Oral History interview session (51mm 32ss) with Roz Usiskin, conducted by Nolan Reilly, Winnipeg Manitoba, 2018. Interview is indexed and transcribed in full.
Nolan Reilly, the interviewer, outlines the objectives and procedures for the interview with Roseline (Roz) Usiskin. Ms. Usiskin agrees to be recorded. Ms. Usiskin begins with a description of personal changes she confronted in the early 1960s with the death of her parents and several other individuals to whom she was close. Her children were more independent by this time and all these changes led her to consider what she might do going forward in her life. She decided to return to school and continue onto university. Mr. Usiskin supported this decision. The small business they owned was doing well, which meant they could afford Ms. Usiskin’s desire to attend university. She describes in detail her experience at university, including the lifelong friends she made there among the students and professors. Ms. Usiskin did exceptionally well in her undergraduate years at the University of Winnipeg. She next describes the completion of her MA degree in Sociology at the University of Manitoba. Her research that she describes here focussed on the history of the political, religious, and cultural diversity of Winnipeg’s Jewish community, a subject she continues to work on to this day. Ms. Usiskin provides a detailed description of being a married woman of thirty-nine with three children attending university with students much younger than herself. The feminist debates of the time led her to reflect on her view of the world. Her generation was politically radical but conventional in their personal lives. Discussions of gender and sexuality, for example, she explains introduced her to new and exciting perspectives. She concludes with a lengthy reflection on the fact that progressive changes are being made on issues of gender and sexuality but they made not be as radical as some think them to be.