Media Releases

U of T hosting largest international conference on the history of women, gender and sexuality

May 20, 2014

TORONTO, ON — On May 22 – May 25, more than 2,000 scholars, activists, teachers, writers, artists and students from around the word will convene at University of Toronto for the 16th Berkshire Conference on the History of Women — the world’s largest and most influential conference on the history of women, gender and sexuality.

The conference — themed Histories on the Edge — will explore the peoples “edged-out” in societies. Issues covered will include war-displaced, immigrant and migrating women; transgressive women; women and psychiatry; reproductive health; and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and two-spirited (LGBTQ2-S) histories.

In addition, the “Big Berks” — as the event is affectionately known — will celebrate renowned social historian Natalie Zemon Davis of U of T’s Department of History. Zemon Davis — a mentor to generations of scholars and the author of brilliant histories adapted to both screen and stage — will take part in a panel discussion entitled “On Feminist Mentors” and participate in a forum in her honour, “Legal Entanglements, Border-Crossings and the Archives: Scholarly Interactions with Natalie Zemon Davis.”

With more than 245 academic sessions — in addition to tours, exhibits, performances, gallery-and-museum workshops and digital lab history projects — the conference is vast, but can be easily navigated by thematic event streams.

Streams include:

  • Disability History
  • LGBTQ Histories
  • Black History: Slavery & Emancipation until 1890; African Diaspora in the Americas since 1890; Caribbean
  • Indigenous Histories
  • Religious Studies
  • Oral History and Memory Narratives

Complete event information is at To view all events by thematic stream, visit

 Media wishing to attend should contact Christine Elias at or 416-946-5499.


For more information, contact:

Christine Elias
Associate Director, Communications
Faculty of Arts & Science, University of Toronto
Tel: 416.946.5499 |