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Media History in Canada Database

Author: Panayotidis, E. Lisa, and Stortz, Paul
Title: Contestation and conflict: the University of Toronto student yearbook Torontonensis as an ‘appalling Sahara’, 1890–1914
Year: 2010
Publication: History of Education
Volume: 39
Issue: 1
Pages: 35–53
Abstract: In 1898, students at the University of Toronto founded Torontonensis, the university’s first yearbook. Fashioned as a remembrance of university, from its inception the yearbook was fraught with conflict and contestation particularly around how male students were represented and how their college experiences were made, and not made, meaningful. The vociferous debates that ensued in campus newspapers, particularly among the graduating classes, fractured the ostensibly smooth recounting of this ‘souvenir remembrance’, bringing into question who is allowed to ‘speak’ on behalf of whom and what it is acceptable to ‘say’. The authors enquire into the way university yearbooks served to construct normative definitions of what constituted ‘students’, ‘student cultures’ and forms of gendering within the educational landscapes in which they were enmeshed. Through an examination of Torontonensis, they highlight the multiple and often contradictory meanings and constructions of the student yearbook from the perspectives of their producers, subjects and audiences. – abstract from the journal