News Archive (Before 2015)

Chris Dawson receives a Crake Fellowship in Classics
The graduate program in History congratulates PhD student Chris Dawson on his recent receipt of a Crake Fellowship in Classics, which he will hold for the year 2014-15 at Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick. The expectation of fellows is that they finish their dissertations and teach the equivalent of one course per semester. Competition is stiff for this unique opportunity in Canadian Classics, and this is an excellent achievement for Chris.

This will mark a return to eastern Canada for Chris, since his BA in History and Classics was completed at St. Mary’s University in Halifax before he moved to Brock University for his MA in Classics and then to York. Chris’s dissertation is entitled “Intimate Communities: Honorary Statues and Political Culture in the Cities of Africa Proconsularis” and is supervised by Prof. Jonathan Edmondson. Chris has held SSHRC CGS scholarships at both the MA and PhD level in addition to an Ontario Graduate Scholarship and, in 2007-08, an Award for Outstanding Accomplishment in Classical Studies from the Classical Association of the Middle West and South.

Tenure-track successes for recent York History PhD graduates
It is with great pleasure that we are able to relate news of job market successes for three recent PhDs from the Graduate History Program, namely Dan Horner, Tom Peace, and Brad Skopyk.

Dan Horner has received a tenure-track position in the Department of Criminology at Ryerson University. Dan defended his PhD, “Taking to the Streets: Crowds, Politics and Identity in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Montreal” in 2010, supervised by Bettina Bradbury. While at York, Dan also served as co-editor of Left Historyfor two years. Since leaving York, he has held postdoctoral fellowships at McMaster University and Université de Montréal and has also visited the University of Leicester (Centre for Urban History) in the UK as a postdoc. He has published articles in the Urban History Review/Review d’histoire urbaine, Histoire Sociale/Social History, and the Journal of the Canadian Historical Association. His PhD dissertation is currently being revised for submission for publication with McGill-Queen’s University Press.

Tom Peace has received a tenure-track appointment as an assistant professor of Canadian History in the Department of History at Huron University College (Western University). Tom’s PhD work, entitled “Two Conquests: Aboriginal Experiences of the Fall of New France and Acadia,” was completed in September 2011. Upon finishing his dissertation, Tom took up a SSHRC postdoctoral fellowship at Dartmouth College, researching Indigenous students from the St. Lawrence valley who attended colonial colleges and/or day schools at the end of the eighteenth and beginning of the nineteenth century. Currently, Tom holds a Harrison McCain Visiting Professorship at Acadia University and is finishing revisions to his dissertation for publication with UBC press.

Bradley Skopyk, who defended his PhD in December 2010, has accepted a tenure-track position in Latin American History at the State University of New York – Binghamton. Brad won the 2012 American Society for Environmental Studies Rachel Carson Prize for the best dissertation in environmental history and the Canadian Association for Latin American and Caribbean Studies Outstanding Dissertation Prize for 2012. His dissertation, “Undercurrents of Conquest: The Shifting Terrain of Indigenous Agriculture in Colonial Tlaxcala, Mexico,” was supervised by the late Elinor Melville and Richard Hoffmann. Only three students from outside the U.S. had ever won the Rachel Carson Prize, all of them from York’s Graduate History Program (Matthew Evenden in 2001 and Liza Piper in 2006 are the others).

Many congratulations to Dan, Tom, and Brad!

SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship success: Dagomar Degroot
The graduate program warmly congratulates PhD 6 student Dagomar Degroot on his recent receipt of a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship to be held at Western University in the fall. Dagomar’s postdoctoral proposal is entitled “The Little Ice Age and the Exploitation of the Arctic: An Environmental History, 1560-1720.” In May, Dagomar will defend his dissertation, “The Frigid Golden Age: Experiencing Climate Change in the Dutch Republic, 1560-1720”. He is co-founder ofthe Climate History Network, founder of, and a contributor to the Paleo-Ecology of Subarctic Seas Working Group, an NSF project. In May, his article, “‘Never such weather known in these seas': Climatic Fluctuations and the Anglo-Dutch Wars of the Seventeenth Century, 1652-1674,” will be published in the journal Environment and History.

GHP graduate Kristine Alexander appointed CRC in Child and Youth Studies at U Lethbridge
The Graduate Program in History is delighted to announce that Kristine Alexander, who defended her PhD in 2010 (supervised by Bettina Bradbury), has been awarded a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Child and Youth Studies at the University of Lethbridge. Prior to this appointment, Kristine held two postdoctoral fellowships, the first at the University of Western Ontario (awarded by SHHRC) and the second at the University of Saskatchewan, where she was the Elizabeth & Cecil Kent Postdoctoral Fellow in the History of Britain and the British World. Kristine’s PhD dissertation was entitled “The Girl Guide Movement, Imperialism and Internationalism in Interwar England, Canada, and India” and was awarded the 2011 Governor General’s Gold Medal. Congratulations Kristine!
For more on the news of Kristine’s appointment, please see:

Graduate Student successes in non-academic employment
While the Graduate Program in History has had much to cheer about this year with three of its recent PhDs successfully making their way into tenure-track positions, it is nevertheless important to recognize that many of our doctoral students have found their way into great jobs outside of academia, and will continue to do so in the coming years. How the Program effectively communicates the potential and possibilities of non-academic jobs to graduate students is an ongoing area of concern, and so this email highlights the recent achievements of some of our PhD students and graduates in the non-academic world. It is obviously important for graduate students to get a better sense of the myriad careers out there that match their skills and training, so please take some time to examine the career paths described below.

Kris Radford (who recently defended his PhD on indirect rule in Islamic territories in the British Empire, supervised by Douglas Peers) has been hired as a Researcher for Canadian Development Consultants International (CDCI; In this exciting position, he will be conducting archival research for litigation and treaty negotiations between Federal and Provincial government departments and First Nations. The company has two offices, one in Ottawa and one in Vancouver, and they are looking to grow in the future. York history grads would be well served to keep an eye out for openings. Kris points out that you don’t have to be an expert on strictly First Nations or even Canadian political history; they were much more interested in his experience in lots of different archives of varying sizes and scopes (the fact that Kris knew more about Zanzibar than Canada seemingly wasn’t a big deal).

Brian MacDowall (PhD, ABD) has recently obtained an exciting position with the Region of Waterloo as a Job Analyst. In this position, Brian writes new and revised job descriptions, analyzes job content, and conducts compensation-related research. Brian believes that historians have the right combination of skills for this kind of work, since it requires superior critical thinking, research, and analytical skills.

Will Stos (PhD, ABD) was recently appointed Editor of the Canadian Parliamentary Review (, a quarterly publication overseen by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association – Canadian Region. The Review reports and reflects on the activities of Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial legislatures and serves as an incubator for ideas about parliamentary and governance development. The Review is a non-partisan journal that includes writing from parliamentarians, clerks, academics, journalists, and other observers. The audience is diverse, so the writing aims at an informed but general reader. Will hopes to solicit articles from historians who might be working on projects that deal in part with policy development or have an angle that may be of interest to this readership. If you or anyone you know might be interested in pitching an article, please let Will know. It’s not a peer-reviewed journal, but it is read widely among legislative circles, so it’s a great way to introduce your work to other audiences. For those pursuing the non-academic job path, it’s also a way to become known in circles that may be looking for researchers, so it’s a good promotional opportunity.

Kathryn White (who finished her MA in history at York in 2010) has been working as Council Coordinator and Policy Analyst with the Council of Ontario Universities since 2011. Kathryn’s work is comparable to that of a University Secretariat in that she and her supervisor facilitate the meetings and work of Council (COU’s version of Senate), Executive Heads, and standing committees. This entails note-taking, composing minutes and reporting emails, and ensuring proper follow-up after each meeting. In addition, Kathryn performs research and policy analysis on several files, including governance, freedom of information and protection of privacy legislation, student financial assistance and university athletics. In the past two years, Kathryn has organized an annual event for Ontario University Board Members. Kathryn’s history background has helped her hone her research and writing skills, which are essential to her role. It has also contributed to her recognition of the importance of history and context in policy issues.

