The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence against women is an international campaign originating from the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute. […] The dates for the campaign were chosen to link violence against women and human rights and emphasize that gender-based violence against women is a violation of human rights: since 1991, the campaign has been active between November 25, the International Day Against Violence Against Women, and December 10, International Human Rights Day. (Center for Women’s Global Leadership, n. d.).

In addition to the Center for Women’s Global Leadership, several other organizations advocate for women’s rights during this period. United Nations Women designed a document for 2020 with the theme “Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!“.

Canadian Women’s Foundation designed the “Your Must Read and Watch List for 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence“, which has many valuable resources. UBC Library provides online streaming access to the documentary A Better Man, and to the Vancouver-based film The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open. You can also read I’m Afraid of Men, by Vivek Shraya, available through the UBC Library Materials Pick-Up Service.

BC Women’s Health Foundation has been doing impactful work on supporting women in British Columbia, and you can get a bit more familiar with their initiatives by reading Here for Her : BC Women’s Health Foundation’s 2019-2020 Impact Report.

The City of Vancouver added Case Studies to their 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence page as part of their Women’s Equity Strategy Program.

If you want to learn more about Advocating for gender equity, the Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice (GRSJ) Library Guide is a great place to get started with. To help you get acquainted with the theme and to celebrate the life of survivors, we’ve  highlighted some resources available at UBC Library:

Feminist advocacy

Feminist Advocacy, Family Law and Violence Against Women: International Perspectives

The book takes case studies from Brazil, India, Iran, Lebanon, Nigeria, Palestine, Senegal, and Turkey, using them to demonstrate in each case the varied history of family law, and the wide variety of issues impacting women’s equality in legislation. Interviews with prominent women’s rights activists in three additional countries are also included, giving personal accounts of the successes and failures of past reform efforts. Overall, the book provides a complex global picture of current trends and strategies in the fight for a more egalitarian society. (IDRC, n. d.)


Unmasked book coverUn/masked : memoirs of a Guerrilla Girl On Tour

Donna Kaz was 24 years old when she moved to New York City in the fall of 1977 to pursue a career in theatre. .[..] It took Kaz fourteen years to begin to admit she had survived domestic violence. Once she realized the extent of the abuse she had been subjected to she pulled a gorilla mask over her head and became “Aphra Behn,” a bad-ass feminist, activist and member of THE GUERRILLA GIRLS. (Guerrilla Girls on Tour, n. d.)



Desert flower cover

Desert flower : the extraordinary journey of a desert nomad

Waris Dirie is a Human Rights activist. In Desert Flower, a biography, Dirie shares her story, from genital mutilation in the Somali desert to London runaways.






The color purple cover

The Color Purple

Alice Walker’s award winning book was adapted for the screens. The film, directed by Steven Spielberg, is available for online streaming.





The National Film Board of Canada has a selection of Films on Gender-Based Violence.

Regardless of your gender identity and sexual orientation, if you are a woman struggling, or you know someone who needs support, reach out to the UBC Equity & Inclusion office. You can also check out this list of resources carefully curated by Metro Vancouver YMCA.


Center for Women’s Global Leadership. (n. d.). About the 16 Days of Activism Campaign. 16 Days Campaign.

Guerrilla Girls on Tour. (n. d.). About the book.

IDRC. (n. d.). Feminist Advocacy, Family Law and Violence Against Women: International Perspectives.


“#orangeurhood Solomon Islands” by UN Women Gallery is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Hate crimes, violence, transphobia: painful subjects that must be acknowledged and addressed by the academic community in order to honor victims, and support and empower transgender people in our community. Established in 1999, Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR) aims to “honour those who have been lost to or suffered violence as a result of transphobia, as well as recognize the ongoing violence and oppression that trans people continue to face.” (UBC, 2020).

Unfortunately, many people not only face transphobia, but are also marginalized because of their race, socioeconomic status, faith, health, in what is known as Intersectionality, a concept largely studied by scholars on Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice. One of the main works on the theme, written by Patricia Hill Collins and Sirma Bilge is available as an e-book at UBC Library.

To honor and amplify the voices of trans people, we would like to point you to some UBC Library resources about or by them.

Dow - book coverMichele Dow just published Transgender educators: Understanding marginalization through an intersectional lens.

One of the aspects highlighted by the author is the importance of representation: “For young people understanding their gender identity, they may read about the lives of transgender people and in some cases feel enormous support from their cisgender teachers and administrators, but there is nothing quite like the moment when they actually see a person like themselves standing in front of the classroom.” (Dow, 2020, p. 11)


Stryker - book cover

If you want to learn more, Susan Stryker’s Transgender history is another great resource.

