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History General

It's Up to You

Women at UBC in the Early Years

by (author) Lee Stewart

UBC Press
Initial publish date
Nov 2011
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Nov 2011
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jan 1990
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Jan 1990
    List Price

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Lee Stewart argues in this book that the notion of university education as a cultural entitlement, inherent in the literal translation of the University of British Columbia's motto Tuum Est as 'It is yours,' has always been more applicable to male than to female students. Conversely, the popular interpretation of Tuum Est, 'It's up to you,' has held greater significance for women. Stewart examines the demands, accomplishments, and limitations of women advocates and educators against the background of the social and cultural conditions which enveloped them.

About the author

Contributor Notes

Lee Stewart is a historian and teacher who earned her master's degree in history from the University of British Columbia.

Editorial Reviews

Stewart's thought provoking book offers a well researched and clearly written study of the strategies and struggles of women to establish and define their role with the conservative patriarchal structure of UBC ... Stewart's book is a compelling reminder to any who might forget our history that women have long sought to identify and redress their secondary status in academe.

British Columbia Historical News

Stewart's work is a significant contribution to scholarship in many fields of Canadian history, but specifically strengthens the historiography of women and higher education during the early years in Canada ... Stewart's analysis is excellent and the reader discovers much more than a history of women at the University of British Columbia ... The author's attention to the provincial economy, the Depression and the two world wars, and how these factors affected the university administration, is to be applauded. It is not an easy task to profile individual women working towards changes in education within the larger socio-economic and political setting. All in all, Stewart's work is interesting, challenging, and illuminates many areas of Canadian social and educational history.


This is a very concise, well-written, and interesting book that appeals to a wide audience. Because this book reflects upon the issues and events that have affected women who have ever attended a University, the commonalities of the plight to gain a place in this institution will ring true for many. This book offers a welcome pause for reflection of where we came from and where we are going.

Canadian Home Economics Journal