Jamie Trepanier (PhD 5) is one of three historians recently hired by the Museum of Civilization, and one of the two hired on a permanent basis. He has been there for just over a month with the Exhibitions and Research Branch with the official title of Historian. Jamie is part of the team designing the new Canadian history hall in the museum and, after the project’s completion in 2017, will be a historian with the research division. His dissertation research taps into the rich but as yet unexplored archival records of the Boy Scout movement between the 1910s and 1960s to explore changes in French and English-Canadian nationalisms, important shifts in attitudes towards the Canadian North and its indigenous population and the changing relationship between organized religion and secular youth movements. Jamie was awarded a Vanier Graduate Scholarship in 2010, and in 2012 published an article from his MA research in Quebec Studies. He also served as coordinator in the Active History group of public historians between 2010 and 2012. Prior to his arrival at York in 2008, Jamie also gained experience as an interpretation officer at the Library of Parliament, a legislative assistant and a parliamentary intern. He also worked as a guide/interpreter at both the Vimy Ridge Canadian Memorial and Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial commemorative sites.

Daphne Bonar graduated in 2007 with a dissertation entitled “Local Conflict, Local Ties: Society and the State in Seventeenth Century Auvergne”, co-supervised by Prof. Tim Le Goff and Prof. Tom Cohen. After working as a sessional instructor at both York and Lakehead universities, she now works as a senior policy advisor for the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities. Her unit is known as the Postsecondary Education Quality Assessment Board, an arms-length agency that assesses the quality of degree programs offered (or proposed to offer) in Ontario by institutions that do not already have an act of legislature permitting them to offer degree-level programming. She coordinates the PEQAB’s review activities, engaging subject matter experts and helping to prepare all materials related to an application so that the Board can make an informed recommendation to the Minister.

Susana Miranda defended her PhD dissertation, entitled “Not Ashamed or Afraid: Portuguese Immigrant Women in Toronto’s Cleaning Industry, 1950-1995”, supervised by Professor Roberto Perin, in 2010. She now works as the Information and Privacy Coordinator for the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. She coordinates access to nformation requests under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, which largely originate from the media, opposition and associations/unions. She also provides policy advice on privacy protection for both Ministries and reports that she “got a contract at EDU/TCU by networking with people I knew who worked in government. There are other York history grads working in EDU and TCU – quite a few MAs.”

Lisa Rumiel defended her PhD in 2009. It is entitled “Random Murder by Technology: The Role of Scientific and Biomedical Experts in the Anti-Nuclear Movement, 1969-1992” and was supervised by the late Professor Gina Feldberg. She has recently secured a job as Research Projects Facilitator at Ryerson University. She works with faculty across all faculties in the university to help them write tricouncil (SSHRC, NSERC, CIHR) grant proposals. Her role varies from actually writing the grant (mainly for the large team grants) to providing writing assistance, doing content peer-reviews and other reviews based on the guidelines, acting as a facilitator, doing faculty outreach, and editing. If you want more information about how Lisa landed this position, please refer to her LinkedIn profile:

Laura Godsoe defended her PhD in 2011. It is entitled “Pour la grandeur de la patrie et nous memes: Reading Women’s Colonial Work in the Pages of the Women’s Press in France, 1870-1914,” supervised by Professor Bill Irvine. She is the new Acquistions Editor at Canadian Scholars’ Press/Women’s Press, where she is responsible for acquiring new titles for their higher-education publishing program, with a particular focus on the college market. She also performs market research to anticipate needs in key subject areas (health studies, sociology, gender and sexuality, history, etc.). She works with authors on works in progress, coordinates peer reviews, and ensures that books are delivered on time and on budget. She contributes to design and web content and consults with the marketing staff regarding book promotion.

Cynthia Belaskie currently works as the Senior Advisor of Development for the Research Office for Administration, Development and Support (ROADS) at McMaster University. She assists researchers with proposal development by reviewing applications, providing advice, and drafting institutional elements of proposals, as applicable. Her own perspective on what she does, however, is as follows: “Every day I get to read myself into a wide variety of interesting research topics (some of my favorites have been: migrant labour, philanthropy, homelessness, bullying, Autism, cancer, aging, obesity) and help researchers craft the best proposal possible to get the money they need to effect positive change. The work is stimulating and rewarding – and best – I use my graduate training every single day. Reading, writing, lecturing, presenting, critical analysis and simply understanding how universities and funding agencies work.”

In June 2012 Heather Steel gained a position as Insights Manager at the Institute for Canadian Citizenship. The ICC is a registered charity that aims to ensure that new citizens are welcomed and included as equals, and fosters a culture of engaged, active citizenship for all Canadians primarily through two programs – the Cultural Access Pass and Building Citizenship program. The Cultural Access Pass gives all new citizens free entry to participating cultural attractions (museums, galleries, parks, etc.) for one year from the date of their citizenship ceremony. In the Building Citizenship program, volunteer committees across Canada organize community citizenship ceremonies, including unique roundtable discussions on citizenship. Thousands of new citizens participate in these programs, an audience that stakeholders in the public, non-profit, and private sectors would love to get to know better. Heather managed this program previously and had also worked with Citizenship and Immigration Canada as a communications analyst, writing media advisories, organizing events and news conferences involving the Minister and writing articles for internal and external newsletters. Heather’s LinkedIn profile is available here: Congratulations to all!

Three tenure-track successes for Jim Clifford, Jason Ellis and Maurice Demers
It is with great pleasure that we are able to relate news of job market successes for three recent PhDs from the Graduate History Program. Jim Clifford has recently been appointed to a tenure-track position in the Department of History at the University of Saskatchewan; Jason Ellis has received a tenure-track position in the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia, both of these positions commencing in July, while Maurice Demers has won a tenure-track position at the University of Sherbrooke in Quebec, after having taught there in a contractually-limited position.

Jim Clifford completed an Honours BA in History (minor Politics) at Bishop’s University in 2003. One year later, he graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University with an MA in History with a Major Research Paper on the social representations of poverty in the East End of London in the 1880s and 1890s. Jim’s fascination with East London carried over into his doctoral dissertation undertaken under the supervision of Prof. Stephen Brooke and entitled “A Wetland Suburb on the Edge of London: A Social and Environmental History of West Ham and the River Lea, 1855-1914”. Since defending the dissertation in January 2011 and having had it nominated for a FGS dissertation prize, Jim has been working as a Postdoctoral Fellow on the SSHRC-funded Digging into Data Project. He co-authored the interdisciplinary“Trading Consequences” project proposal within this, which studies the economic and environmental history of nineteenth-century commodity flows in the British Empire. He also been active in the Network in Canadian History and Environment (NiCHE) Project as a project coordinator and editor since 2010, and was in 2009 a founding member of the editorial collective of the now highly-popular website. He has presently published two refereed articles and is revising a book manuscript based on his dissertation for UBC Press.

Jason Ellis defended his dissertation entitled “’Backward and Brilliant Children: A Social and Policy History of Disability, Childhood and Education in Toronto’s Special Education Classes, 1910 to 1945” in September 2011 and it was later nominated for the Bullen Prize of the Canadian Historical Association. Since then he has taught at Trent University (Oshawa), Western University, and Wilfrid Laurier University (Brantford) and he received his B.Ed. from OISE-University of Toronto in 2012. His superior teaching skills were officially recognized by the Dean of Laurier-Brantford that year for his course“Children, Toys and Media”. Jason now serves as book editor for Historical Studies in Education-Revue d’histoire de l’éducation and is a past co-editor of Left History. Jason did his Masters degree in History at York, graduating in 2005. Previously, he graduated with an Honours BA (History and French Studies) from Queen’s University Kingston in 2004. He has an article forthcoming in the History of Education Quarterly and is presently revising his dissertation for publication. Dr. Ellis also won the Cathy L. James Memorial Award from the Canadian History of Education Association for the best thesis in the history of Canadian Education (in either French or English). He received the award last fall at the annual meeting of CHEA in Vancouver.

