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About the Simone de Beauvoir Institute

Established in 1978 as a place for action and the production of knowledge about women’s lives, the Simone de Beauvoir Institute (SdBI) has the oldest Women’s Studies program in Canada and continues to lead new research, teaching, and thinking on gender, sexuality, race, and other forms of oppression.

In 2019, the SdBI also began offering a major and minor in Interdisciplinary Studies in Sexuality. Recognized as one of the most innovative places in Quebec and Canada to study feminisms, our community of students, scholars, and activists work to develop initiatives that promote equality and social justice for all.

Our approach

For over 40 years, the SdBI has been a leader in research and teaching on women, gender, feminism, and sexuality. Our approach puts into practice the leading political, theoretical, and methodological commitments that come from feminist activism, such as intersectional, anti-colonial and anti-racist, decolonial, and transnational politics.

At the heart of our approach is the understanding that social inequality is produced through interlocking systems of oppression and that the State, nationalism and imperialism are central in producing and sustaining asymmetrical power relations such as those found in gender inequality or in the geopolitical division between the global north and global south. Our work centers on the social production of identities and differences by critically examining media representations, consumer cultures, cultural production, social movements, law, governance, public health, and other related areas.




Our approach

For almost 40 years now, the SdBI has been a leader in the study of feminisms and our approach has gone beyond the mere study of the conditions of women's lives. As celebrated feminist Angela Davis plainly puts it, feminism is not only about women and not only about gender. It is a broader methodology that can enable us to better conceptualize and fight for progressive change.

At the heart of our approach is the understanding that social inequality is produced through interlocking systems of oppression and that the State, nationalism and imperialism are central in producing and sustaining asymmetrical power relations such as those between men and women or those between people in the global north and those in the global south.

We also consider the social production of identities and differences and critically examine media representations and consumer cultures.

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