Sarah York-Bertram is a PhD candidate in York University’s Gender, Feminist, and Women’s Studies programme where she researches gender and feminist history and affect theory. Sarah holds a Canada Graduate Scholarship and her SSHRC-funded Master’s thesis won the 2013-2014 University of Saskatchewan Thesis Award in Humanities and Fine Arts.
Jessica DeWitt is a Phd Candidate and Sessional Lecturer at the University of Saskatchewan where she specializes in comparative Canadian/American environmental history. She has served as Social Media Editor for the Network in Canadian History and Environment for three years. She is also Social Media Officer for the American Society for Environmental History Graduate Student Caucus and is in charge of operating three other academic Twitter accounts.
Emerging, in part, from the roundtable discussion on Canadian History and Social Media at the Canadian Historical Association meeting in May 2017, as well as discussions between the authors, DeWitt & York-Bertram discuss purposeful allyship formed between minoritized scholars on Social Media, how that allyship is often characterized, and practical ways allied behaviour can be applied online.
As longtime and long-distance friends who met in grad school, DeWitt & York-Bertram have witnessed each other’s careers flourish. Social Media has functioned as both a space to maintain purposeful bonds & a platform for supporting each other’s work. The support networks organized by minoritized scholars online have been integral to both DeWitt & York-Bertram’s experience getting through graduate studies. And purposeful supportive interactions have facilitated a great deal of networking opportunities with symbiotic relations between scholars and community. However, such allyship has, at times, been characterized as an impediment to dialogical methods of learning near and dear to Historians’ pedagogies and discourse. At times critics have called the style of interaction as “too supportive” and argued that such relationships prevent challenging conversations.
DeWitt & York-Bertram offer an alternative view that maintains that both critically cutting-edge work & purposeful allyship are not only possible but necessary. Considering personal experiences and recent writings by other scholars, which demonstrate what not to do as well as practical ways allied behaviour can be fostered online, DeWitt & York-Bertram take historians Beyond 150 into a brave new supportive world.
Saskatoon: Treaty 6 Territory and the Homeland of the Métis
Toronto: Territory of the Huron-Wendat & Petun First Nations, the Seneca, and the Mississaugas of the Credit River as well as the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant.
Academic Sharing Circle
As a response to personal and public discussions of these topics, several Canadian historians created a secret Facebook group as a safe space for female-identified and non-binary academics to discuss issues and experiences. For more information or to join, DM Jessica DeWitt on Twitter (@JessicaMDeWitt) or email: email@example.com
Other Facebook Groups:
Web Articles and Sources:
- “Do if for the Exposure,” by Carly Ciufo, BLOG du CÉD | GSC BLOG
- “Academia is quietly and systematically keeping its women from succeeding,” by Marcie Bianco, Quartz
- “FAG Feminist Art Gallery,” AGO
- “Transformation and Transcendence: The Power of Female Friendship,” by Emily Rapp, The Rumpus
- “We Need to Talk About Online Harassment,” by Lauren Duca, Teen Vogue
- “Academics and Deplorables,” Tenure, She Wrote
- “Sexual Harassment,” Sara Ahmed, feministkilljoys
- “Finding (or building) community in grad school,” Tenure, She Wrote
- “The day I broke some twitter feeds: insights into sexism in academia, Part 1,” by Gina Baucom, Dynamic Ecology
- Women in Academia Report
- “Women in Academia” Source List by McGill Senate Subcommittee on Women
- “Report on Gender and the American Society for Environmental History,” American Society for Environmental History
- “The “crazy/bitch” narrative about senior academic women,” by Jennifer Berdahl, The Georgia Straight
- “International Women’s Day: being female in academia,” by Jenny Pickerill, Times Higher Education
- “Allyship,” The Anti-Oppression Network
- “Allyship in the Trump Era,” by Priya Walia, if when how
- “Young adults use social media to create supportive communities (USA),” Canadian Mental Health Association
- “How Social Media Has Changed And Amplified The Modern Feminist Message,” by Katie McBeth, GirlTalkHQ
- “Shine Theory: Why Powerful Women Make the Greatest Friends,” by Ann Friedman, The Cut
- “Allyship & Solidarity Guidelines,” Unsettling America: Decolonization in Theory & Practice
- “Calling In: A Quick Guide on When and How,” by Sian Ferguson, Everyday Feminism
- “3 Things To Consider When Choosing Between Calling Someone Out Or Calling Them In,” Maisha Z. Johnson, Everyday Feminism
- “Academic Kindness Gift Circle” by Ellie Macklin
- “A collective biography of joy in academic practice,” by Leslie Kern, Roberta Hawkins, Karen Falconer Al-Hindi & Pamela Moss, Social and Cultural Geography
Twitter Threads and Sources: