Office: EA 3181
BA (History), University of Manitoba
Explore: French-Language Bursary Program, Université Laval
MA (History), University of Manitoba
PhD (History), York University
Post Doctoral Fellow, L.R. Wilson Institute for Canadian History, McMaster University
Areas of Instruction:
Hist 1100 Introduction to History
Hist 1131 Canada to 1867
Hist 2207 Histories of Sexualities
Hist 2241 Britain and Its Empire in the 19th Century
Hist 4404 Topics in Canadian Social History
Hist 4451 History of British North America
Areas of Scholarly Interest:
Comparative Colonial Histories
Race, Rebellion, and Settler Self Government
Canada, Quebec, and the British Empire
Archives and Historical Methodologies
Current Research Projects:
“Colonial Queers: Regulating Same-Sexuality, Desire, and Intimacy”
Unlike historians of the United States, England, and the British Empire, historians in Canada know very about the history of same-sex sex, intimacy and desire in early-nineteenth century. Canadian literature on the subject focuses exclusively on the late-nineteenth century when the policing of same-sex sexuality took on added significance – in Canada and around the world – following the trials of Oscar Wilde in England. “Colonial Queers” addresses the fundamental lack of historical knowledge that surrounds the history same-sex desire and intimacy in colonial Canada, while also linking the history of responsible government in the British North American colonies – generally understood as the granting of more rights and responsibilities to settler-colonial men, at the expense of women and Indigenous peoples, with a long and rich historiography of its own – to a history that saw the increased regulation and marginalization of queer individuals in early Canada. It is important for both historians and Canada’s queer communities to understand such a historic juxtaposition: as colonial reformers mobilized the language of independence, freedom, and liberty to demand the abolition of irresponsible colonial rule, they also applied the powers of the developing colonial state to criminalize forms of non-marital sex, including same-sex sex, that were believed to undermine their own claims to white, male independence and authority.
“Archiving Canada’s Colonial Past”
Between 1904 and 1936 Arthur G. Doughty worked tirelessly to secure for the Public Archives of Canada a wealth of historical sources that future generations of historians could, and have since used, to write the history of colonial Canada. This project examines various “milepost” moments in the history of 19th century Canada through an analysis of the archival collections that Doughty and his staff collected and catalogued. Doughty not only paid particular attention to moments when French, English, and Indigenous peoples encountered each other, but also archived documents that contained both personal and political information, or, what he called: inner histories. Ultimately, this project illustrates the central role that archivists like Doughty played, not simply as gatekeepers of knowledge, but also as historical actors who selected for preservation the very documents that historians have used to perform their craft.
“A Part of the Empire Too”
“A Part of the Empire Too” interrogates Lord Durham’s 1838 mission to push the histories of gender/family, imperial networks, and elite politics in Quebec and the British Empire in new and innovate directions. It situates Lower Canada/Quebec and the Lambton family within the global, imperial history of race, reform and rebellion; a historiography that is saturated with studies of other imperial spaces and races, with only cursory attention being paid to the Canadian context. It argues that the struggle to abolish “irresponsible government” in Lower Canada must be considered alongside other political debates in Britain and its empire in the 1830s such as abolition and convict transportation.
“Banishment to Bermuda: Gender, Race, Empire, Independence and the Struggle to Abolish Irresponsible Government in Lower Canada,” Histoire sociale/Social history, Volume 46, Number 92, (Novembre/November 2013): 321-348.
“Lives, Liberties, and the Struggle for Self Government,” Contribution to Roundtable on Le concept de liberté au Canada a l’époque des révolutions atlantique, 1776-1838, Canadian Historical Review, 94: 1 (March 2013): 97–105.
“‘I Am Pleased With My Lambton Loot’: Arthur George Doughty and the Making of the Durham Papers,” Archivaria 70 (Fall 2010): 153–176.
With Bettina Bradbury, “A Difference of Race? Governing Racialized Difference in Lower Canada in the 1830s,” in Living in Quebec: Ethnicity, Race, and Gender from the 19th to the 21st Century, Edited by Mary Anne Poutanen (Forthcoming).
“Mobilizing Mount Royal: Campus Contributions to the Great War,” in The Frontier of Patriotism: Alberta and the First World War, Adriana A. Davies and Jeff Keshen, Eds, (Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 2016), 433-442.
"Unfreedom In Early Canada: Race, Slavery, and Empire", in Bryden, P.E. (ed.) Visions: The Canadian History Modules Project, Pre-Confederation, Vol. 2. (Toronto: Nelson, 2015): Module 36.
“‘No Money, But Muscle and Pluck’: Cultivating Trans-Imperial Manliness for the Fields of Empire,” in Making It Like A Man! Canadian Masculinities in Practice, Edited by, Christine Ramsay. (Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press: 2011): 17-31.
Journal Special Issues and Themed Sections:
w/ Adele Perry, “Special Issue: Dominions of History,” Histoire sociale/Social history, Volume 50, Number 101, (Forthcoming Juin/June 2017): Call for Papers.
w/ Jeff Keshen, “Special Issue: Canada and the Great War: 100 Years On,” Histoire sociale/Social history, Volume 47, Number 94, (Juin/June 2014).
w/ Dan Horner, “Themed Section: British North America’s Global Age,” Histoire sociale/Social history, Volume 46, Number 92, (Novembre/November 2013).
“File M and the Straightness of the Settler State in Early Canada,” Borealia: A Group Blog on Early Canadian History, (January 18, 2016).
“Why it’s Important for You to Get Out and Vote: A Brief History of Voting Rights,” The Reflector, (October 15, 2015).
“‘It is Generally Spoken as a Dull Place’: Toronto welcomes the Earl and Countess of Durham, July 1838,” Heritage Toronto, (April 7, 2010).
Other Relevant Activities:
Faculty Advisor, MRU Historical Society
Faculty Advisor, Foothills Colloquium in Undergraduate History
Book Review Editor, Histoire sociale/ Social History
Member, Canadian Historical Association