Before obtaining the tenure-track position at the University of Sherbrooke, Maurice Demers had a two-year contractually limited position there in Latin American and World history. He also taught courses on Latin America as a part-time course director at McGill and Concordia Universities. In 2010 Maurice defended his dissertation entitled “Pan-Americanism Re-Invented in Uncle Sam’s Backyard: Catholic and Latin Identity in French Canada and Mexico in the First Half of the 20th Century.” The dissertation, which was co-supervised by Professors Anne Rubenstein and Roberto Perin, was nominated for the prize awarded by Dean of Graduate Studies for the best dissertation in the Faculty. Maurice did his Masters degree in Latin American Studies (history and political science) at the University of New Mexico. In addition to French and English, he speaks Spanish and Portuguese fluently. A revised version of his dissertation will soon be published by McGill-Queen’s University Press.

New Frontiers graduate History conference a success once again
History graduate students Mary Franks, Carly Murdoch, Sara Howdle and Christine McQueen deserve our congratulations for their sterling work in putting on this year’s New Frontiers Graduate History conference. I am sure I also speak for the York History faculty and grad students who were there when I say that I very much enjoyed and learned from the papers I was able to hear, as well as their ensuing discussions. Also, it was also nice to meet several speakers and participants from out of town.

Proceedings got off to a great start on Friday evening with the Historian’s Craft roundtable on “Activism and Academia” that featured notable presentations by PhD student Francesca D’Amico and Prof. Sean Kheraj among the four speakers.
Notable too was the keynote given by Professor Garrett Fagan of Penn State University (“The Dangers of Pseudo-archeology”) and the lunchtime talk given by Professor Boyd Cothran (“(In)Visible Minorities: Negotiating Diversity as a Scholar, an Activist, and a Human Being”). These talks were delivered with a great deal of passion and verve by the speakers and their insights generated interesting and memorable discussions.

Once again, thanks for your hard work in making the event a tremendous success and ensuring that the reputation of History at York and the energy of its graduate students continues to spread far and wide.

William Jenkins, Director

GHP PhD student Karlee Sapoznik authors book on Slave Trade
The Graduate Program in History congratulates PhD student Karlee Sapoznik on the pending publication of her book The Letters and Other Writings of Gustavas Vassa (alias Olaudah Equiano, the African): Documenting Abolition of the Slave Trade.

To be published by Markus Wiener in mid–April 2013, the book was launched last week at the Annual conference of the African Studies Association in Philadelphia.

In her description of the book Ms Sapoznik said, “Gustavus Vassa was on the vanguard of the anti-slavery movement in England at the end of the eighteenth century. He provided a voice for people of African descent in the British Atlantic world. His Interesting Narrative has influenced countless works, both fiction and nonfiction.”

Praise for Ms Sapoznik’s book has flowed from the academic community. University of Worcester professor Suzanne Schwarz called the work “an impressive book which makes an important contribution to advancing scholarly understanding of the the life, identity and influence of Gustavus Vassa. By drawing together such a rich and varied corpus of source material dispersed in archives in Britain and America, Sapoznik offers new insights into Vassa’s ideas, his networks of influence, as well as his many talents and accomplishments. This book is indispensable.”

Arthur Torrington, of the Equiano Society said Ms Sapoznik’s book “…highlights the major contribution of an African to the body of knowledge of crimes against Africans in bondage [and] the immorality of human traffickers.”

And James Walvin, author of An African’s Life: The Life and Times of Olaudah Equiano, 1745–1797, said “Olaudah Equiano continues to attract an extraordinary degree of scholarly attention and debate. Though much of that debate centres on his autobiography (his famous Narrative), he also left a wide and diffuse paper trail for scholars to examine. Now, after exhaustive research and painstaking reconstruction, Karlee Anne Sapoznik brings together all of Equiano’s other known writing. Here, in a single, accessible format, is an invaluable mine of information, derived from a remarkable array of sources... It throws Equiano’s achievements into sharp relief and will provide scholars with an abundance of data in the continuing historical debate about the man and his time.”

Any royalties earned by the book will be donated to the Alliance Against Modern Slavery

Let the Eastern Bastards Freeze in the Dark book launch
The Graduate Program in History congratulates PhD student Mary Janigan on the publication of her book Let the Eastern Bastards Freeze in the Dark: The West Versus the Rest Since Confederation. The book, published by Random House Press was launched to great fanfare at Massey College Nov. 14. Describing the book, Random House says; “The oil sands. Global warming. The National Energy Program. Though these seem like modern Canadian subjects, author Mary Janigan reveals them to be a legacy of longstanding regional rivalry. Something of a “Third Solitude” since entering Confederation, the West has long been overshadowed by Canada’s other great national debate: but as the conflict over natural resources and their effect on climate change heats up, 150 years of antipathy are coming to a head. Janigan takes readers back to a pivotal moment in 1918, when Canada’s western premiers descended on Ottawa determined to control their own future–and as Margaret MacMillan did in Paris 1919, she deftly illustrates how the results reverberate to this day.”

Former Alberta Premier Peter Loughheed read the book before his death and described it as “one of the first authoritative looks at the struggle over resources with the rest of Canada that has plagued the West since the mid-19th century. This is an important book that explains so much of today’s debates.”

Janigan is in the third year of her PhD in History under the supervision of Prof. Jennifer Stephen. The book is based on the Major Research Paper she wrote as part of her M.A. in History, also here at York and again supervised by Prof. Stephen.

For more information please see

Borderlands, Transnationalism and Migration in North America
On October 19 and 20, York and the Department of History hosted an exciting workshop entitled “Borderlands, Transnationalism, and Migration in North America.” Over two days, twenty-five historians and historical geographers met at Glendon Manor to discuss pre-circulated papers. With the support of a SSHRC Connection Grant, York PhD candidate Ben Bryce, Alexander Freund at the University of Winnipeg, and our faculty colleague Prof. Roberto Perin brought
in 18 faculty members, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students from the United States and Canada, and they were joined by five graduate students and two faculty members from our graduate program. The goal of the event was to bring all twenty-five papers closer to publication, increase connections between universities, and to engage Canadianists and Americanists in a deeper scholarly dialogue.

The workshop also included two public events. Erika Lee from the University of Minnesota gave a public lecture on her new research project entitled “Local, National, and Transnational Histories of the Americas.” This talk was followed up by a public roundtable entitled “The Mosaic vs. the Melting Pot? Myths and Realities of Cultural Pluralism in Canada and the United States.” Workshop participants David Atkinson (Purdue University), Grace Delgado (Penn State), and Randy Widdis (University of Regina) presented on their research and on these mythical ideologies in North America, as did York’s Associate Dean Patricia Wood and University of Toronto historian Russell Kazal. Both events were well attended, and the roundtable drew an audience of approximately 70 people. You can watch the public lecture or the roundtable discussion by clicking here:

GHP graduate Patrick Connor awarded Post-doctoral Fellowship
The Graduate Program in History is delighted to announce that Dr. Patrick Connor (2012) is currently the "R. Roy McMurtry Fellow in Canadian Legal History". This was effective as of 1 July, 2012, and is awarded and administrated by the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History in Toronto. Congratulations Patrick!

Douglas Hunter wins Vanier and Taylor Prizes
The Graduate Program in History is delighted to announce that our doctoral student, Douglas Hunter, has won two of the most prestigious awards offered to students by the federal government. The first is the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship, awarded to candidates with exceptional academic and leadership skills, and the SSHRC William E. Taylor Fellowship, awarded each year to the most outstanding SSHRC doctoral award recipient. (Mr. Hunter also won a SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship and an Ontario Graduate Studies Scholarship, but declined them in favour of the Vanier.) Doug Hunter is supervised by Professor Carolyn Podruchny.
To learn more about Doug, visit his website at

Kristine Alexander awarded Post doc at University of Saskatchewan
The Graduate Program in History is delighted to announce that Kristine Alexander, who defended her PhD in 2010 (supervised by Bettina Bradbury), has been awarded a second postdoctoral fellowship. Kristine’s PhD dissertation was entitled “The Girl Guide Movement, Imperialism and Internationalism in Interwar England, Canada, and India” and was awarded the 2011 Governor General’s Gold Medal. Kristine is currently a SSHRC postdoctoral fellow in the Department of History at the University of Western Ontario and, starting this September, she will be the Elizabeth & Cecil Kent Postdoctoral Fellow in the History of Britain and the British World at the University of Saskatchewan. While success at gaining one postdoc is impressive, success at gaining two is exceptional. Congratulations Kristine!

