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 |