We invite you to join us virtually this fall for the Diefenbunker’s Cold War Speaker Series! In this series of free talks, hear from experts on a variety of relevant topics to bring you new perspectives on Cold War themes and events.
Date: Thursday, November 16, 2023
Time: 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. ET
Topic: Spies, Lies, and Macho Guys: Documenting RCMP Surveillance against the Women’s Liberation Movement in Canada
Speakers: Christabelle Sethna and Steve Hewitt
– Hosted virtually on Zoom. Advance registration is required to receive the Zoom link.
– Includes a presentation followed by a Q&A, for a total of approximately one hour.
– Session will be recorded for educational purposes.
Spies, Lies, and Macho Guys: Documenting RCMP Surveillance against the Women’s Liberation Movement in Canada
As in a number of western countries, Cold War spying on individuals, groups, and activities considered subversive was widespread in Canada. Authors Christabelle Sethna and Steve Hewitt discuss their book, Just Watch Us: RCMP Surveillance of the Women’s Liberation Movement in Cold War Canada, and the declassified RCMP Security Service documents they used to research and understand the efforts of a predominantly male police force to spy on the Women’s Liberation Movement from the 1960s to the 1980s.
Dr. Christabelle Sethna, Ph.D. is a historian and Full Professor in the Institute of Feminist and Gender Studies, University of Ottawa, teaching courses on feminist methodologies, anti-racism, colonialism, and critical animal studies. She has published widely on sex education, contraception, and abortion transnational histories, with a focus on Canada. She is the co-author or co-editor of the following books: Animal Metropolis (2017, UCalgary), Just Watch Us (2018, UMcGill), Abortion Across Borders (2019, Johns Hopkins), and No Place for the State (2020, UBC). Her research has been supported by the Social Sciences and Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and she is currently Principal Investigator for a SSHRC-funded project about women’s transnational travel for abortion services, 1960s–1990s.
Steve Hewitt is an Associate Professor in North American history at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom. He has written extensively on topics related to security and intelligence in the past and present. His past books include Spying 101: The RCMP’s Secret Activities at Canadian Universities, 1917-1997 and, co-authored with Christabelle Sethna, Just Watch Us: RCMP Surveillance of the Women’s Liberation Movement in Cold War Canada. Currently, he is working on a history of terrorism and counter-terrorism in Canada.