Professor William Jenkins appointed new Graduate Program Director in History 
Dr. Jenkins is an associate professor of geography and has been a member of the Graduate Program in History since 2008. A graduate of University College Dublin and the University of Toronto, his published work initially focused on social and economic transformations in nineteenth- and twentieth-century rural Ireland. Having since developed interests in comparative, transnational and diasporic histories, his research has concentrated on the lives and allegiances of Irish immigrants and their descendants in urban North America. His work has appeared in the Journal of Historical Geography, Immigrants and Minorities, and the Journal of Urban History, among other scholarly outlets. He was one of four authors of a multi-disciplinary volume on the history of the Boyne Valley region in eastern Ireland published by the Royal Irish Academy in 2008, and his most recent book, “Between Raid and Rebellion: the Irish in Buffalo and Toronto, 1867-1916″ is scheduled for publication by McGill-Queen’s University Press in early 2013. Professor Jenkins will be assuming the email address: as of July 1.

GHP PhD student Karlee Sapoznik wins new Provost Dissertation Scholarship
The Graduate Program in History is delighted to announce that doctoral candidate Karlee Sapoznik has won the newly created Provost Dissertation Scholarship. This award allows students going into their fifth year of their PhD to concentrate exclusive on writing and competing their dissertations. Only ten were awarded across the university. This remarkable young woman has a long string of accomplishments that both demonstrate her impressive array of skills and her great intellectual promise. She has turned her MA Major Research Paper into a book that is accepted for publication by Princeton University Press. She has published three academic articles on widely divergent topics (one from her BA research) and has authored curriculum for Manitoba’s Board of Education. In her spare time Ms. Sapoznik has founded a major national charitable organization: the Alliance Against Modern Slavery. For more information see
Congratulations Karlee on this impressive achievement!

York History PhD Jim Clifford wins two-year postdoc on Trading Consequences project
The Graduate Program in History is delighted to announce that Dr. Jim Clifford has won a two-year postdoctoral fellowship on a Digging into Data Project called “Trading Consequences.” The project, a major research collaboration between York University, the University of Edinburgh, and the University of St. Andrews, examines the environmental consequences of commodity trading during the nineteenth century. See
Dr. Jim Clifford defended his doctoral dissertation, entitled “A Wetland Suburb on the Edge of London: A SOcial and Environmental History of West Ham and the River Lea, 1856-1914″, on January 5, 2011. He was supervised by Professor Stephen Brooke. Congratulations Jim on this impressive achievement!

GHP graduate Valerie Deacon wins Post-doc Assistant Professorship at NYU in Military History
The Graduate Program in History is delighted to announce that Dr. Valerie Deacon, who defended her PhD dissertation in February 2011, has just won a position at New York University as the Elihu Rose Assistant Professor / Faculty Fellow in Military History. The position is for one year, and renewable for three years. Dr. Deacon’s dissertation, “The ‘Other’ Resistance: The Extreme-Right in France during the Second World War,” was supervised by Professor Bill Irvine. Congratulations Valerie!!

Six York Graduate History students conduct research in Sierra Leone

Bradley Skopyk wins CALACS Outstanding Dissertation Prize 2012
The Graduate Program in History is delighted to announce that Bradley Skopyk, who earned his PhD from the Graduate History Program in December 2010, has won the Canadian Association for Latin American and Caribbean Studies Outstanding Dissertation Prize for 2012! Dr. Skopyk’s dissertation, “Undercurrents of Conquest: The Shifting Terrain of Indigenous Agriculture in Colonial Tlaxcala, Mexico,” was supervised by the late Elinor Melville and Richard Hoffmann. The prize committee members were impressed by “the scope of the dissertation, which covers more than three hundred years of colonial history and is based on extensive research on unpublished sources in both Náhuatl and Spanish. [Dr. Skopyk’s] remarkable command of primary sources is combined with a deep grasp of theoretical literature in a wide range of fields, including history, environmental studies, demographics, and political economy. The result is a unique and original scholarly work, a model of interdisciplinary research that makes a number of relevant contributions to the history of colonial Mexico and Latin America and that has significant comparative Value for other regions of the world and historical periods.” Dr. Skopyk also won the 2012 American Society for Environmental Studies Rachel Carson Prize for the best dissertation in environmental history earlier this year. Congratulations Dr. Skopyk!

GHP student Alia Paroo has won a tenure-track position in the History Department at Texas A&M International University (Laredo, Texas) in African and Islamic History. Last week, she defended her doctoral dissertation “Aga Khan III and the British Empire: The Ismalis in Tanganyika, 1920-1957,” supervised by Professor Paul Lovejoy. Her innovative and important study uncovers the little known history of an Ismali community in East African, focussing specifically on how the colonial policies negotiated with Britain shaped the lives of women and children. Professor Paroo started teaching at Texas A&M in September, and her position converted to tenure-track upon her successful doctoral defense. She is teaching courses on African History, Islamic History, World Civilizations, and a graduate class on Women in the Developing World. Congratulations to Professor Paroo on this wonderful accomplishment!

York Graduate History Courses Make the AHA Bulletin The jointly mounted courses offered by York’s Graduate History Program and Arizona State University’s History Department, “Canadian and US Borderlands” (2009-10) and “North American Environmental History” (2007), were featured in an article in the American Historical Association’s March 2012 issue Perspective. See “Teaching History Across Borders: The Collaboration between York and Arizona State Universities” by Susan E. Gray and Colin M. Coates:

SSHRC finds money for MA students: Martins and Smolyansky. Congratulattions to two of our current MA students who belatedly received SSHRC scholarships for their MAs: Michael Martins, who is working in the area of women in ancient Rome with Jonathan Edmondson, and Garry Smolyansky, who is working on Jewish immigrants to the GTA with Michael Brown. Both Garry and Michael did their BAs at York, their awards reflect the high quality of training of our undergraduate program. It is also good to know that when SSHRC does find more money in their budget, they fund those candidates whom they rank as “recommended but not funded.” This is good news all round. Congratulations to Michael and Garry.

Dr. Ian Milligan has won a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship for his project “Postwar English-Canadian Youth Cultures: A Digital History, 1945-1990″ which he will hold at the University of Western Ontario’s History Department under the supervision of Bill Turkel. Dr. Milligan, who was supervised by Craig Heron, defended his doctoral dissertation, “Rebel Youth: Young Workers, New Leftists, and Labour in English Canada, 1964-1973,” this past November. This is a prestigious prize and a wonderful honour for Dr. Milligan and the graduate history program.

Dr. Bradley Skopyk wins the 2012 American Society for Environmental Studies Rachel Carson Prize for the best dissertation in environmental history. Only three students from outside the U.S. have ever won this prize, and they have all been from York’s Graduate History Program: Matthew Evenden in 2001, Liza Piper in 2006 and now Bradley Skopyk. Nor has any university ever had students win this prize more than twice. Dr. Skopyk’s excellent work is bringing great prestige to our program!
Dr. Skopyk’s dissertation, entitled “Undercurrents of Conquest: The Shifting Terrain of Indigenous Agriculture in Colonial Tlaxcala, Mexico,” was supervised by the late Elinor Melville and Richard Hoffmann. Dr. Skopyk defended his dissertation in December 2010. He is currently a post-doctoral fellow at the Institute for Anthropological Research, National Autonomous University of Mexico. Working with anthropologists and archaeologists in the Teotihuacan Project, which explores the environmental history of the Teotihuacan Valley during the last 1,300 years, Dr. Skopyk is investigating  environmental processes and changes initiated by Spanish colonization in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Winning this award for the third time in a row is a significant accomplishment for our program. Our congratulations go to Bradley, and our colleagues who work in environmental history.

