Campus Directory: Carol Williams

University of Lethbridge

Carol Williams
Women & Gender Studies
Office: B886 (University Hall)
Phone: (403) 380-1818
Fax: (405) 329-2555
History Dept
Phone: (403) 380-1818


B.A. (Interdisciplinary Studies in Fine and Performing Art); M.A. (Social History of Art); Ph.D. (US history, US & European Women’s History, Women’s Studies)


Colonial to Modern US history, US and European Women’s History, Native American women’s history, Feminist and Gender Studies, Oral history, Historical methodologies using visual culture (documentary photography and film)

Research Areas

Native American women’s political and community activism, Native American women’s labor history (US & Canada), Native American women’s manual, semi professional and professional labor in Montana 1920-1980, 19c commercial women photographers (American & Canadian West)

Previous Research Areas

US cultural history, 19th century photographic representation of Native Americans on the Northwest coast, Contemporary women artists and activist art and education in Canada

Alternate Languages

some French


Carol Williams joined the Women & Gender Studies Department and the Department of History at the University of Lethbridge in July 2003. Between 2008 and 2011 she held a tier II Canada Research Chair in Gender and Feminist Studies at Trent University in Ontario returning to University of Lethbridge as Chair of Women & Gender Studies Department in July 2011 a position she held until June 2015. Williams received her PhD. in U.S. and Women's History, and in Women's Studies from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

Williams is a research consultant with an international research project, 2014-2017, titled "Negotiating History: Photography in Sami Culture," sponsored by the Research Council of Norway and University of Bergen faculty scholars, Dr. Siegrid Lien, Dr. Hilde Nielssen and Kjellaug Isaksen.

Williams most recent edited collection is titled Indigenous Women's Work: from Labor to Activism (University of Illinois Press, 2012). Her first monograph, Framing the West: Race, Gender and the Photographic Frontier in the Pacific Northwest (Oxford University Press, 2003) discusses women's roles in nation building and the photographic idea circulated about 'Indian' life used to promote Euro American settlement. Framing the West was awarded the American Historical Association-Pacific Coast Branch's Norris and Carol Hundley book prize in 2004. Her dissertation of the same title won the Lerner Scott Prize in American Women's History from the Organization of American History in 1999.

Teaching specialties include histories of reproductive rights, behaviours and activism, the Introduction to Women and Gender Studies, women-directed independent documentary and feature global cinema, post-contact North American Indigenous Women's History, and North American Women's History and the histories of women's political and social activism.

Williams has also published extensively on women, art and artists in Canada and the United States.

Selected Publications

Editor and introduction, Indigenous Women's Work: from Labor to Activism (UIllinois Press, 2012)

"Economic Necessity, Political Incentive and International Entrepreneurialism: the "Frontier" Photography of Hannah Maynard," in The Cultural Work of Photography in Canada (eds) Payne & Kunard (MQUP):23-42.

Framing the West: Race, Gender and the Photographic "Frontier" in the Pacific Northwest (OUP, 2003) .

" Beyond Illustration: Illumination of the Photographic "Frontier" Journal of the West 46 (2007):29-40.

Selected Creative Works

Carol Williams and Scott Rogers, The Haphazard History of the Crowsnest Pass (self published artists chapbook, 2008)

In The Media

Sam Hodges, Early Methodist Mission Photos Wow Scholars, (July 13, 2015)

"Visual Spectacle As Propaganda," The Meliorist, v47, n9 (November 2013):10.

"The Origin of Women's Studies," The Lethbridge Herald (Saturday October 15, 2011) pA5.

"Historical Association Recognizes Williams' Work" Legend (September 2004).

"Baylor Fellowship Takes Williams to Texas," Legend (September 2003).

"Women's Studies Hires New Faculty," Legend (September 2002).

Research Interests

Cultural history; visual culture and histories of photography, settler and indigenous relations (Australia, Aotearoa/New Zealand, United States, Canada) Women's History; North American Women's History; Reproductive histories and behaviours; histories of feminist activism North America; oral history methods.

Current Research and Creative Activity

TitleLocationGrant InformationPrincipal InvestigatorCo Researchers
Creative Appropriations: Identities, Communities, and Development in Cross-Cultural and Interdisciplinary Perspectives IRDF Interdisciplinary Research Development Fund (results pending April 2012).

Carol Williams (WGST) Glenda Bonifacio (WGST), Bonnie Lee (Health Sciences), Patrick Wilson (Anthro) , Linda ManyGuns (NAS)
Enterprising Women, Extraordinary Diversity: Native American women's waged and unwaged work in 20th century Montana James H. Bradley Fellowship, Montana Historical Society Research Center.

Carol Williams
Indigenous Women's Work: From Labour to Activism (2012) Trent University Subvention grant for publication.

Carol Williams (WGST)
Rural Urban Reciprocity: A Study of Ranching Life, Agricultural Land Us, and Labour on the Southern Alberta foothills (ARDN) Alberta Rural Network Development Grant (results pending April 2012).

Carol Williams (WGST) Don Gill (Faculty of Fine Art)
Tier II Canada Research Chair in Feminist and Gender Studies Trent University (Ontario) Carol Williams
Women at Work: A Transnational study of Aboriginal and Native American women's labour from the late 19th century to the modern era SSHRC Aid to Scholarly Workshop.

Carol Williams (CRC TrentU) & Joan Sangster (History Trent U)

Previous Research

TitleGrant AgencyCompletion Date
19c photography in the PNW and photographic representation of Native American life Post doctoral fellowship University of Houston, TX 2003

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