Montreal-based writer, translator, and editor Oana Avasilichioaei has published five poetry collections, including Expeditions of a Chimæra (with Erín Moure; 2009), We, Beasts (2012; winner of the A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry from the Quebec Writers’ Federation) and Limbinal (2015). Previous translations include Bertrand Laverdure’s Universal Bureau of Copyrights (2014; shortlisted for the 2015 ReLit Awards), Suzanne Leblanc’s The Thought House of Philippa (co-translated with Ingrid Pam Dick; 2015), and Daniel Canty’s Wigrum (2013).
Denis Sampson is the author of Outstaring Nature’s Eye, The Fiction of John McGahern (Lilliput Press, 1993), Brian Moore: The Chameleon Novelist (Doubleday, 1998) and Young John McGahern: Becoming a Novelist (Oxford University Press, 2012). He lives in Montreal and Kilkenny.
In 1978, when workers at a nearby phosphate refinery learned that the ore they processed was contaminated with radioactive dust, Karen Messing, then a new professor of molecular genetics, was called in to help. Unsure of what to do with her discovery that exposure to the radiation was harming the workers and their families, Messing contacted senior colleagues but they wouldn’t help. Neither the refinery company nor the scientific community was interested in the scary results of her chromosome studies.
Over the next decades Messing encountered many more cases of workers around the world—factory workers, cleaners, checkout clerks, bank tellers, food servers, nurses, teachers—suffering and in pain without any help from the very scientists and occupational health experts whose work was supposed to make their lives easier. Arguing that rules for scientific practice can make it hard to see what really makes workers sick, in Pain and Prejudice Messing tells the story of how she went from looking at test tubes to listening to workers.
Karen Messing is an award-winning and internationally recognized expert on occupational health. She is the author of more than 130 peer-reviewed scientific articles and the book One-eyed Science: Occupational Health and Working Women. She is also the editor of Integrating Gender in Ergonomic Analysis, which has been translated into six languages.
“A scientific treatise, a page-turner, an exposé. It’s hard to exaggerate the attractions of this extraordinary book. It makes the personal political and the political personal, drawing the reader along in the careful and scientific exploration of the sexism, biases, and silences of science. Pain and Prejudice should be required reading for all scientists.”
“Messing has long been one of the leading practitioners of “listening to workers’ stories” as a way of understanding their health. Pain and Prejudice describes how this approach evolved, why it is so effective, and some of the leading findings. It provides a unique window into the world of worker health and safety.”
“Karen Messing is one of the intellectual trailblazers in occupational health. She and her colleagues set the bar for scientific integrity, public health advocacy and women’s rights over decades of collaborative research with numerous groups of workers. Time after time we have modestly attempted to emulate in our own work the insights she applied and approaches she pioneered. We encourage all those interested in occupational health, gender rights and equality and social justice to read this book. You won’t be disappointed. Indeed, you will be inspired.”
“Karen Messing demonstrates a profound empathy for “invisible” people, the legion of workers performing jobs of which most of us are unaware or ignore. Pain and Prejudice is an important book that informs us how uninformed or thoughtless we are to problems of stress and pollution which can be relieved by taking them seriously and listening to the workers themselves.”
“Karen Messing is a riveting storyteller who illuminates areas usually enveloped in the fog of expertise and pedantry. She belongs to a lamentably rare breed; she is a militant intellectual. An accomplished scientist, she tells, in a personal, evocative style, of the way she came to better understand the relationships between employers, science, and labour. Her encounters with, and analyses of, science and scientists hired by capital and government to regulate working conditions lead her to question both the impartiality of science and the accompanying lack of empathy for workers, particularly women. This is a valuable book for anyone interested in social theory, sociology, and, most importantly, the health and safety of workers.”
“How can scientists be objective and empathetic at the same time? Karen Messing’s decades of research into workers’ health, especially the health of women workers and those of the lower rungs of the working class, are examined and analyzed in a very interesting and readable style. Dr. Messing shows how collaboration with community partners such as unions can improve research but how this type of research is increasingly threatened. She shows how research can and should make change in the workplace to improve workers’ health.”
Inspired by real-life events, Hate Mail examines the transformative power of speaking out against prejudice.
Jordie’s cousin Todd has moved back to Montreal and is attending Jordie’s high school. Todd has autism and requires an aide. Todd has not been welcomed in the school. He’s known as a freak, and even other parents seem to resent Todd’s special needs. Jordie does everything he can to distance himself from his cousin, fearful of what his friends might think. When he learns that Todd’s whole family is buckling under the pressure of a hateful letter, Jordie starts to question his own behavior. But Todd’s resources are unique, and he soon finds a way to prove his worth to his peers and to the community at large.
Monique Polak is the author of more than thirty books for young people. She is the three-time winner of the Quebec Writers' Federation Prize for Children's and YA Literature for her novels Hate Mail, What World is Left and Room for One More. In addition to teaching at Marianopolis College in Montreal, Monique is a freelance journalist whose work has appeared in Maclean's Magazine, the Montreal Gazette and other Postmedia newspapers. She is also a columnist on ICI Radio-Canada's Plus on est de fous, plus on lit! In 2016, Monique was the CBC/Quebec Writers' Federation inaugural writer-in-residence. Monique lives in Montreal.
At the start of the twentieth century, the modern metropolis was a riot of sensation. City dwellers lived in an environment filled with smoky factories, crowded homes, and lively thoroughfares. Sights, sounds, and smells flooded their senses, while changing conceptions of health and decorum forced many to rethink their most banal gestures, from the way they negotiated speeding traffic to the use they made of public washrooms.
The Feel of the City exposes the sensory experiences of city-dwellers in Montreal and Brussels at the turn of the century and the ways in which these shaped the social and cultural significance of urban space. Using the experiences of municipal officials, urban planners, hygienists, workers, writers, artists, and ordinary citizens, Nicolas Kenny explores the implications of the senses for our understanding of modernity.
‘Kenny treats readers to an unusual but fascinating and valuable perspective on industrialization and urbanization… Highly recommended.’
A wide-ranging study that examines everything from the blockbuster movie franchise Les Boys to the sovereigntist hip hop group Loco Locass, Hockey, PQ explores how Canada’s national sport has been used to signify a specific Québécois identity. Amy J. Ransom analyzes how Québécois writers, filmmakers, and musicians have appropriated symbols like the Montreal Forum, Maurice Richard, or the 1972 Summit Series to construct or critique images of the Québécois male.
Close analyses of hockey-themed narratives consider the soap opera Lance et compte (‘He shoots, he scores’), the music of former pro player Bob Bisonnette, folk band Mes Aïeux, rock group Les Dales Hawerchuk, and the fiction of François Barcelo. Through these examinations of the role hockey plays in contemporary francophone popular culture, Ransom shows how Quebec’s popular culture uses hockey to distinguish French-Canadians from the French and to rally them against their English-speaking counterparts. In the end, however, this study illuminates how the sport of hockey unites the two solitudes.
‘Scholars who are looking into the question of how hockey resonates with Quebec and Canadian culture will have to make a reference to this work that looks at a region that is often missing from other studies.’
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