Besides the historical analysis, the author also curated and made available a list of non-fiction and fiction books, documentaries, films and websites.



a fantastic woman posterUna Mujer Fantástica [A Fantastic Woman], a Chilean production was one of the most recent films to gain attention from the public.

The movie tells the story of Marina, a trans woman, and her fight for her rights after the passing of her partner, Orlando.



Green - cover

In Becoming a Visible Man, Jamison Green wrote his auto-biography while approaching important aspects and problems related to transgender and transsexual people.




Emezi - coverAnother acclaimed autobiography is Freshwater , by Akwaeke Emezi. Following the novel format, Akwaeke “explores the metaphysics of identity and being, plunging the reader into the mysteries of self”. (“Freshwater”, n.d.).

You can get this book by using our Materials Pick-Up Services.



Shraya - cover

Vivek Shrarya is a celebrated Canadian artist who works using her words as text, music, theatre, film.

Her best-selling book, I’m Afraid of Men is currently available in print at UBC-Okanagan, but you can find other works by the author at UBC – Vancouver and online!

You can get Even this page is white! using our Materials Pick-Up Service, or read a digital copy of The subtweet: a novel.


Besides the resources available at UBC, you can also check out resources at your local public library! Many Public libraries curate book lists for topics, like the one created by King County Library System (Washington – USA) for TDoR! If you’re in Vancouver, librarians at Vancouver Public Library (VPL) tailored a list of Transgender Non-fiction books.

Want to take action? If you are a trans UBC student, staff or faculty looking for support, or if you want to learn more about becoming an ally, UBC has some helpful resources available for the community!

UBC Equity & Inclusion Office promotes the Positive Space Campaign, that fosters “a welcoming and inclusive environment, respectful dialogue on campus for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities by identifying spaces where sexual and gender diversity is supported and valued.” (n. d.).

UBC Student Services designed a page to support trans and gender diversity on Campus.

Out on the Shelves is Vancouver’s oldest LGBT2QIA+ Library. Located at the Nest, the library is a safe space ran by volunteers.


Dow, M. (2020). Transgender educators: Understanding marginalization through an intersectional lens. Lanham: Lexington Books.

Freshwater. (n. d.). Akwaeke Emezi. Retrieved November 22, 2020 from

UBC. (2020, November).Transgender Day of Remembrance at UBC. UBC Events. Retrieved November 22, 2020 from

UBC Equity & Inclusion Office. (n. d.). Positive Space Campaign. Retrieved November 22m 2020 from

Featured image:

Balk, L. (2020). Transgender Flag 2 [Digital Image]. Unsplash.

Established in 1981 by PEN International, November 15th annually “calls for urgent international action to protect writers and journalists across the globe, who increasingly find themselves targeted for their peaceful free expression work.” (PEN International, 2020). However, from Fyodor Dostoevsky to Angela Davis, writers were persecuted before 1981 and continue to be in 2020.

You can get your Human Rights research started at the Political Science Research Guide. Several reasons can lead books to be banned or challenged, but most authors are persecuted for political reasons. You can find resources on and by exiled, silenced, imprisoned writers at UBC Library.

Writers Under Siege front coverWriters Under Siege: Voices of Freedom from Around the World – Edited by Lucy Popescu and Carole Seymour-Jones

Prepared by PEN International, this book brings texts by over 50 authors who have a paid high price for the freedom of writing.





Notes from ExileÉmile Zola – Notes from Exile

Émile Édouard Charles Antoine Zola was a French writer.

In 1898 Zola wrote a famous letter to the president of France entitled J’Accuse!, an expression that you probably seen on pop culture. The letter accused the unfair and anti-semitic trial of “…Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish officer who had been accused of treason by the French army. … [and] blamed the army for covering up its mistaken conviction of Dreyfus. … Zola was brought to trial on Feb. 7, 1898, and was sentenced to one year’s imprisonment and a fine of 3,000 francs after being found guilty of libel.” (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2016).

Although he was not imprisoned, Zola was exiled in England, where he wrote Notes from Exile, about his feelings towards exile. This edition includes photos taken by the author in the late 1890s.


