Professor and Chair
I teach Canadian history, the history of Indigenous-government relations, and the social history of medicine. My most recent book is a collaboration with Erika Dyck. In Challenging Choices: Canada’s Population Control in the 1970s (McGill-Queen’s Press, Nov 2020) we argue that reproductive politics were shaped by competing ideologies of global population control, poverty, personal autonomy, race, and gender. We present case studies of four groups of Canadians who were routinely excluded from progressive, reformist discourse: Indigenous women and their communities, those with intellectual and physical disabilities, teenage girls, and men. In different ways, each faced new levels of government regulation and scrutiny as they negotiated their reproductive health, rights, and responsibilities in the so-called era of sexual liberation.
“WHO IS WATSON?”
When not marveling at the ships passing through the locks on the Welland Canal, I like answering the question almost nobody asks: “Who is Watson and why is there a statue of him on the lawn of St. Catharines’ City Hall?” Perhaps a surprising choice for the only military statue in town, Alexander Watson was a lowly private who volunteered for the 90th Winnipeg Battalion of Rifles and died in 1885 in the Northwest Rebellion in what is now Saskatchewan. I work with students to understand why folks like Watson might have felt the need to fight – and die – for Canada’s right to colonize the west; to understand how that fight and its aftermath dispossessed Indigenous peoples; to understand how the impact of that dispossession is with us still; and to understand why St. Catharines chose to memorialize that fight.
-with Erika Dyck, Challenging Choices: Canada’s Population Control in the 1970s McGill-Queen’s Press, Nov 2020
-Separate Beds: A History of Indian Hospitals in Canada, 1920-1980. University of Toronto Press, 2016
*Awarded the Royal Society of Canada’s 2017 Jason A. Hannah Medal for a significant contribution to the history of medicine in Canada.
*Awarded the Canadian Historical Association’s 2017 Aboriginal History prize.
-Medicine That Walks: Disease, Medicine, and Canadian Plains Native People, 1880-1940 University of Toronto Press, 2001; reprinted 2007 and 2011
*Awarded the Royal Society of Canada’s 2002 Jason A. Hannah Medal for a significant contribution to the history of medicine in Canada.
*Awarded the Canadian Historical Association’s 2002 Clio prize for the best work in Prairie history.
-Editor, with P. Bryden, C. Coates, L. Marks, M. Martel, D.Samson,Visions: The Canadian History Modules Project: Pre Confederation; Post Confederation 2 vols Toronto: Nelson, 2010
“Indian Hospitals” in Canadian Encyclopedia
with Erika Dyck, “Population Control in the ‘Global North’?: Canada’s Response to Aboriginal Reproductive Rights and Neo-Eugenics” Canadian Historical Review 97, 4, (December 2016): 481-512
“Tuberculosis” Entry for Eugenics Archive Online
“Peter Henderson Bryce” Dictionary of Canadian Biography (forthcoming)
“‘We Demand “Unconditional Surrender”: Making and Un-making the Blackfoot Hospital 1890s to 1950s” Social History of Medicine (UK) 25, 3 (2012): 665-684
“Care for the ‘Racially Careless’: Indian Hospitals in the Canadian West, 1920-1950s” Canadian Historical Review 91, 3 (2010): 407-434
“An Ideal Home for the Consumptive: Place, Race and Tuberculosis in the Canadian West.” Locating Health: Historical and Anthropological Investigations of Place and Health eds. C. Fletcher, E. Dyck, (Pickering & Chatto, series in the Social History of Medicine (UK), 2010)
“Taking the Pulse: Recent Publications in the History of Medicine in Canada” Review Essay, Journal of Canadian Studies 41 (3), 2007: 194-202