Table of contents

Foreword | Eleanor Wachtel
1 Canada’s First National Second-Wave Feminist Magazine
2 Publishing Canadian Feminisms
3 Keeping the “Bobbing Paper Boat” Afloat
4 “Correcting an Imbalance”
5 “Beyond the First Growth of Radical Feminism”
Works Cited
Interview Participants


The history of Branching Out, Canada’s first national second-wave feminist magazine, is the story of an upstart publication from the prairies that was read from coast to coast. It is also a story of political activism and community building. When it ceased publication in 1980, Branching Out had reached more readers than any similar periodical. Feminist Acts is an in-depth examination of feminist publishing, written to bring more Canadian voices into conversations about women’s cultural production. A vital text of recuperation, the book draws on first-hand accounts from women who were there.


“Given the popular myth that Alberta’s social landscape is dominated by political conservatism, Tessa Jordan’s comprehensive history of the periodical Branching Out, a feminist initiative originating in Edmonton, is refreshing…. Along with analyzing the entire run, Jordan conducted participant interviews. Happily all issues are online and are highly recommended, as is this fine book. ” [Full article at https://albertaviews. ca/feminist-acts-branching-magazine-making-canadian-feminism/]

- Carol Williams

“If you are a feminist writer living in Canada, it would be near impossible to read Tessa Jordan’s Feminist Acts without imagining yourself peering into a family album filled with snapshots of extended relatives: aunts, distant cousins, women whose connection to your life you may only be vaguely be aware of, but whose legacy you have inherited…. That unpaid staff in an unheated Edmonton office published Margaret Atwood’s poetry, Jane Rule’s fiction, and features on artist/singers like Beverly Glenn Copeland is nothing short of a miracle. Feminist Acts makes an invaluable, enriching contribution to periodical history, offering a balanced, compelling portrait of both the triumphs and challenges of feminist writing in Canada. ”

- Deborah Ostrovsky

"Published out of Edmonton, Branching Out was Canada's first second-wave feminist periodical... Jordan undertakes crucial archival work and interviews with former staff members to reconstruct not only a history of this periodical, but also multiple literary and cultural histories related to women and the women's movement in Canada." [Full review at]

- Linda Morra, Canadian Literature, Nov. 2020