Founder of Westfield College at the University of London, Constance Maynard championed women’s access to a university education. She is the subject of a new biography by a UWindsor instructor who will launch the book at an event in the Campus Bookstore on Tuesday, September 22.
Pauline Phipps, who teaches in history and women’s and gender studies, will read from Constance Maynard’s Passions: Religion, Sexuality, and an English Educational Pioneer, 1849-1935, starting at noon in the store on the lower level of the CAW Student Centre.
Maynard was a deeply religious evangelical Christian whose personal atonement theology demanded that one resist carnal feelings to achieve personal salvation. Westfield College’s first principal, she also engaged in a string of passionate relationships with college women in which she imagined love as God’s gift as well as a test of her faith.
Using Maynard’s extensive personal papers—especially her diaries and autobiography—Dr. Phipps examines how the language of her faith offered Maynard the means with which to carve out an independent career and to forge a distinct same-sex sexual self-consciousness in an era when middle-class women were expected to be subservient to men and confined to the home.
Tuesday’s launch is free and open to the public.