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Quick Chat: Women in Post-secondary Education 1850-1970

September 07,2016

Werklund prof’s chapter looks at the various roles and rites of passages for women at Canadian universities

Lisa Panayotidis and Paul Stortz discuss the post-secondary experiences of women from 1850-1970.

Lisa Panayotidis and Paul Stortz discuss the post-secondary experiences of women from 1850-1970.

It wasn’t until the mid 19th century that Canadian women were allowed to attend colleges and universities. Today, there are more women graduates than men.

In the 150 years or so since women became a regular part of Canada’s post-secondary campuses, their roles—as students and academics—have grown, just as their numbers have increased.

A book edited by two UCalgary academics looks the role women have played on campuses in Canada, the UK, and the United States from the earliest days to the mid-20th century. The Werklund School of Education’s Lisa Panayotidis and Paul Stortz from the Faculty of Arts have co-edited Women in higher education, 1850-1970: International Perspectives. The book is an 11 chapter volume that focuses on women’s post-secondary experiences during that period.

In this Quick Chat, Panayotidis discusses one chapter in particular-- “Feverish Frolics of the Frivolous Frosh”: Women’s Cultures of Initiation in Western Canadian Universities, 1915–1935”, which was co-written by Panayotidis and her co-author Stortz.

Using print media, campus newspapers, yearbooks, alumni magazines, and other archival sources, the authors researched initiations, or hazing rituals, at three western Canadian universities--the Universities of British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan—and examined how these post-secondary rites-of-passage were experienced by women over two decades.