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

  • Author / Creator
    Jordan, Tessa E.
  • “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.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2012
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.