Professor Paul Lovejoy wins the Faculty of Graduate Studies Teaching Award. Professor Lovejoy, Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Distinguished Research Professor at York University, Canada Research Chair in African Diaspora History, and Director of the Harriet Tubman Institute, has had a long and distinguished career in research, service and teaching. He has had a profound impact on many students at York University. His scholarship, impressive awards, creative innovations, mentoring, teaching, and the work he does through the Harriet Tubman Institute make him a significant asset to York’s Graduate History Program. This is a wonderful achievement.

convocation_2011_1Graduate Program in History Dominates June Convocation
On the morning convocation of June 15, 2011, the Graduate History Program dominated the convocation with thirteen PhDs, three MAs and one Distinguished Research Professorship conferred. Professor Nicolas Rogers, a long-time faculty member of the Program, was recognized for his outstanding scholarship, and Tomas Bingham, Colin Maclennan and Sun-Kyung Li were awarded MAs.
But the visual stars of the stage were the eleven PhD graduates who dominated the procession with their long red robes and broad black hats.
convocation_2011_2In the photos are Jim Clifford, Valerie Deacon, Eric Dussault, Laura Godsoe, Jarett Henderson, Dan Horner, Mathieu Lapointe, Colin McMahon, Jason Russell, Brad Skopyk, and Guillaume Teasdale (the remaining two, Kristine Alexander and Sophia Koutsoyannis, could not make it to convocation).

The GHP is delighted to announce that Dr. Jarett Henderson, a recent graduate of the Graduate Program in History (defended September 2010), has won the first ever Louise Dechêne Prize for the best dissertation in the history of French America. The prize recognizes the originality, the quality of research, the methodology, and the intellectual rigour of the doctoral dissertation. The prize was awarded at the recent meeting of the Institut d’histoire de l’Amérique française. Henderson’s dissertation, “Uncivil subjects: Metropolitan Meddling, Conditional Loyalty, and Lord Durham’s 1838 Administration of Lower Canada,” was supervised by Professor Bettina Bradbury. The prize committee commented that:
Dans sa thèse de doctorat soutenue en septembre 2010, Jarett Henderson reprend un sujet à propos duquel les historiens et les historiennes croyaient sans doute avoir tout dit et tout écrit: la visite éclair dans la colonie et le court régime de John George Lambton, Lord Durham, en 1838. Partant du constat selon lequel on a accordé jusqu’ici beaucoup plus d’attention au rapport de Durham qu’au mandat et à la mission qui lui ont été confiés, Henderson propose une interprétation originale, et par-là courageuse, d’un point d’histoire qui continue de nos jours à susciter des passions.
À travers de constants va-et-vient entre les scènes coloniale et impériale, Henderson examine la réception faite à Lord Durham lors son bref séjour dans la colonie et l’horizon d’attente qui entourait son administration, tout en montrant à quel point la rédaction du Report on the Affairs of British North America a été conditionnée par les débats qui avaient cours à ce moment au sein de l’Empire concernant les droits politiques, sociaux et culturels qu’il convenait d’accorder aux différents sujets britanniques. Prenant en compte l’expérience concrète que Durham avait de l’Empire et les jugements posés par les uns et les autres sur son entourage, l’auteur intègre habilement à son étude la perspective genrée tout en rejoignant le champ en plein essor de la « nouvelle histoire de l’Empire ».
Tirant parti d’une vaste documentation en français et en anglais, écrite dans un style dynamique, la thèse d’Henderson montre la voie à suivre à quiconque souhaite renouer avec l’histoire politique sans pour cela sacrifier les acquis de l’histoire sociale ou renoncer à la fraicheur de l’histoire culturelle. Dr. Henderson currently has a contractually-limited appointed at Mount Royal University in Calgary. Congratulations on this magnificent achievement!

Geoffrey Reaume wins Community Heritage Award. The Psychiatric Survivor Archives of Toronto (PSAT) of which Faculty of Health Professor Geoffrey Reaume is the co-founder and chair, tied for first place in the Community Heritage Award category. The award, says Reaume, graduate program director of the Critical Disability Program in York’s Faculty of Graduate Studies, comes with a $500 cheque. (See nominations story, YFile, Oct. 4) “It was a very exciting and gratifying night,” says Reaume. “It is an important acknowledgement of psychiatric patients’ lives and contributions, past and present.”PSAT worked for years to save the 19th century psychiatric-patient-built boundary walls at what was once the Toronto Insane Asylum and is now the Centre for Addiction & Mental Health (CAMH) on Queen Street West. Last year, PSAT, along with CAMH, unveiled nine memorial wall plaques at CAMH dedicated to patient labourers of the past.

The citation read out at the ceremony talked about the importance of preserving the history of these patient built walls and how the creation of the wall plaques helps to acknowledge unpaid psychiatric patient labourers. The jury also commended the work of PSAT “in recognizing the significant contributions that a marginalized community has made to the city’s fabric,shedding light on a little known dimension of Toronto’s history.” PSAT was also cited by Heritage Toronto for accomplishing this community work imaginatively and with limited resources.Congratulations to Professor Reaume.

Portuguese Canadian History Project Website Launch.  We are proud to announce that the Portuguese Canadian History Project (PCHP) is getting ready to launch its online exhibit website. To celebrate the occasion, we will be hosting an event on the 12th of October, from 11.45 to 12.30, at the Senior Common Room, Winters College, Keele Campus. The website is a joint production of the PCHP and the Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections, York University Libraries, and it features research produced by past and present York History graduate students, Dr. Susana Miranda, Gilberto Fernandes and Raphael Costa; archival materials donated by members of the Portuguese community; and video interviews with some of our donors. We will have a few brief presentations from the members of the PCHP and from Anna St. Onge, archivist at the Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections, followed by a complimentary lunch offered by the organizers of the symposium ‘Identity, Civic Engagement, Multiculturalism and Transnationalism: Portuguese-Canadian Immigrant Descendants in Canada.’ We are asking those coming to the launch to register (free of charge) at the symposium’s website, here: This will give the organizers a better idea of how many people are coming, so that they can ensure there will be enough food for everyone. If you wish to obtain more information about this or any other of our initiatives, please check our blog at or contact Gilberto or Raphael directly at /

Professor Bernard Lightman named as Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. See the story onYFile. In addition to being a member of the Graduate Program in History, Professor Lightman is also a member of the Department of Humanities, the editor of Isis, the quarterly journal of the History of Science Society and director of the Institute for Science and Technology Studies at York University. Professor Lightman specializes in the cultural history of Victorian science. He is editor of the Pickering and Chatto Press monograph series, titled “Science and Culture in the Nineteenth Century”, in which 14 books have been published. His publications include: The Origins of Agnosticism, Victorian Popularizers of Science, Evolutionary Naturalism in Victorian Britain and Victorian Science in Context, among others. Currently, Lightman is working on a biography of the physicist John Tyndall, and he is the founder of an international correspondence project to collect and publish Tyndall’s letters. The project is being funded by the Mellon Foundation and the National Science Foundation.

The GHP is pleased to announce that Jonathan Edmondson, the Chair of the History Department, will be honoured this week by the Spanish Ministry of Culture. He won the “Premio Internacional Genio Protector de la Colonia Augusta Emerita,” which translates as “International Prize Protective Spirit of the colony of Augusta Emerita. He will be the 18th winner of the prize inaugurated in 1994 by the Association of Friends of the Museo Nacional de Arte Romano (National Museum of Roman Art), run by the Spanish Ministry of Culture. The prize recognizes the contributions of individuals, academics and researchers who have expanded knowledge on the historical, cultural and archaeological heritage of the Roman world, in particular of the city of Mérida. Some previous winners include:
Dr Walter Trillmich, former Director of the German Archaeological Institute, Berlin
Prof. Dr. Jose Blázquez, former Professor of Roman Archaeology at the Complutense University of Madrid
Dr. Jean-Claude Golvin, CNRS/Univ. de Bordeaux III
Prof. Dr. Martin Almagro Gorbea, Professor of Archaeology, Complutense University of Madrid, Anticuario of the Real Academia de la Historia
Prof. Dr. Jorge Alarcão, former Professor of Roman Archaeology, University of Coimbra
Prof. Dr. Pierre Gros, former Professor of Roman Archaeology, Univ. d’Aix-en-Provence
Rafael Moneo Vallés, world-renowned architect (and architect of the new Museo Nacional de Arte Romano, inaugurated 19 Sept. 1986, 25 yrs ago)

Please join us in congratulating Jonathan on this remarkable achievement.

