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MacNaughton Prize Supports Research on Feminist Book History

Nov 16 2022

Dr. Scott Schofield (English and Cultural Studies) and Dr. Nina Reid-Maroney (History) have been awarded the John and Gail MacNaughton Prize for Excellence in Teaching for their project “Teaching Feminist Book Histories in the Huron Letterpress Studio.”

The MacNaughton Prize, valued at $5,000, serves to encourage pedagogical innovation and reflection on, and sharing of, the scholarship of teaching and learning at Huron. The collaborative project seeks new ways to teach histories of women’s activism and textual studies using the combined methodologies of feminist pedagogy and history of the book.

With the support of the MacNaughton Prize, students will work with feminist texts found in Western’s Archives and Research Collections Centre, focusing on the texts’ material history - their provenance, inscriptions, annotations, typography, illustrations, binding and publication histories - and will typeset and print material about their project, using the maker space of the Huron Letterpress Studio to link their research and reflection on text and activism.

During the fall term, the project has been integrated in two courses: History 2813 (Making Waves: Women's Activism in the Atlantic World History) and English and Cultural Studies 2731 (History of the Book). Three student Letterpress Research Fellows have been hired to assist with the work of the project using the Studio’s complement of antique presses.

The Huron Letterpress Studio was opened in 2018 to support collaborative research and Huron’s innovative Minor in History of the Book, a joint program in the departments of English and Cultural Studies and History.

The project experiments with the idea of the undergraduate classroom as a creative research space and will enhance experiential learning opportunities for our students. Use of the Huron Letterpress Studio will provide additional hands-on engagement for students as they amplify feminist voices of the past, and reflect on the contemporary meaning of their work.

Students will share results from the first stage of the Feminist Book Histories project at Huron’s Centre for Undergraduate Research Learning Fall Exhibition at the end of term.