History Department
History Department

Philippa Levine interviewed on CBC's "Ideas with Paul Kennedy"

Wed, April 24, 2013
Philippa Levine interviewed on CBC's
Brothel workers from the 1800s

CBC Radio program "Ideas with Paul Kennedy" will broadcast a documentary story featuring Philippa Levine, Professor of History, Mary Helen Thompson Centennial Professorship in the Humanities, and Co-Director British Studies Program, on the life of Madeline Blair, prostitute and brothel owner in the Canadian west during the late 1800s.

The story looks at Madeline Blair's detailed and vivid writings about her life and the moral climate and hypocrisy of the time. "It was a period of huge transition where prostitution and so-called 'vice' became the focus of social uplift campaigns which gave birth to laws that are still in place today - laws currently dangling before the Supreme Court," described Idea's producer, Nicola Liksic.

"Published in 1919 Madeleine's writing provides us with a fascinating snapshot through which we can understand the evolution of laws around what we often refer to as the world's oldest profession," remarked Liksic.

Madeleine's book is called Madeleine: An Autobiography The documentary was inspired by the book Westward Bound: Sex, Violence, the Law and the Making of Settler Society by Lesley Erickson.

Listen here:

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