Gabo - Noticias de un secuestro

Gabriel García-Marquez – Noticia de un secuestro [News of a kidnapping]

Gabriel García-Marquez (or Gabo, if you were his friend), was a Colombian writer and journalist, and one of the creators of the magical realism genre. Gabo, a left-winged thinker, spent decades in exile and was constantly under US government surveillance due to his friendship with former Cuban Prime Minister Fidel Castro.

In this work, García-Marquez reports on the 1990 kidnappings of 10 Colombian men and women – almost all journalists – by Pablo Escobar.




No enemies, no hatred book coverLiu Xiaobo – No enemies, no hatred : selected essays and poems

Liu Xiaobo was a Chinese writer, philosopher and defender of freedom of expression. He “took part in the student protests on Tiananmen Square in 1989. For that he was sentenced to two years in prison. Later he served three years in a labour camp for having criticised China’s one-party system. … In 2008, Liu was a co-author of Charta 08, a manifesto which advocates the gradual shifting of China’s political and legal system in the direction of democracy. He was arrested in December 2008, and sentenced a year later to eleven years’ imprisonment for undermining the state authorities. Liu has constantly denied the charges. “Opposition is not the same as undermining”” (The Nobel Prize, 2010)

No enemies, no hatred presents a collection of poems, essays and public documents by Liu Xiaobo.


Rushdie, salimar the clownSalman Rushdie – Salimar the Clown

Sir Salman Rushdie is a British Indian writer who, like García-Marquez, combines magical realism and historical fiction (“Salman Rushdie”, 2020). In 1988 he published The Satanic Verses, which degraded and infuriated Muslims, and led Iranian Ayatollah Khomeini to call on Muslims to kill the author in 1989. “The author, who was knighted in 2007, said that year that he saw the fatwa as “a piece of rhetoric rather than a real threat.” While Rushdie remains unharmed, the backlash to his novel is responsible for dozens of deaths and injuries around the world.” (History, 2019)

You can use our Get It service to check-out The Satanic Verses, or read Salimar the Clown online!


Want to take action? Every year, 5 people are selected to have their cases highlighted by the PEN, and you can find 2020 cases here: Day of the Imprisoned Writer 2020 . You can follow PEN International on Twitter.

If you are in Vancouver, our local public library has created a fantastic BiblioCommons list for this memorable day.


Encyclopaedia Britannica. (2016). J’Accuse. In Encyclopaedia Britannica.

History. (2019, October 30). Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini calls on Muslims to kill Salman Rushdie, author of “The Satanic Verses”.

The Nobel Prize. (2010). Liu Xiaobo Facts.

PEN International. (2020). Day of the Imprisoned Writer 2020.

Salman Rushdie. (2020, October 31st). In Wikipedia.

Singleton, Bradley. (2020). [no title] Photograph. Unsplash.

Collaboration, the UBC-V 2020 virtual Digital Humanities Conference ends on Oct. 31st, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t continue learning. Check all the great resources available at UBC Library:

Get started with the Digital Humanities Library Guide, which points you to books, articles, events, tools, and databases on the matter.

But what are Digital Humanities, anyway? Matthew Kirschenbaum asked that same question in his highly cited chapter What Is Digital Humanities and What’s It Doing in English Departments?, part of the book Defining Digital Humanities, edited by Melissa Terras, Julianne Nyhan and Edward Vanhoutte.

“As a way of identifying digital interests and efforts within traditional humanities fields, the term “digital humanities” identifies, in general terms, any kind of critical engagement with digital tools and methods in a humanities context. This includes the creation of digital editions and digital text or image collections, and the creation and use of digital tools for the investigation and analysis of humanities research materials. It also includes the aggregation and arrangement of digital resources and tools in order to present humanities material to students, and other forms of broader dissemination. Finally, the term can be used to refer to tools, processes, and projects that expand access to the source materials of scholarship and teaching such as primary source texts, images, representations of artifacts, objects of study, and secondary source materials.” (Flanders & Mylonas, 2017, p. 1287)

Doing more digital Humanities, includes publications by well known Canadian Digital Humanities practitioners and scholars, and is a great “how to guide” to get you started on your projects.

Want to learn more about text analysis in a safe space? Collaborate with the Data Sitters Club, a feminist collective of Digital Humanities practitioners and researchers. One might ask: “Is that really necessary?”. Unfortunately, it is, as authors point out that equity is far from reality in books like:

Transformative digital humanities : challenges and opportunities, edited by Mary Balkun and Marta Deyrup

Intersectionality in Digital Humanities, edited by Barbara Bordalejo and Roopika Risam

New digital worlds: postcolonial digital humanities in theory, praxis, and pedagogy, by Roopika Risam.

