The title of this collection balances Changing Places with Relocation and Empathy because, in each chapter, the authors bring closer the promise of change by reaching out to people who have been dispossessed. In doing so, they reject abstraction, preferring to hear out and come to terms with abuses and imbalances of power as they affect embodied experience and people who struggle. They avoid suppressing somatic and emotional ways of knowing the world, because that suppression makes whole groups of the "less skilled" or "less intelligent" into the less worthy, the less remunerated, and the less recognized members of society. Among the forms of identification and relocation involved in the work of empathy, the authors show awareness of multiple subjectivities, and of how selves and understandings might evolve if they were accorded a place and a voice in the processes by which researchers conceive of, and report on, the subjects of their enquiries. Where the authors of Changing Places convey, either by statement or implication, how they position themselves, they offer the possibility of new forms of knowledge and insight.
Valerie Burton's first reason for becoming a maritime historian in the 1980s was an interest in a field that for too long had preserved a silence about gender through normalizing to masculinity. Her pioneering analysis recently resulted in a Signs symposium, "Fish/Wives." As co-editor of Changing Places she continues the interest in collaborative projects using feminist methodologies that were important to her when as the Memorial University's Women's Studies Program Graduate Coordinator and Speakers' Series Chair she first met several of the collection's authors. She is currently the Academic Director of Memorial's "First Year Success" Program. Co-editor Jean Guthrie retired in 2007 from Memorial University of Newfoundland, where shetaught rhetoric and composition in the Department of English and contributed to the translation of Alciato's emblems for the Memorial University Alciato Web Site. She served as Coordinator, First-Year English; Associate Director of General Studies; Associate Dean of Arts; Coordinator, Graduate Program in Teaching; and Coordinator, of Women's Studies. She was awarded the Memorial President's Award for Distinguished Teaching, 2002, and the Anne-Marie MacKinnon Award for Educational Leadership (2004) by the Association of Atlantic Universities.
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