Becki Ross

Becki Ross is an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at the University of British Columbia (UBC). Becki has done research in lesbian/gay liberation movements, pornography and censorship, varsity female athletes in the 1950s at UBC, and is writing a book on burlesque and striptease in post-war Vancouver.Becki is also the editor of Sexuality Studies, published by University of British Columbia. Their first publication, Bobby Jean Noble’s Masculinities Without Men? is now in print.

Ross, Becki.  Sex and (evacuation from) the city: the moral and legal regulation of sex workers in Vancouver’s West End, 1975-1985.  Sexualities. 13(2) (April 2010): 197-218.

Burlesque West book cover 2003


Ross, Becki Burlesque West: Showgirls, Sex, and Sin in Postwar Vancouver. Toronto : University of Toronto Press, 2009. PN1949.S7 R68 2009

Ross, Becki and Kim Greenwell. “Spectacular striptease: performing the sexual and racial other in Vancouver, B.C., 1945-1975.” Journal of Women’s History. 17(1) (March 2005): 137-164.

Ross, Becki and Erin Bentley. “Gold-plated footballs and orchids for girls, a ‘palace of sweat’ for men: athletics at UBC, 1945-1955.” p.99-116. In Disciplining Bodies in the Gymnasium: Memory, Movement, and Modernism. Edited by Patricia Vertinsky and Sherry McKay. London and New York: Routledge, 2004.

Making Normal book cover 2003


Ross, Becki. “Striptease on the line: investigating trends in female erotic entertainment.” p.146-178.

In Making Normal: Social Regulation in Canada. Edited by Deborah Brock. Toronto: Nelson Thomson Learning, 2003. HM811 .M34 2003

Publisher’s Synopsis


Ross, Becki L. “’Book reviews: Challenging the Conspiracy of Silence: My Life as a Canadian Gay Activist / Jim Egan ; compiled and edited by Donald W. McLeod.” BC Studies. 136 (Winter 2002): 135-138.

Ross, Becki. “Shaken and stirred.” A regular series in Xtra West (Vancouver), 2001-2002. (Copies are available at the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives, Toronto)

Ross, Becki L. “Bumping and grinding on the line: making nudity pay,” Labour/le Travail. 46 (Fall 2000): 221-250. HD8101.L22

Canadian Historical Association 2002 best article on the history of sexuality in Canada history prize
Canadian Committee on the History of Sexuality 2002 prize for best article.

Ross, Becki L. “’The stubborn clutter, the undeniable record, the burning, wilful evidence’: teaching the history of sexuality.” Atlantis: A Women’s Studies Journal. 25(1) (Fall 2000): 28-38. HQ1180 .A1A85

Ross, Becki. “Hoochie coochie queers? Femme dykes and gay men in Vancouver’s burlesque.” Xtra West. (April 6, 2000): 21.

Ross, Becki. “Lesbian politics and culture in English Canada.” p. 142-146. In Encyclopedia of Lesbianism, Volume I. Edited by Bonnie Zimmerman. New York: Garland Publishing, 2000.

Elisa Kukla “Studying strippers: media went bonkers over burlesque show research.” Xtra! (Toronto). November 16, 2000. (On Becki Ross’s research on strippers.)

Ross, Becki L. and Catharina Landstrom. “Normalization vs. diversity: lesbian identity and organizing in Sweden and Canada.” p.310-346. In Women’s Organizing and Public Policy in Canada and Sweden. Edited by Linda Briskin and Mona Eliasson. Montreal; Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1999. HQ1233 .W6 1999

Ross, Becki. “’Down at the whorehouse?’: Reflections on Christian community service and female sex deviance at Toronto’s Street Haven, 1965-1969.” Atlantis: A Women’s Studies Journal. 23(1) (Fall 1998): 48-59. HQ1180 .A1A85

Painting the Maple book cover 1998


Ross, Becki. “A lesbian politics of erotic decolonization.” p.187-214.

In Painting the Maple: Essays on Race, Gender and the Construction of Canada. Edited by Veronica Strong-Boag, Sherrill Grace, Joan Anderson, Avigail Eisenberg. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 1998. FC97 .P351998

Publisher’s Synopsis

See review by Valerie J. Korniek in Canadian Historical Review. 81(3), September 2000.

