Remembering Kate McInturff, who wielded love of big data for gender equality

 

(Photo: CCPA)

Maclean’s published an article remembering the late Kate McInturff, a UBC alumna, and policy analyst. She was an advocate for women’s rights and had a powerful impact on gender equality in Canada.

McInturff earned a PhD in post-colonial studies from UBC. We honour McInturff with these words from Sneja Gunew, McInturff’s doctoral supervisor.

 

It was a sad shock to hear of her death last week. As Kate’s doctoral supervisor between 1996-2000 I had been immensely impressed by her voracious intellectual curiosity and how hard she worked to cover all the topics that interested her—roughly encompassed by the intersections of postcolonialism, psychoanalysis and poststructuralism (all huge fields of course). I wish I retained more details but I do recall that I would often joke with her about branching into ficto-criticism since her style was so witty and laced with her unique humour. The other element to note is that her questions were always in the world (in the sense that Edward Said defined worldliness), about how to situate oneself as an ethical researcher. While Kate did embark on what promised to be a stellar academic career it was no real surprise, given her enduring engagement with the political implications of all her work, that she ended up at the Centre for Policy Alternatives and clearly had a very distinguished career there. From the expressions of sadness when the news came, it is obvious that she had an enormous impact in this field and that many people simply liked her very much, as did we for the brief time she moved among us. How lucky we are that someone with her learning and ability to articulate that knowledge was prepared to employ these skills to create meaningful social policy, particularly as it related to women. Her final blog http://behindthenumbers.ca/2018/07/27/love-and-spreadsheets/ is both difficult to read and a final gift to us.

Sneja Gunew, Professor Emerita
Department of English Language & Literatures and Social Justice Institute