politics in the first national feminist magazine published in Canada, Branching Out: Canadian Magazine for Women. Published in Edmonton from 1973 to 1980, Branching Out was a professional quality magazine produced by volunteers with a mandate to publish literature, art and feminist analysis by Canadian women. This dissertation locates Branching Out within the field of Canadian feminism and establishes the political role of alternative cultural institutions such as Branching Out. The first scholarly study of Branching Out, this project moves from a close focus on the magazine’s production to an analysis of the political role of cultural institutions to a broader discussion of Branching Out’s location within the landscape of Canadian second-wave feminism. Chapter one focuses on Branching Out’s staff and organizational structure. Relying on data collected during interviews with Branching Out staff members, this chapter outlines the contributions of Susan McMaster and Sharon Batt, the magazine’s founding and long-time editors respectively, and analyzes the challenges that Branching Out faced as a feminist magazine operating in a male-dominated, commercially driven publishing industry. Chapter two demonstrates how Branching Out challenged the distinction between art and politics and exemplified the political nature of cultural production. Chapter three discusses various strains of Canadian feminism—radical, reform, socialist, cultural—and defines Branching Out as an example of cultural feminism, recuperating this term from its derogatory use by radical feminists in order to demonstrate how Branching Out disrupts rigid distinctions between art and politics. This project has four central aims: one, to recuperate the history of a major, western Canadian, second-wave feminist magazine; two, to acknowledge the contributions of the women who worked on this magazine; three, to reinforce understandings of the political nature of cultural production; and four, to build on existing histories of Canadian second-wave feminism. My purpose throughout this study is to understand the contributions that Branching Out’s unique combination of feminist analysis and cultural production made to Canadian second-wave feminism.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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