B.Sc., M.A., Ph.D.Associate Professor, Tenured, Department of Sociology, University of Saskatchewan



The project explores the work of the Women’s Auxiliary of the Mine Mill and Smelter Workers (MMSW), with locals in central and western Canada, active for a period of over 20 years in the 1940s, ‘50s, and ‘60s. The case study employs an original, innovative blend of methodological tools and contemporary theorizing aimed at transcending an impasse of existing binaries in the research produced by labour historians and gender sociologists. In particular, Institutional Ethnography (IE) is used to juxtapose two aspects of Auxiliary work: on the one hand, the ‘actualities’ of the work as it was written and experienced by the women involved; and on the other hand, the ‘virtual realities’ of the work as it was represented in codified documents. Inspired not by wages but by their dreams of a just world, these women served community dinners, organized clothing drives, mobilized relief for victims of floods and other natural disasters, while conducting an active political campaign for women’s emancipation. The project’s knowledge dissemination includes a theatrical portrayal – Click here to read the full article


Two-mile-long demonstration of support by wives and children of striking Kirkland Lake miners. Jim Tester.



Historical Sociology; Archival Retrieval and Analysis; Oral-History


Elizabeth Quinlan (PI). The Work of Women’s Auxiliaries, 1940s-1960s: A Case Study of the Mine Mill and Smelter Workers Union, $51,000, Jul 2011 – Jun 2014, Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council Insight Development Grant.   (This proposal was ranked #2 in the competition).

Elizabeth Quinlan (PI). Julia Jamison (Co-I). Jennifer Wynne-Webber (Collaborator).   Disseminating Socio-Historical Research through Theatre: The Work of Women’s Auxiliaries in the 1940s-1960s. SSHRC Connections Grant ($50K with matching and inkind support from Interdisciplinary Centre for Culture and Creativity, Community Engagement and Outreach, and Department of Drama).

Community Partners

Saskatchewan Federation of Labour; Saskatoon District Labour Council


Liz Quinlan and the copper miners of Britainnia Beach, BC. where there was Auxiliary Local 133 established in 1944.


About Me
The vision guiding my research program is to promote meaningful dignified work as essential to health and wellness.

My commitment to the fair, equitable treatment and rewards for workers has been the catalyst for my scholarship.

I employ the creative arts to reach wider audiences with research results and enhance research participants’ expressive powers.

My research is endowed with a gender-based analysis strengthened by my formal associate affiliation with the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at University of Saskatchewan.