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Women’s History, Active History, and the 2014 Berkshire Conference

Adele Perry

Later this month the University of Toronto’s downtown campus will host the Berkshire Conference on the History of Women. This is a big deal for a number of reasons. It is the first time that this venerable and highly visible conference has met outside of the United States. And there is also the sheer scale of the event. There are about 1,300 scholars involved in the conference in over 250 sessions, and still more involved in poster sessions, workshops, film-screenings, and cultural programming. At 167 pages, the conference programme is staggering. The 2014 Berks also suggests some of the ways that women’s and gender history is a particular kind of active history with the power to speak to our complicated present.