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Léa Roback Through the Looking Glass

Léa Roback Through the Looking Glass

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Léa Roback Through the Looking Glass: an afternoon Ariela Freedman, and Shannon Hodge.

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Léa Roback Through the Looking Glass: an afternoon with Ariela Freedman, author of the novel Léa, and an archives roadshow featuring original documents and recordings from the Léa Roback fonds with Shannon Hodge, Corporate Archivist, Carleton University (and former Director of Archives at the Jewish Public Library).

How do you change the world? Meet Léa, polyglot, labour activist, farbrente feminist. Born to a large Jewish family and raised in a French Catholic town, Léa’s life traced a long trajectory of struggles for the rights of women and workers. From street fights in Berlin to protests in Montreal, she defied the expectations and limitations of women’s lives, won historic victories for the union movement, and grappled with her own convictions.

 Based on the life of famed activist Léa Roback, this novel brings to life a heroine emboldened by political struggles that resonate to this day.

Ariela Freedman is a professor at the Liberal Arts College at Concordia and holds degrees from both Concordia and NYU. Her first novel, Arabic for Beginners (Linda Leith Press, 2017), won the J.I. Segal/ Mona Elaine Adilman Prize for English Fiction and Poetry and was a finalist for the QWF first book prize in 2017. A Joy to be Hidden (2019) was a finalist for the QWF/Paragraphe prize for fiction and the J.I. Segal award.

Shannon Hodge worked as Director of Archives at the Jewish Public Library from 2005-2017 where she standardized all archival functions and created a dynamic outreach program that uses the diverse special collections of the library. Currently the Corporate Archivist and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of History at Carleton University, Shannon holds degrees from Bishop’s University and McGill University. She has a particular affection for the Léa Roback collection.

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