Liz Millward is Assistant Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies. Her interests are in the cultural history and cultural geography of lesbian spaces, with a particular focus on the role of transportation and mobility in the development and spread of culture and community. Millward’s work examines the geographical areas of Canada and Aotearoa New Zealand.
Millward’s research considers women’s negotiation of place and use of transportation. Her current research is on the historical struggles undertaken by lesbians in Canada to create community by building up local, regional, and national networks of autonomous lesbian spaces in the face of homophobia, misogyny, institutional repression, and violence. This work also deals with the internal dynamics of lesbian community as members attempted to unlearn lessons of dehumanization and embrace diversity.
Her publications include the award-winning Women in British Imperial Airspace, 1922-1937 (2008) and several articles on transportation history and lesbian geography, including “New Xenaland: Lesbian place making, the Xenaverse, and Aotearoa New Zealand,” and “‘You’re freer if there’s nobody around’: Gay Women’s Space in Small-Town Ontario,” co-authored with Sarah Paquin. Her current book project is called Making a Scene: A Cultural Geography of Lesbian Canada, 1964-1990. She is also collaborating with Dr. Janice Dodd on an examination of utopian spaces of possibility depicted in the science fiction world of the television series "Stargate: SG1".
Millward, a Centre for Human Rights Research Initiative Advisory Board member, encourages students through her teaching to understand the need to develop theoretical frameworks to explain how complex oppression functions, is justified, and to consider their own agency in this process.