York professor wins prestigious theatre book award

The Association of Canadian Theatre Research has presented the 2005 Ann Saddlemyer Award to York University Professor Kym Bird for her book, Redressing the Past: The Politics of Early, English-Canadian Women’s Drama, 1880-1920, published in 2004 by McGill-Queen’s University Press.

Bird is the coordinator of the English Program for the Atkinson School of Arts & Letters, in the Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies. Bird, who teaches courses in English, Theatre and Women’s Studies, is the recipient of  the Parents’ Association University-Wide Teaching Award and the Graduate Studies Dissertation Prize, both were awarded in 1997.

The award committee recognized Bird’s deep and engaging examination of the relationship between women’s dramatic writing in early Canadian history and the emergent politics of the women’s movement. Through analysis of new sources in addition to previously unexamined manuscripts, she focuses on four stages: the liberal feminism, suffragist activism, domestic feminist politics, and the intersection of domestic feminism and the social gospel movement. Redressing the Past has been described by the awards committee “as a much-needed example of theorized theatre history that gives the reader an understanding of how feminist dramatic and theatrical space operated in a patriarchal cultural system.”