Storying Access: Reconciling the Effects of Betterment Discourses in Southern Ontario’s Early 20th Century Domestic Science Education – Year two

Building on my recent archival research, my Mitacs project explores the ways early 20th century discourses of betterment and progress, such as eugenics, in southern Ontario were unevenly entwined within rural domestic science educational institutions and connected to cultural histories and legacies of colonialism that diminished and disappeared young women who did not fit the normative middle-class lives of white, able-bodied women who studied, taught, and led in the field of domestic science. Combining recent studies in history, education, feminism, postcolonialism, and performance ethnography in a collaborative, Indigenous research model of decolonization (Smith 2013), I will assemble a team of disability, Black activist, and Indigenous artist-researchers to join me in collaboratively curating two accessible, multi-media exhibitions that address and disrupt local histories and legacies of betterment. The exhibitions will advance non-normative vitality and social justice. Accessible curatorial practices will be developed with support from Dr. Rice, her Re•Vision Centre and Bodies in Translation SSHRC Partnership teams, and 10C. One of the exhibitions will be mounted at10C, where passersby are invited to share ideas and stories. Accessibility workshops and conversation evenings at 10C will be a springboard for “Streetside Stories,” publications, future research, and attracting social finance investment to 10C.

Faculty Supervisor:

Carla Rice


Evadne Kelly


10C Shared Space


Food science


Other services (except public administration)


University of Guelph



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