In Loving Memory of Dr. Natalie Zemon Davis (1928-2023)

The Women & Gender Studies Institute is deeply saddened by the loss of our colleague, friend, and mentor Dr. Natalie Zemon Davis. We at the WGSI consider ourselves extremely fortunate to have been a part of the life and academic journey of such an instrumental figure in the field of women’s history.

In the late fall of 2019, The WGSI recorded an interview between Dr. Davis and WGSI faculty member Dr. Shauna Sweeney. The intergenerational conversation was centred around Dr. Davis and her late colleague Dr. Jill Kerr Conway’s experience creating the first women’s studies course in Canada at UofT in 1971.

Those of us who had the opportunity to be in attendance were moved by Dr. Davis’ lively recollection of the events surrounding the course. Her enthusiastic approach to facing obstacles, her commitment to storytelling in scholarship, and her seemingly endless curiosity brought us all so much joy and hope.

When asked for a call to action to end our interview, Dr. Davis offered us this:

“Fight for a world of equality infused with mutual respect and generosity.

Natalie’s warmth, humility and generosity will be sorely missed.

Read the New York Times article about Dr. Natalie Zemon Davis here.