‘Women with No Femininity’: Gender, Race and Nation-Building in the James Bay Project.

Citation:

Desbiens, Caroline. 2004. “‘Women with No Femininity’: Gender, Race and Nation-Building in the James Bay Project.” Political Geography 23 (3): 347–66.

Author: Caroline Desbiens

Abstract:

This paper seeks to gender the nation-state through an analysis of the links between gender, colonial history and governmentality in Québec’s James Bay region. In the early 1970s, a new governmental framework was introduced in Northern Québec with the construction of a large-scale hydroelectric complex. The James Bay project coincided with an intensive period of nation-building by Francophones in the province, which led to the 1980 referendum on separation from Canada. Looking at the space of the labor camps, I explore the differential positioning of men and women in dominant narratives of the nation-state. While both men and women who worked in James Bay were cast as heroes of the nation, everyday geographies in the work camps reveal several axes of difference on the basis of gender, race and class. By looking at the production of these geographies and the dual positioning of women as both “outcasts” and “daughters” of the patriarchal state, I call for a broader understanding of difference in the elaboration of a feminist political geography.

Keywords: gender, labor, colonial history, nation-building, political geography

Topics: Class, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Feminisms, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Infrastructure, Energy, Race Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Canada

Year: 2004

© 2020 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at info@genderandsecurity.org.