Office: 2003 MacKinnon Extension
My main research interests are in the area of twentieth-century Canadian political history, with a particular focus on Quebec & French Canada, English-French relations, national identities, federalism, social movements and the development of public policy. I have a particular interest in language policy, which is the subject of my books Bilingual Today, French Tomorrow: Official Languages in Education and Canadian Federalism (MQUP 2005) and So They Want Us to Learn French: Promoting and Opposing Bilingualism in English-Speaking Canada (UBC Press, 2015), as well as chapters in a number of edited collections and articles in the Journal of Canadian Studies, Ontario History and the Journal of the Canadian Historical Association.
I am currently working on a pair of co-edited collections with Raymond Blake (at the University of Regina) about the role of national holidays and commemorative events in the shaping of Canadian identities and nationalisms. These volumes, entitled Celebrating Canada, are currently in the midst of the peer review process, and we hope to have them in print for the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017. These are connected to my work on the evolution of Dominion Day and Canada Day celebrations and how these related to broader politics of national unity and Canadian identity in post-World War II Canada. This work has been published in the Canadian Historical Review and a series of edited collections.
I am also the co-editor of two edited collections: Mobilizations, Protests and Engagements: Canadian Perspectives on Social Movements (Fernwood 2008), and Contemporary Quebec: Selected Readings and Commentaries (MQUP 2011). I recently served as the associate editor of the Journal of Canadian Studies and on the editorial board of the Journal of the Canadian Historical Association. I am currently a member of the editorial board of the Canadian Historical Review, and am the series editor for Oxford University Press Canada’s “Living History” Canadian History Series.
I am broadly interested in all facets of the political process in Canada, ranging from grassroots political and social movements (such as gay and lesbian movements and minority language communities) to the role of the bureaucracy and the administrative branch of the state to political parties and politicians. I was the founding chair of the Canadian Historical Association’s Political History Group.
My research interests have been increasingly turning towards issues of national identity formation in Canadian children, particularly through the educational system and through television, with an eye to how Canadian protectionist cultural policies fostered a vibrant Canadian children’s educational television sector. I am currently working on a small project about the origins and development of the Canadian version of Sesame Street.
I am willing to supervise graduate students working on a wide array of Canadian history topics, and am particularly keen to work with students interested in political history, bilingualism, English-French relations, Quebec & French Canada, nationalism, national identity, social movements, public policy and post-WWII Canadian history.