GHP student Jason Russell begins tenure-track position at Empire State College – SUNY. The GHP is delighted to announce that one of our recent PhD students, Jason Russell, began a tenure-track position at Empire State College – State University of New York — last summer as an Assistant Professor of Labour Studies! Dr. Russell defended his dissertation, “The Union Local in Post-Second World War Canada: A Case Study of of UAW / CAW Local 27 From 1950-1990″ in October 2010, and was supervised by Craig Heron. Dr. Russell also has a book in press with Athabasca University Press entitled "Our Union: UAW / CAW Local 27 from 1950 to 1990", due to come out in December. For more info see

Dr. Kristine Alexander has won the Governor General’s Gold Medal in Graduate Studies at York.
The GHP is delighted to announce that Dr. Kristine Alexander, who earned her PhD in the Graduate History Program in November 2010, has won the Governor General’s Gold Medal in Graduate Studies at York! Dr. Alexander’s dissertation, entitled “The Girl Guide Movement, Imperialism and Internationalism in Interwar England, Canada and India,” was supervised by Professor Bettina Bradbury. Currently holding as SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Western Ontario, Dr. Alexander is continuing her research on children, this time in World War I. She excelled at every level of her education, winning a long list of prizes along the way and is richly deserving of this honour.

Dr. Jarett Henderson has won a two-year L.R. Wilson Postdoctoral Fellowship at McMaster. Dr. Jarett Henderson, who defended his doctoral dissertation in the Graduate History Program in September 2010, has won a two-year L. R. Wilson Postdoctoral Fellowship at McMaster University. Dr. Henderson will use his fellowship to publish his dissertation and work on a new project entitled “Convicts, Colonists, and the Colonial Office” that will explore the life histories of twenty-five men transported from Lower Canada to the British penal colony of Bermuda between 1828 and 1838. In addition to providing insight into the unstudied history of convict migration from Lower Canada to Bermuda, this project will seek to determine how colonists who became convicts in these two racially divided colonial societies negotiated their unfreedom in the Age of Liberty. Dr. Henderson’s doctoral dissertation, entitled “Uncivil Subjects: Metropolitan Meddling, Conditional Loyalty, and Lord Durham’s 1838 Administration of Lower Canada,” was supervised by Bettina Bradbury.

Former GHP Director Jack Saywell Recognized as a Builder of York University. Professor Jack Saywell, who passed away April 20, 2011, was a director of the Graduate History Program for more than a decade in the 1990s. He was honoured in a long article in YFile, see and in a Globe and Mail obituary. Professor Saywell was considered an administrative visionary that shaped York University.

Dr. Dan Horner (York, GHP 2010) has won two postdoctoral fellowships for this year. He is currently enjoying a six-month postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Leicester, at their Centre for Urban History. He was also just awarded an L.R. Wilson Post-Doctoral Fellowship at McMaster University, which will begin on July 1 and last for two years. Dan Horner defended his dissertation in the Graduate History Program in November 2010 under the supervision of Bettina Bradbury. His dissertation is entitled “Taking to the Streets: Crowds, Politics and Identity in Mid- Nineteenth-Century Montreal.”

Paul E. Lovejoy awarded Lifetime Achievement in African Studies at the CAAS annual meeting, York University in May
Paul E. Lovejoy was presented with an award for his Lifetime Achievement in African Studies at the 2011 annual meeting of the Canadian Association of African Studies / Association canadienne des études africaines, which was be held at York University on May 5-6-7.
In his letter to Paul E. Lovejoy informing of the award, Dennis Cordell, President / Président  of the Canadian Association of African Studies / Association canadienne des études africaines writes: Your research achievements are, of course, legion, as are your wonderful abilities to teach and mentor your students and younger colleagues.  Given our own long friendship, I feel particularly lucky to be president of CAAS/ACÉA the year that you will be honoured.
The award was presented at the opening reception at the end of the first day of the conference on Thursday, May fifth.

GHP Student Jennifer Ellison wins Postdoctoral Fellowship
Dr. Jennifer Ellison won a two-year Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Centre for Canadian Studies at Mount Allison University to work on a project entitled “Feminist Activism and the Promise of Self- Esteem.” Dr. Ellison defended her doctoral dissertation, “Large as Life: Self-Acceptance and the Fat Body in Canada, 1977-2000″ in May 2010. She was supervised by Kathryn McPherson. A hearty congratulations to Jennifer!

GHP grad Karen Macfarlane wins essay prize
Karen Macfarlane, who earned her doctorate in the Graduate History Program in 2008, under the supervision of Doug Hay, is the winner of the 2011 Essay Prize of the Journal of Modern Jewish Studies for her essay entitled “The Jewish Policemen of Eighteenth-Century London.” Congratulations to Karen on this prestigious award!

GHP Student Tom Peace Wins SSHRC Postdoc
Doctoral candidate Tom Peace has won a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship for the project “Indigenous Education along the St. Lawrence and great Lakes after the Seven Year’s War.” He plans to begin the award this summer and will hold it at Dartmouth College under the supervision of Colin Calloway. Tom is in the final stages of completing his dissertation, entitled “Two Conquests: Northeastern Aboriginal experiences of the British Conquest of Acadia and Canada,” supervised by Carolyn Podruchny. A hearty congratulations to Tom!

GHP Student Ian Mosby Wins SSHRC Postdoc
Doctoral candidate Ian Mosby will hold his postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Guelph under the supervision of Catherine Carstairs to work on the project “Engineering Dinner: Postwar Food Technology and the Industrial Transformation of the Canadian Diet.” Ian is in the final stages of completing his dissertation, entitled “Eat Right to Work and Win: Eating for Health, Nation and Victory in Wartime Canada, 1939-1945.” It is supervised by Kate McPherson, Molly Ladd-Taylor, Marlene Shore and the late Gina Feldberg. A hearty congratulations to Ian!

Mathieu Lapointe wins FQRSC Postdoctoral Fellowship
Yet another one of our very recent PhD graduates has received a prestigious Postdoctoral Fellowship. Dr. Mathieu Lapointe has won a Postdoctoral Fellowship from FQRSC (Le Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la société et la culture), which he will hold at McGill University’s Department of Art History for two years. Under Professor Will Straw’s supervision, Dr. Lapointe will be studying Montreal’s “yellow press” and its ideologies from the 1940s to the 1960s. He defended his doctoral dissertation, “La Comité de Moralité Publique, l’Enquete Caron et les Campagnes de Moralité Publique à Montréal, 1940-1954,” in November 2010, under the supervision of Professor Roberto Perin.

Professor Bettina Bradbury, member of the Graduate History Program and the Graduate Program in Women’s Studies, has won the Faculty of Graduate Studies Teaching Award.
Excerpts from her letter of nomination demonstrate the enthusiasm of student and faculty support for her nomination:
“We nominate Professor Bradbury because of the extraordinary vision, skill, commitment, and generosity that she has demonstrated in graduate teaching, supervision, and pedagogical development. Professor Bradbury was first appointed to the GHP and GPWS in 1993. Since that time she has served as the Director of the GHP, as well as a member of the Executive and numerous other committees, taught courses, and supervised many students. Her contributions have made her a central force in defining the program…. …the letters from students make clear that Professor Bradbury has made a profound impact on their scholarly, professional and personal lives. Students have deeply appreciated her empathy, understanding, and “humanness,” as well as the encouragement she gives students “to challenge their fears and limits.” One student eloquently expresses that “her dedication to my scholarly, professional and teaching development was the highlight of my time at York.”  She “inspires in her students a firm commitment to engaging in academic life with passion and integrity.”… Colleagues have been grateful for Professor Bradbury’s generosity in mentoring them to become excellent graduate teachers and in her devotion to graduate education. One faculty member explains that Professor Bradbury “works, in large ways and small, to make our graduate program an intellectually rigorous centre for historical analysis (the best in Canada, and one of the best in the world) and at the same time a warm, humane community. She sees these goals as related, and so her students and colleagues have learned much from her that these goals are not in conflict with one another.”

