Fertile Clay: Beth Hone, Spiritual Feminism and Women's Transnational Activism in Saskatchewan, 1970-2000
Mitchell, Kiera P
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This thesis builds upon a growing historiography which claims postwar Saskatchewan residents were involved in various health, political, gendered, and feminist activism and desire for change which characterized the second half of the twentieth century. It also joins work which demonstrates the diversity and success of postwar activisms, particularly feminism, in Canada’s prairie provinces. Through an analysis of the life and work of the artist and activist Beth Hone, Fertile Clay: Beth Hone, Spiritual Feminism and Women’s Transnational Activism in Saskatchewan, 1970-2000 argues that Saskatchewan feminism from the seventies to nineties not only existed but thrived through transnational community building and action. Utilizing a biographical approach, and drawing upon Hone’s extensive personal archives held at the University of Saskatchewan archives, combined with oral history interviews and engagement with the art objects created by Hone (held at the Mann Art Gallery in Prince Albert, the Mackenzie Art Gallery in Regina, and in personal collections) this thesis explores Hone’s contributions to spiritual feminist community building. The thesis opens with a discussion of Hone’s early life, career, and activism, illustrating how she increasingly became involved in feminist activism and radical faith communities. Hone’s access to feminist spirituality resources and community space in her prairie location was made possible through the Unitarian Universalist faith network. Hone was an annual participant in international UU conferences, and brought those teachings, resources, and initiatives back to the prairies. Hone’s increased involvement in the feminist Unitarian Universalism movement resulted in her co-establishment of The Lumsden Women’s Gatherings which ran from 1986 to 2004. This yearly gathering brought together women from across Western Canada and was an example of a successful, context-specific solution to community-building activism on the prairies. While the Lumsden Women’s Gatherings supported a network of feminist activists across Western Canada, this community was connected to a transnational network of women who circulated texts, art objects and ideas and which discussed the intrinsic and vital connections between women’s spirituality, community, and power. This case study of Hone’s contributions provides a compelling example of how local, provincial, and national feminist networks were forged and how they connected to international ideological currents as well as important evidence of sustained feminist activity in the province of Saskatchewan.
DegreeMaster of Arts (M.A.)
SupervisorKorinek, Valerie J
CommitteeMeyers, Mark; Dyck, Erika; Shantz, Susan; Kalinowski, Angela
Copyright DateNovember 2020