The Woman’s Caucus Unsubscribes

The women are falling over themselves in a rush to get off the CPSA Women’s Caucus email list. It’s a bit of a mystery. Shannon Sampert, Tina Beaudry-Mellor, Koula Mellos, Manon Tremblay, Hélèn Pellerin, Dana Christina Cadeschi, Ailish Johnson: I don’t know these political scientists and I don’t know why they are stampeding for the exit.

No unsubscriber gives her reasons. It’s hush hush. But if you think Frances Widdowson figures somewhere in the story you are probably right.

These days Widdowson is complaining that the peer-review process in Aboriginal Studies is dominated by a “postmodern sisterhood,” which, she says, overwhelmingly favours scholars who argue that native people, because of their ancestry, have “a different way of knowing” not accessible to others.

She’s riding high on the huge success of Disrobing the Aboriginal Industry (co-authored with Albert Howard), but the paper she submitted for panel presentation at the CPSA this spring has been rejected. It criticizes Kiera Ladner’s contention that scholarly research must respect the “different ways of knowing” and aboriginal methods of inquiry. Ladner is the head of the section of the program committee that reviewed Widdowson’s proposal.

Widdowson argues: “If the CPSA were really interested in open and vigorous debate, as it claims, it would organize a debate on aboriginal epistemologies in political science between Kiera Ladner and myself.”

I agree.

See Widdowson’s blog.  http;//blogs.mtroyal.ca/fwiddowson.

p.s. I can’t figure out why I’m receiving the Women’s Caucus communications. I unsubscribed years ago. Suddenly: I’m back! Someone signed me up. Another mystery.

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1 Response to “The Woman’s Caucus Unsubscribes”


  1. 1 janetajzenstat December 30, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    I told S.A. that Widdowson’s been given a poster session at the Canadian Political Science Association meetings. Not the panel presentation she expected.

    “A poster session?” he said.”You mean like in a science fair? Who made that decision? Widdowson could fill an auditorium! Crowds would come. Whoever made that decision is missing an opportunity,”


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