Former GHP Student, Sharon Wall, wins two prizes for history of summer camp in Ontario
Sharon Wall, a former student in the Graduate History Program has won both the Floyd S. Chalmers Award in Ontario History for 2009 and the Canadian Historical Association’s 2010 Clio prize for Ontario for her book: The Nurture of Nature: Childhood, Anti-modernism, and Ontario Summer Camps, 1920-55. Thousands of children attended or worked at Ontario summer camps in the twentieth century. Did parents simply want a break, or were broader developments at play? The Nurture of Nature explores the history of an institution that shaped the lives of many and brings to light overlooked connections between the history of childhood, the natural environment, class cultures, and modern recreation and leisure.
Two competing cultural tendencies — antimodern nostalgia and modern enthusiasms about the landscape, child rearing, and identity — shaped the summer camp. Sharon Wall examines how this tension played out in the camp’s interaction with the natural landscape, its class and gendered dimensions, its engagement with emerging ideologies of childhood, and in the politics of race and identity inherent in its “Indian” programming. By tracing the development of summer camps in Ontario, Wall brings new insights to a broader phenomenon: the divided consciousness that has informed modern assumptions about nature, technology, and identity. A nuanced discussion of the summer camp’s contribution to modern social life in North America, The Nurture of Nature is an essential resource for students and practitioners of history, sociology, and cultural studies as well as for anyone who has ever been packed off to camp and wants to explore why.
Dr. Wall currently teaches in the History Department at the University of Winnipeg.

 Graduate History Program’s Karlee Sapoznik selected as a member of the “Slavery as the Powers Attaching to the Right of Ownership” International Network
This August 31 – September 4, Karlee Sapoznik, a Ph.D. Candidate in the Graduate History Program at York University, attended and presented a paper at the ‘Considering the Parameters of Slavery’ Symposium – the first of two international network meetings of the Slavery as the Powers Attaching to the Right of Ownership Network held at the Rockefeller Foundation Center in Bellagio, Italy. She was selected as one of two post-graduate students to participate. The Research Network’s principal investigator is Dr. Jean Allain, a generalist in public international law with a specialization in human rights and expertise in issues of slavery and human trafficking. It seeks to answer what the legal parameters of slavery are today, and what is to be considered slavery in law. The network consists of twenty expert scholars on historical and contemporary slavery, including Kevin Bales, John Cairns, Holly Cullen, Seymour Drescher, Stanley Engerman, Paul Finkelman, Bernard Freamon, Joshua Getzler, Allison Gorsuch, Richard Helmholz, Robin Hickey, Antony Honoré, Orlando Patterson, Joel Quirk, Karlee Sapoznik, Jody Sarich, and Rebecca Scott. Through presentations this fall and at a second symposium hosted by the Harvard Department of Sociology, Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice, Harvard Law School and the W.E.B. DuBois Institute in August 2011, the network seeks to establish the outer limits of the definition of slavery. Particular consideration is being placed on the phrase which reads: ‘the status or condition of a person over whom any or all of the powers attaching the right of ownership are exercised’, which is the basis of the accepted international definition of slavery. In addition, the network members, including international and property law experts, an economist, historians, a political scientist, contemporary slavery scholars and NGO workers, are seeking to determine the parameters of both de jure and de facto ownership of human beings. Presentations this past fall and those at Harvard University will be collected and published in an edited book, and disseminated through concise ‘International Guidelines’ meant to assist judges, legislators, NGO workers and beyond in holding people accountable for modern cases of slavery globally.  Karlee Sapoznik’s supervisory committee includes Annie Bunting, Michele Johnson, Paul Lovejoy, Douglas Peers and Joel Quirk. She has a Master’s in historical anti-slavery, and is the President and Co-founder of a Canadian anti-slavery nonprofit organization that is set to launch in Toronto in late January, 2011. Her research focuses on servile and forced marriages, which remain among the most poorly understood contemporary forms of slavery.

PhD Candidate Jeet Heer Wins 2010 Prize for Best Book in Popular Culture 
Jeet Heer, a PhD candidate in the Graduate History Program at York, won the 2010 Peter C. Rollins Award for the Best Book in Popular Culture Studies and/or American Cultural Studies, awarded by the South West and Texas Popular Culture and American
Culture Association. The prize winning book is "A Comic Studies Reader" (edited with Kent Worcester), published by University Press of Mississippi in 2009. See Jeet’s dissertation, “Little Orphan Annie as Populist Icon”, which blends cultural and political history has won him a lot of media attention. In August, he was interviewed on CBS Television’s programme, Sunday Morning, talking about the history of the Little Orphan Annie comic strip and the implications of its demise. You can link to interview with Jeet on comics scholarship at

Pamela Fuentes Wins Prestigious Mexican Scholarship
Pamela Fuentes, in her third year of the doctoral program, has won the highly prestigious “Beca Conacyt Bicentenario. Beca Conacyt al Extranjero 2010,” provided by the Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (the National Council of Science and Technology) an agency of the Mexican government. Her doctoral thesis will explore the role of pimps and madams in Mexico City between 1920 and 1940. It examines how these individuals got involved not only in the sexual trade but also in the world of politics after the armed phase of the Mexican Revolution. At the same time, it explores how representatives of the Mexican state (politicians, military men, police officers, and the like) were involved with prostitution. By focusing on the politics of gender, sexuality and culture, her doctoral dissertation will explore how politics, vice, sin, and popular culture were intertwined in the construction of postrevolutionary Mexico City.

Bradley Skopyk Wins Post-Doctoral Fellowship to work on Teotihuacan Project in Mexico
Beginning 2011, PhD Candidate Bradley Skopyk will take up a post-doctoral appointment at the Institute for Anthropological Research, National Autonomous University of Mexico. During his two-year stay, he will work with anthropologists and archaeologists in the Teotihuacan Project which explores the environmental history of the Teotihuacan Valley during the last 1,300 years. Brad will focus on environmental processes and changes initiated by Spanish colonization in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. He expects to defend his dissertation this December and to take up residence in Mexico City in January, 2011.

Two students win the Avie Bennett Scholarship in Canadian History
This year two students have won the Avie Bennett Scholarship in Canadian History, which is awarded to students in the Graduate History Program at York in their fifth year of the PhD, providing them time away from teaching to complete their dissertations. These are Colin McCullough and Jay Young. The applicant pool was very strong, and it was a difficult choice for the Avie Bennett Board, so everyone is particularly happy that there were two winners. McCullough’s dissertation focuses on the popularity of peacekeeping as a way to explore the changing nature of Canadian national identity from 1956 to 2001. This involves looking at the production, dissemination, and reception of messages about peacekeeping. The dissertation argues that representations of peacekeeping have evolved over the last fifty years and reflect changing constructions of race, gender and national identity in both English and French Canada. More than simply an act of state, McCullough argues that peacekeeping attained almost iconic status as an aspect of Canada’s sense of identity because of the ways in which it was transformed by the government, the national newspaper press, the education system, and by Canadian vernacular culture. Young’s dissertation, “Searching for a Better Way: Metropolitan Growth and Subway Life in Toronto, 1942-1980”, examines the development of the city’s subway system during a time of rapid urban expansion in the Toronto area. He uses the subway to trace the continuities and contrasts between two eras of city building: the post-war period that witnessed the building of both expressways and rapid transit in Metro Toronto as means to reduce congestion and promote development, followed by a period of public policy, beginning with Premier Bill Davis’s 1971 decision to cancel the Spadina Expressway, that emphasized transit use and recognized the destructive impact of the car on the urban fabric. Young’s dissertation pays particular attention to political debates over the financing and implementation of rapid transit, the impacts of subway construction on residents and local merchants, the commemoration of subway construction workers, the regulation of public space within the system, and the ways in which the subway altered the city’s built and natural landscape.

