The Canadian Alouette women: reclaiming their space

Ruel, Stefanie; Dyer, Linda and Mills, Albert J. (2020). The Canadian Alouette women: reclaiming their space. In: Maclean, Mairi; Clegg, Stewart R.; Suddaby, Roy and Harvey, Charles eds. Historical organization studies: Theory and applications. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 107–130.



The starting block for the race to the moon is often recognized as the launch of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics’ (U.S.S.R) Sputnik satellite, in 1957, aboard an intercontinental ballistic missile. The histories of this race cannot, however, be ‘just’ about and by pioneering men. The overarching goal of this historical organization study is to consider gendered remembering and antenarratives with respect to Cold War space histories. We focus on women who contributed to the design, manufacturing and testing, launch and operation of Canadian Alouette satellites that marked Canada as the third space faring nation. We set out to answer the following questions: how are Canadian Alouette women remembered? And, what are some of the discursive processes involved in this gendered remembering? Our methodology is built on the generative moments heuristic, applied to archival documents and interviews with surviving members of the Alouette missions. With this work, we are contributing to the development of feminist historiography and to the undoing of silences.

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