Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada

Building a Hive for Feminist Research

April 8th, 2014
Donna Trembinski, Jonathan Langdon, Claudia Schaler, Susan Vincent, Rachel Hurst, Clare Fawcett, Eileen Alma, Nancy Forestell, Laura-Lee Kearns, Charmaine MacPherson and Rhonda Semple at April meeting

An interdisciplinary research group formed to increase the visibility and understanding of feminist research at StFX in all its diversity has just concluded a very successful first year.

On April 7, 2014, the Hive for Feminist Research completed activities for the 2013-14 academic year.

“We had an exciting and innovative year,” says StFX women’s and gender studies professor Dr. Rachel Hurst, who constructed the Hive in the summer of 2013 to offer a space for researchers at StFX to share and discuss feminist research.

Membership swelled to 45 people and the Hive became the first interdisciplinary research group on campus to bring together members of all four faculties—arts,  business, education, and science—as well as the Angus L. Macdonald Library, the Coady International Institute, Service Learning, and the National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health.

“The Hive defines feminist research broadly as a type of inquiry concerned with understanding relations of power, particularly those based on gender as it intersects with race, sexuality, class, and ability,” Dr. Hurst says.

The Hive met eight times during the academic year, and featured presentations by 14 members representing 13 departments and interdisciplinary programs.

Topics of study were diverse, and demonstrated the breadth of feminist research at StFX, she says, from policy issues in education and health; women’s activism historically in mid-twentieth century Canada and in contemporary Ghana; to elder care in Peru; narratives of depression and anxiety; women in early Christianity; to settler photography of Indigenous women in The Beaver magazine.
Dr. Hurst says momentum and interest is strong.

Eileen Alma of the Coady and history and women’s and gender studies professor Dr. Nancy Forestell will take over organizing responsibilities, and are looking forward to an exciting year for 2014-2015, she says.

Possible activities talked about for the coming year include featuring the work of participants in the Coady Global Change Leaders program, a workshop on regional Aboriginal issues, a PechaKucha event on feminist research for students, a feminist theory reading group, and the construction of a virtual Hive.

Dr. Hurst says all are welcome to join. Announcements of future events will be sent in the fall, or interested people can email Dr. Hurst at

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