PhD Candidate (Guelph), 2011-
M.A. (Guelph), 2011
B.Mus. (Western), 2007

sshropsh@uoguelph.ca

I am primarily a cultural and medical historian whose work focuses on 20th century Canada. Within these broad fields, I am extremely interested in the study of gender and consumer history and my doctoral research has cultivated a new interest in environmental history and the history of the body. My doctoral study fields included Canadian History, Modern American History, and Gender History, with additional reading on the History of Medicine.

Working under the supervision of Dr. Catherine Carstairs, my doctoral dissertation examines the history of suntanning and suntanning products in Canada and the United States. The investigation serves as a case study to help understand the extent to which consumer goods and their advertising have influenced public understanding of healthy behaviour and the risks associated with environmental change. I am interested in the extent to which health information is disseminated via medical professionals and public health officials and the extent to which health messaging has been influenced by the producers of consumer products as well as the similarities and differences between health information from these varied sources.

In addition to my own research, I am passionate about teaching and helping students to become more engaged with their studies. I find it motivating to help students reach whatever goals brought them to university in the first place, whether to learn more about history, develop writing and critical thinking skills, or simply to gain a better understanding of the world around us and see people and issues through new perspectives.  I believe that a better understanding of the past can help us all to make better decisions in the present and I strive to teach in a way that not only makes subject matter relevant, but also helps bridge the gap between classroom learning and engagement with real world issues.

Selected Publications and Presentations

  • Shropshire, Sarah. “What’s a Guy To Do?: reproductive responsibility, changing masculinities, and the history of vasectomy in Canada.” Canadian Bulletin of Medical History (Forthcoming).
  • “Reproductive Responsibility, Evolving Techniques, and Changing Masculinities: Charting a History of Vasectomy in Canada” for the Canadian Society for the History of Medicine Annual Conference, Victoria, BC, June 2, 2013.
  • “The Sunshine Cure: modern medicine, the natural world, and the popularization of suntanning in North America, 1880-1940” for the Canadian Society for the History of Medicine Annual Conference, Waterloo, ON, May 27, 2012.
  • “The Bronzed Babes are Coming! Suntanning and Commercial Beauty Culture in Canada, 1890-1939” Popular Culture Association of Canada Conference, Niagara Falls, ON, May 12, 2012.