UBC has several exciting tools and resources to support Digital Humanities initiatives, such as:

Abacus dataverse, a data repository collaboration between UBC, SFU, UNBC and UVic.

The Database of religious history, an encyclopedia of religious cultural history.

Downtown East Side – Reseach Access Portal (DTES-RAP) , which makes DTES related resources more accessible.

Geodisy, a platform for geospatial Canadian open research data.

UBC Library Open Collections, with over 240.000 digital objects.

Want to learn more? The Research Commons offers several Digital Scholarship events and workshops.


Flanders, J., Mylonas, E. (2017). Digital Humanities. In J. D. McDonald, M. Levine-Clark (Ed.),  Encyclopedia of Library and Information Sciences (4th ed.). doi: 10.1081/E-ELIS4

Public Humanities Hub. (2020) Digital Humanities Conference Banner [digital image]. Digital Humanities Conference.

Did The Addams Family theme lure you or are you excited about your first Halloween in Canada? Either way you can count on Koerner Library to celebrate this spooky season!

Yes, the pandemic has slowed things down, but, did you know that the Public Health Agency of Canada developed Halloween Safety documents even before COVID-19? It was a long journey from a pagan ritual to a socially distanced celebration, and some resources might help you understand and enjoy it.

Library Guides can also help you to explore subject databases to find Journal articles and books related to Halloween. Some that you may want to try include History, Sociology, or Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice to find more resources like these:

Almost a 100 years ago, Ruth Edna Kelley was already curious about Halloween and wrote The Book of Hallowe’en. Many things have changed and on Halloween: From Pagan Ritual to Party Night, Nicholas Rogers thoroughly explored History, acknowledged librarians’ support on his research and engaged his readers; how could we not recommend this to you?

Halloween is more than a date, it’s a significant event in pop culture. It has influenced books, movies and plays, and Halloween: Youth Cinema and the Horrors of Growing Up, by Mark Bernard helps to bring that to light. Forty years after terrifying people all over the world, in 2018, the Halloween franchise launched a successful sequel that you can watch from one of our film streaming databases, check it out!

Not a fan of the Halloween franchise? UBC Library provides access to many other movies trough Streaming Media Resources. Does it seem hard to find films using the library catalogue? Don’t panic and check our Film Finding and Using Guide. You can also browse a great list of scary movies that LASSA UBC (Library and Archival Studies Students Association at UBC iSchool) curated especially for Halloween weekend!

Not in the mood for movies? We’ve got some fun books, too!

Coraline, by Neil Gaiman might be a novel for Young Adults, but it terrifies all audiences!

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein might be a well known classic, but in 2017 it was also recreated as an annotated version for creators and scientists, and in 2018 UBC alumna Linda Bailey launched Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein.

Do you find ravens lovely creatures? Nevermore! Edgar Allan Poe’s Tales of Mystery, Imagination and Humour  is an inspiration to many authors.

Stephen King is a famous writer of horror, and many of his novels were adapted to screen. Whichever format is your favorite, you can find his work at UBC Library.

From historical references to scary movies, we’ve got you covered for this spooky season!


Andrus, Emily. (2016). Witch’ book will put you under its spell? [online image]. Literary Hoots.

Mizzy, Vic. (1964). Addams Family Theme. RCA Victor.

Following the commitment to making resources accessible to UBC faculty, staff and students all around the world, UBC Library has joined HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access Service.

What does it mean for UBC Library Users?

For the time that the Emergency Temporary Access Services is in effect, books that UBC Library owns in print that are in the Hathi Trust ebook collection will be available via Hathi Trust only.

Records for these books are included in Summon and the Library Catalogue, and of course, the Hathi Trust Digital Repository.

Accessing a book

Here’s the record in Summon for a Hathi Trust book:

When you click on the title, you will be directed to the Hathi Trust Catalogue, where the book is available digitally . A Temporary access button will be available, as shown below:

To borrow the digital version of the book, click on Temporary Access. It will lead you to another page, where you will be asked to Check Out.

The book will be available for you to use, and can be renewed or returned early.

If you are not able to access the book, there might be someone else using it at the same time, and you should try again later. If you face any other access issue, please, contact us.

Hathi Trust logo available at:

In an effort to better support UBC community, Koerner Library now provides remote access to our Computer Lab (RM 217) and Data/GIS Lab (RM 218 A).

All workstations in both labs have GIS and statistical analysis softwares installed. For a complete list of the softwares available at UBC Computer Labs, check:

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