The history of Branching Out, Canada’s first national second-wave feminist magazine, is the story of an upstart publication from the prairies that was read from coast to coast. It is also a story of political activism and community building. When it ceased publication in 1980, Branching Out had reached more readers than any similar periodical. Feminist Acts is an in-depth examination of feminist publishing, written to bring more Canadian voices into conversations about women’s cultural production. A vital text of recuperation, the book draws on first-hand accounts from women who were there. It is a must-read for anyone interested in feminist activism, gender studies, Canadian cultural history, or publishing history.
About the authors
Tessa Jordan is a Vancouver-based researcher and educator whose work focuses on histories of Canadian feminism and the private sector’s role in the fight for social justice and ecological sustainability.
Eleanor Wachtel is a writer and broadcaster who has hosted CBC Radio’s award-winning Writers & Company since its inception in 1990 and The Arts Today since 1996. In addition to her widely acclaimed Writers & Company and More Writers & Company, she contributed to Dropped Threads and Lost Classics and has co-authored or co-edited three other books. Her work has also appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers, including Saturday Night, Maclean’s and The Globe and Mail. Among the many honours she has received in recognition of her contribution to Canadian intellectual and cultural life, she won the 2002 Jack Award for supporting Canadian books and authors. Born and raised in Montreal, where she studied English literature at McGill University, Eleanor Wachtel lives in Toronto.
“Given the popular myth that Alberta’s social landscape is dominated by political conservatism, Tessa Jordan’s comprehensive history of the periodical Branching Out, a feminist initiative originating in Edmonton, is refreshing…. Along with analyzing the entire run, Jordan conducted participant interviews. Happily all issues are online and are highly recommended, as is this fine book.” [Full article at https://albertaviews.ca/feminist-acts-branching-magazine-making-canadian-feminism/]
Alberta Views Magazine
“If you are a feminist writer living in Canada, it would be near impossible to read Tessa Jordan’s Feminist Acts without imagining yourself peering into a family album filled with snapshots of extended relatives: aunts, distant cousins, women whose connection to your life you may only be vaguely be aware of, but whose legacy you have inherited…. That unpaid staff in an unheated Edmonton office published Margaret Atwood’s poetry, Jane Rule’s fiction, and features on artist/singers like Beverly Glenn Copeland is nothing short of a miracle. Feminist Acts makes an invaluable, enriching contribution to periodical history, offering a balanced, compelling portrait of both the triumphs and challenges of feminist writing in Canada.”
Herizons, Spring 2021
Other titles by Tessa Jordan
Other titles by Eleanor Wachtel
The Best of Writers & Company
Conversations with Carol Shields
More Writers & Company
New Conversations with CBC Radio's Eleanor Wachtel
Writers & Company
In Conversation with CBC Radio's Eleanor Wachtel
Language in Her Eye
Views on Writing and Gender by Canadian Women Writing in English