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Women's Auxiliaries of a Mining Union 

The project explores the work of the Women’s Auxiliaries of the Mine Mill and Smelter Workers (MMSW), with locals in central and western Canada, active for a period of over 20 years in the 1940s, ‘50s, and ‘60s. The case study employs an original, innovative blend of methodological tools and contemporary theorizing aimed at transcending an impasse of existing binaries in the research produced by labour historians and gender sociologists.  Inspired not by wages but by their dreams of a just world, these women served community dinners, organized clothing drives, mobilized relief for victims of floods and other natural disasters, while conducting an active political campaign for women’s emancipation. The project’s knowledge dissemination includes a theatrical play, "With Glowing Hearts: How Ordinary Women Worked Together to Change the World (And Did)". 

Watch our video about the development of the stage play, With Glowing Hearts, written by Jennifer Wynne Webber and based on Dr. Elizabeth Quinlan's research.


  • Historical Sociology; Archival Retrieval and Analysis; Oral-History


  • Elizabeth Quinlan (PI). The Work of Women’s Auxiliaries, 1940s-1960s: A Case Study of the Mine Mill and Smelter Workers Union, $51,000, Jul 2011 – Jun 2014, Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council Insight Development Grant.   (This proposal was ranked #2 in the competition).

  • Elizabeth Quinlan (PI). Julia Jamison (Co-I). Jennifer Wynne Webber (Collaborator).   Disseminating Socio-Historical Research through Theatre: The Work of Women’s Auxiliaries in the 1940s-1960s. SSHRC Connections Grant ($50K with matching and inkind support from Interdisciplinary Centre for Culture and Creativity, Community Engagement and Outreach, and Department of Drama).

Elizabeth Quinlan

at the Britannia Beach Mine Museum.

Community Partners

  • Saskatchewan Federation of Labour

  • Saskatoon District Labour Council

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