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Thursday, October 10 • 10:10 - 10:30
Transforming Social Orders at The Margins of Space: The Canadian Women of Alouette I and II Satellites

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The Canadian space industry was brought to the attention of the world with the launch of the Alouette I satellite, in 1962. The launch of this satellite and its sister, Alouette II, in 1965 heralded the arrival of Canada as a key player in the burgeoning global space industry. There is increasing concern that expertise and tacit knowledge from previous generations who worked in the Canadian space industry will be lost with the aging of these science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professionals, and administrative and corporate personnel. Our research is focused specifically on surfacing the gendered histories of Canadian women who contributed to the interdisciplinary work involved in the design, construction, testing, launch and operation of the Alouette I and II satellites. These women’s experiences in the burgeoning space industry must be part of our contemporary and future lexicon in such a way that their experiences are not lost to the past. We specifically look to their discourses, recalling their day-to-day social interactions and their contributions to these two satellite missions. Their stories and narratives are surfaced via fragmented historical genealogies, such as in archives, in present-day interviews with individuals, in photographic images, and in media reports of the time. Our objective is to plausibly retell these gendered histories within the context of Canadian Cold War experiences. To this end, our research includes working on synergies with Concordia University’s EngAGE Centre for Research on Aging as a way to inform the present and future gendered relationships in male-dominated fields of space and of similar industries. We hope to inspire present and future STEM-professional women and corporate/administrative professional women, and to incite them to embrace the rich historical heritage of Canadian women working in space.

avatar for Dr. Stefanie Ruel

Dr. Stefanie Ruel

Assistant Professor, Concordia University
Stefanie Ruel received her Bachelor of Science from McGill University. She also holds a Masters of Business Administration and a Doctorate in Business Administration from Athabasca University. She is the recipient of Athabasca University’s Convocation Scholarship for Academic Excellence... Read More →

Thursday October 10, 2019 10:10 - 10:30 EDT
Room CR1 ICAO - 999 Boulevard Robert-Bourassa, Montréal, QC H3C 5H10