by Hani Yassine
The Lance – Arts Editor
While the campus bookstore mainly houses textbooks students are likely dreading to buy, it’s shaking things up a bit by providing a biography written by one of the university’s own faculty members.
Pauline Phipps, a UWindsor professor of History and Women and Gender Studies held a book launch Sept. 22 for her biography titled ‘Constance Maynard’s Passions: Religion, Sexuality and an English Education Pioneer.’ Developed over the course of more than a decade, the book had its initial release in August, but Phipps is using the Campus Bookstore as a platform to distribute the book about the complex women’s rights figure.
“She was trying to negotiate all of that, being ‘how do I be a professional, how do I find love and emotional support in my life,’ and she was a Christian which just made it even more complicated,” Phipps said.
Maynard is widely known as an educational pioneer who played a pivotal role in ensuring women had the right to achieve higher learning, which helped later incline further rights for them. But Phipps also describes Maynard as a conflicted figure. One who had difficulty repressing her sexual desires towards her students, and also one who dealt with difficulties women wouldn’t necessarily encounter today.
“Not only is it a really good story of someone’s past life, I think once you get into the book you sort of get the sense that her experiences were very different than the way we would understand sexual desire and leadership today,” Phipps said.
About a dozen people attended the book launch, which consisted of Phipps going into detail about Maynard’s life and reading an excerpt from her book. While launches like these are few and far between at the bookstore, it would be more than happy to oblige with faculty members with more events of this kind.
“We want to be known as a place where you can have small events like this, we definitely want to be involved anytime a faculty member produces a book,” said bookstore sales and marketing coordinator Martin Deck. “Unfortunately we have more of a role with the humanities than we do with the sciences, but we’d like to help out, to help distribute the book, to get the word out that our faculty are producing new and original research.”