[Ross, Becki et al.] The Discipline and Place Collective.“Moving spaces/firm groundings: an interview of Rey Chow.” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. 15(5) (October 1997): 509-532. H1 .E58

Ross, Becki L. “Destaining the (tattooed) delinquent body: the practices of moral regulation at Toronto’s Street Haven, 1965-1969.” The Journal of the History of Sexuality. 7(4) (April 1997): 561-595. HQ12 .A1J66

Bad Attitude/s on Trial book cover 1997


Ross, Becki L. “‘It’s merely designed for sexual arousal’: interrogating the indefensibility of lesbian smut.” p.152-198.

In Bad Attitude/s on Trial: Pornography, Feminism, and the ‘Butler’ Decision. Brenda Cossman, Shannon Bell, Lise Gotell and Becki L. Ross. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1997. HQ472.C3 B32 1997

Ross, Becki L. “How Lavender Jane loved women: re-figuring identity-based life/stylism in 1970s lesbian feminism.” Journal of Canadian Studies. 30(4) (Winter 1995-96): 110-128. FC1 .J68

The House That Jill Built book cover 1995


Ross, Becki L. The House That Jill Built: A Lesbian Nation in Formation. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1995. HQ75.6.C3 R6 1995

See review by Amy Gottlieb “Lesbian feminism in its prime.” Centre/Fold (Toronto Centre for Lesbian and Gay Studies). 10, Spring 1996. (This electronic version is via the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives homepage)
See review by Susan G. Cole in Canadian Woman Studies 16(2) (1996): 123-124.


Ross, Becki L. “Dance to ‘Tie a Yellow Ribbon,’ getting churched and buy the little lady a drink: gay women’s bar culture in Toronto, 1965-1975.” p.267-287 In Weaving Alliances : Selected Papers Presented for the Canadian Women’s Studies Association at the 1991 and 1992 Learned Societies Conferences. Edited by Debra Martens ; introduced by Greta Hofmann Nemiroff. Ottawa: Canadian Women’s Studies Association = Association canadienne des études sur les femmes, 1993. HQ1106 .W43 1993

Ross, Becki. “Like apples and oranges: lesbian feminist responses to the politics of The Body Politic.” Fuse Magazine. 16(4) (May/June, 1993): 19-23,26-28. NX513 .A1F88

McLeod, Donald W. “Notes on a deviant historian: young lesbian & gay scholars like Becki Ross are opening new fields of research at our universities.” Xtra! (Toronto). 195 (17 April 1992): 13,15.

Ross, Becki. “Tracking lesbian speech: the social organization of lesbian periodical publishing in English Canada, 1973-1988.” In Women’s Writing and the Literary Institution. Calgary: University of Alberta, Research Institute for Comparative Literature, 1992. PS8089.5.W6 W67 1992

Becki Ross interview. In Thank God I’m a Lesbian. A film by Laurie Colbert and Dominique Cardona. New York: Women Make Movies, 1992.

Ross, Becki. “Sex, lives, and archives: pleasure/danger debates in 1970s lesbian feminism.” p.89-112. In Women Changing Academe : The Proceedings of the 1990 Canadian Women’s Studies Association Conference / Sandra L. Kirby … [et al.], editors. Winnipeg : Sororal Publishing, 1991. HQ1181.C3 C36 1991

Ross, Becki. “The house that Jill built: lesbian feminist organizing in Toronto, 1976-1980.” Feminist Review. 35 (1990): 75-91.

Ross, Becki. “Heterosexuals only need apply: The Secretary of State’s regulation of lesbian existence.” Resources for Feminist Research/Documentation sur la recherche feministe. 17(3) (1988): 35-38. HQ1101.Z9 R47

Ross, Becki. “Launching lesbian cultural offensives.” Resources for Feminist Research/Documentation sur la recherche feministe. 17(2) (June 1988):12-15. HQ1101.Z9 R47

Awards and Honours

Canadian Historical Association 2002 best article on the history of sexuality in Canada history prize
Canadian Committee on the History of Sexuality 2002 prize for best article.



Becki Ross’ homepage