Campus: Waterloo
Office: HH 152

Research Topics:

Early Canada’s Society and Culture, Colonial Publics, Taverns, Drink and Drinkers, Colonial Foodways, The War of 1812, Colonial Identity Politics

Present Research:

My new project is called, for now, Repositioning the War of 1812: The Cultural Politics of War in a Colonial Society. The War of 1812 is an iconic war in Canadian historiography because it birthed a nation, but a nation for whom? In this project, as in my earlier work on colonial public space, I am interested in how the many and mixed peoples of colonial Canada belonged to their society and shaped it. The War impelled individuals and groups who were made unequal by what race, gender, and class could mean in colonial contexts to articulate powerful claims to public membership – claims that challenge what historians think they know about 1812.

Additionally, I maintain an on-going fascination with colonial foodways and the culture of food. I am participating in a scholarly team project entitled Edible Histories: Toward a Canadian Food History

Representative Publications:

  • In Mixed Company: Taverns and Public Life in Upper Canada (University of British Columbia Press 2009)
  • ‘Women, Men and Taverns in Tavernkeeper, Ely Playter’s Journal,’ Histoire Sociale / Social History, 36, 72 (November 2003): 371-406
  • ‘Harry Jones and his Cronies in the Taverns of Kingston, Canada West,’ Ontario History, 95,1 (Spring 2003): 1-21
  • ‘”A Mixed Assemblage of Persons”: Race and Tavern Space in Upper Canada,’ Canadian Historical Review, 83, 1 (March 2002): 1-28 . In 2006 this article was republished in Cynthia R. Comacchio and Elizabeth Jane Errington, eds. People, Places and Times: Readings in Canadian Social History, Volume 1: Pre-Confederation (Thomson Nelson)
  • ‘Taverns and Tavern-going in Upper Canada: 1849,’ in Derek Pollard and Ged Martin, eds., Canada 1849, (Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh, Centre for Canadian Studies, 2001): 93-107
  • with Marlene Epp, ‘Women in the Chronicle of the Hutterian Brethren,’ in C. Arnold Snyder and Linda Huebert Hecht, eds., Profiles of Anabaptist Women: Sixteenth-Century Reforming Pioneers, Studies in Women and Religion 3 (Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press 1996): 202-21
  • Entries for ‘Taverns’ and ‘Stagecoaches,’ Oxford Companion to Canadian History, (Don Mills, Ontario: Oxford University Press 2004)
  • Book Review of Kenneth Dewar, Charles Clarke, Pen and Ink Warrior, in Canadian Historical Review, 84, 4 (December 2003)
  • Book Review of Diane Kirkby, Barmaids: A History of Women’s Work in Pubs, in Social History of Alcohol Review: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 18 (2003): 100-5