Campus: Wilfrid Laurier
Office: DAWB 2-126

Professor Childhood and Family; Youth; Education; Gender; Health and Social Policy; post-Confederation Canada

B.A. (Glendon); M.A. (York); Ph.D. (University of Guelph).
Series Editor, Childhood and Family in Canada, Wilfrid Laurier University Press
University Teaching Award, Wilfrid Laurier University, 2002
Faculty of Arts Teaching Scholar Award, Wilfrid Laurier University, 2002

Academic Interests

My interests are in the broad subject area of sociocultural history: the interactions of class, gender, race, family and state; age and generation; child and maternal welfare in the twentieth century; fatherhood; adolescence; the politics of health and health care; war and modernity; and the not- entirely-unrelated topics of industrial hygiene and “the technological sublime.”

Recent Publications


  • The Dominion of Youth: Adolescence and the Making of Modern Canada, 1920-50. Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2006.
  • The Infinite Bonds of Family: Domesticity in Canada, 1850-1940. University of Toronto Press, 1999.
  • “Nations are Built of Babies”: Saving Ontario’s Mothers and Children, 1900-1940. McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1993.
  • — and Janet Golden, George Weisz, eds. Healing the World’s Children: Interdisciplinary and International Perspectives on Child Health. McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2008.
  • — and Elizabeth Jane Errington, eds. People, Places and Times: Readings in Canadian Social History. Vol 1, Pre-Confederation (2006) and Vol II , Post-Confederation (2005). Toronto: Thompson Education Inc.

Selected Book Chapters:

  • “Lost in Modernity”: The Problems of Youth and the ‘Youth Problem’ in Canada, 1920-50″; in L. Paris, M. Gleason, T. Myers, V. Strong-Boag, eds. Lost Kids: At-Risk Children and Youth in North America during the 20th Century; UBC Press; 2008.
  • “‘Dancing to Perdition:’ Adolescence and the Problem of Modern Leisure in Interwar Canada,” in M. Conrad, A. Finkel, eds. Nation and Society: Readings in Post-Confederation Canadian History, II, Toronto: Pearson, 2004.
  • “‘The History of Us:’ Social Science, History, and the Relations of Family in Canada,” in Bryan D. Palmer, ed. Labouring the Canadian Millennium: Writings on Work and Workers, History and Historiography. St. John’s, Nfld: Memorial University of Newfoundland, 2002.
  • “Bringing up Father: Shaping a Modern Canadian Fatherhood,” in E. A. Montigny, L. Chambers, eds. Family Matters: New Directions in Family History. Toronto: Canadian Scholars Press, 1997.
  • James Snell and Cynthia Comacchio Abeele, “Regulating Nuptiality: Restricting Access to Marriage in Early 20th Century English Canada,” in T. Loo, ed., Essays in Canadian Law. Toronto: Copp Clark, 1994.