Women using technology for life--the Avalon dragon boat builders

by Pamela Young, Published March 20, 2009

YPSILANTI —The inspiring story of the Avalon dragon boat builders of Newfoundland will be featured as part of Eastern Michigan University’s Women’s History Month.

The program is scheduled Wednesday, March 25, 4-5:15 p.m., room 310, EMU Student Center, 900 Oakwood St. The event is free and open to the public.

Carol Haddad, professor in Eastern’s school of technology studies, will talk about the Avalon crew, a group of breast cancer survivors from Newfoundland who mastered technology to build their own wooden dragon boat. The crew is unique because they are the first team in North America and only the second in the world to build such a boat.

Dragon boats originated in China more than 2,000 years ago. Dragon boat racing is now one of the fastest-growing team sports in the world and the sport has been embraced by women recovering from breast cancer as a means for staying healthy.

Most boats are powered by a crew of 20 paddlers, facing the bow of the boat, one drummer at the front facing the paddlers and one steersperson at the rear of the boat.           

This case study is part of Haddad’s forthcoming book on women and technology. For more information, contact EMU’s Women’s and Gender Studies Program at 734.487.1177.

Pamela Young

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