James Trepanier wins the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship
James Trepanier (in the second year of his PHD in York’s GHP) has won the highly prestigious Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship. Vanier Scholars demonstrate leadership skills and a high standard of scholarly achievement. Only 174 awards across all disciplines (including sciences and health) were awarded this year. Only three students studying history from across the country and only four students at York won the Vanier.
He will hold this award for two years, and will continue working on his doctoral dissertation, which explores how religious belief, nationalist sentiment and youth culture converged in a variety of ways in the Boy Scout movement in Canada at its inception in 1914 to the 1960s. The Boy Scouts movement was devoted to shaping boys into citizens of the British Empire through physical, mental and spiritual development in camping and earning badges for wilderness skills. By studying the archival collections of Scouts Canada in both Ontario and Quebec, the dissertation will trace differences in the ways the youth organization created model citizens in Quebec’s Catholic and provincially-based nationalist environment and in Ontario’s Protestant and federally-orientated civic environment, and it will trace an ‘educational’ movement outside of a school setting. His work will be of great interest to those studying youth organizations, quasi-religious organizations, charitable organizations, volunteerism, mentorship, and environmental awareness. The Scout movement was a means of socialization for these boy, instilling codes of conduct that reflect the civic, nationalist, and religious agendas of the movement’s leaders. Comparing Ontario and Quebec Scout history will illuminate how international organizations are mediated at the national and provincial levels, and especially in the distinct context of Canada’s bilingual, bicultural and ultimately multicultural society.
In addition to excellent scholarship, the Vanier is judged on the basis of leadership potential. Trepanier has excelled here in his work on Parliament Hill and his long history of voluntarism. He was selected as a Parliamentary Intern in the highly competitive national selection process. From 2006-07 he worked closely with Members of Parliament, both in opposition and in government, learning a great deal about parliamentary process and policy-making, and he put this knowledge to work in the following year as a Legislative Assistant for the then Official Opposition Justice Critic and Deputy House Leader, the Hon. Marlene Jennings. Trepanier has demonstrated great integrity through his mentoring and volunteer works. He coached volleyball in his senior years of high school, mentored and supervised interns and tour guides while he worked on Parliament Hill, and most significantly, he has been involved in the Big Brothers and Sisters In-School Mentoring Program for the last decade.

Madeleine Chartrand wins York’s Elia Scholars Program
Madeleine Chartrand (currently completing her MA in York’s GHP) won the Elia Scholars Program, York’s most prestigious graduate award, which she will hold for four years. This recruitment award enables York to attract doctoral students of the highest possible caliber, and only three are awarded across the whole university every year. Chartrand plans to critically examine the relationship of women’s work to British industrialization by looking at the history of women artisans in the weaving trades of two important manufacturing centres, London and Coventry, in the later 18th century, assessing both the economy of the industrial revolution and class consciousness from a gendered perspective.

Erin Dolmage wins York’s Chancellor Bennett Doctoral Scholarship fro Liberal Arts
Erin Dolmage (currently completing her MA in Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of British Columbia- Okanagan) won the Chancellor Bennett Doctoral Scholarship for Liberal Arts, which she will hold for four years. Only one is awarded annually to a doctoral student. Dolmage plans to explore how genealogists in the 20th century understood and shaped the processes through which Metis families and communities in Canada recognized, embraced or denied their heritage and Aboriginal rights. Metis scholarship in Canada has been exploding in recent years, especially because of recognition of Metis rights in the 1982 Canadian Charter of Rights Freedoms and the affirmation of these rights in the 2003 Powley ruling. Although the work of genealogists has been crucial to defining membership in Metis communities, very few scholars have critically examined the meanings, limitations and biases of their work. Dolmage will contribute to the debates about Metis community membership, as well as to the methodology of using genealogies in historical research.

York History alumnus, Dr Dean Oliver, awarded knighthood by the Queen of the Netherlands
All historians at York will be delighted to hear that York former’s History MA and PhD student, Dr. Dean Oliver (MA 1989, PhD 1996), currently Director of Research and Exhibitions at the Canadian War Museum, has just received the high distinction of being awarded by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands a knighthood in the Order of Orange-Nassau. The knighthood is awarded by the Queen of the Netherlands to individuals who have rendered outstanding service to Dutch society.
His thesis, which he defended in 1996, was entitled “When the Battle’s Won: Military Demobilization in Canada, 1939-1946″. As Director of Research and Exhibitions at the Canadian War Museum, he has played an especially active role in developing the “Canadian Experience Galleries” and the gallery covering the Second World War, which includes much material on the liberation of the Netherlands in 1945. Indeed the granting of this knighthood was clearly timed to coincide with the 65th anniversary of this liberation.
This is a highly prestigious award made to a former student who contributed much to the GPH and the Department of History during his days at York. This is a marvellous and fitting recognition for the excellent work done as a military historian and in his role as Director of Research and Exhibitions at the Canadian War Museum.
For a full press release issued by the Canadian War museum on this, click here.

Three Students in York’s Graduate History Program win SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowships
The Graduate History Program at York University has a banner year in the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Postdoctoral Fellowship competition. Three students, Kristine Alexander, Lisa Rumiel, and Guillaume Teasdale, studying in wide-ranging areas, were successful in the competition. Doctoral student Kristine Alexander will be starting a project about kids and the First World War at the University of Western Ontario, working with Professor Jonathan Vance. Her thesis (which she plans to defend in the summer) is on the Girl Guides, empire and internationalism in interwar England, Canada and India. She is supervised by Bettina Bradbury (main supervisor), Stephen Brooke & Doug Peers. Lisa Rumiel, who defended her Ph.D. dissertation last summer, has been granted a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship for her project “Laboratory in the Pacific: The Role of the University of Washington and Its Scientists in the Pacific Proving Ground, 1946-1978.” She will be working with Michael Egan in the History Department at McMaster University. Gina Feldberg was the supervisor of Lisa’s doctoral dissertation, and Kate McPherson and Marlene Shore were also on the supervisory committee. Doctoral student Guillaume Teasdale has won a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship for his project “French Catholics on the Border: Community, Culture and Identity in the Detroit River Region, 1701-1901.” He will hold his fellowship at the University of Notre Dame, under the direction of Sophie White in the Department of American Studies. Guillaume’s doctoral dissertation (which he plans to defend in the summer) is titled “The French of Orchard Country: Territory, Landscape and Ethnicity in the Detroit River Region, 1680s-1810s,” is supervised by Carolyn Podruchny, and Colin Coates and Yves Frenette are also on the supervisory committee. The Graduate History Program congratulates Kristine, Lisa and Guillaume on their very prestigious award and wishes them many successes in their upcoming projects.

Historians TV Featuring the Graduate History Program and the Department of History

Commemorating Women’s History Month – CHRY Radio Interview with Jennifer Stephen and Kathryn McPherson

On February 6, 2010 the Federation Of Portuguese Canadian Business and Professionals (FPCBP) held it’s annual Scholarships Gala dinner. Mr. Gilberto De Oliveira Fernandes was awarded one of the FPCBP Graduate Scholarships. A previous Graduate History York winner of this scholarship is Susana Miranda.

Our congratulations go out to Professor Marc Stein winner of the Faculty of Graduate Studies Teaching Award. This award is bestowed annually on a member of the Faculty of Graduate Studies who has displayed substantial, significant, and sustained excellence, commitment, and enthusiasm to graduate teaching at York.

GHP Doctoral Candidate Ian Mosby has been awarded the 2009 Nicholas C. Mullins Prize by the Society for Social Studies of Science click here for his article, ‘”That Won-Ton Soup Headache: The Chinese Restaurant Syndrome, MSG and the Making of American Food,” published in Social History of Medicine in 2009.

Professor Paul Lovejoy, Director of the Harriet Tubman Institute, receives President’s Research Merit Award

14th Annual New Frontiers History Conference.