I am a social historian of settler colonialism and empire in northern North America (Canada) and the British Empire, with a particular specialization in the nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century history of British Columbia. Both deeply rooted in place and transnational in its framing, my recent work has been underpinned by my broad contention that family, affect, and the everyday have been critical parts of settler colonial projects – intimate and political histories at the foundations of the world in which we live today.
My first book, Nothing to Write Home About: British Family Correspondence and the Settler Colonial Everyday in British Columbia, will be published by UBC Press in early 2019. A detailed study of thousands of British family letters written between the United Kingdom and British Columbia, this work elucidates the critical, entwined, and otherwise unexamined role of trans-imperial families and the everyday in the making of a white settler society.
This special issue of BC Studies examines the histories of settler colonalism that have shaped British Columbia. Building from existing scholarship, the articles in this special issue position the construction of racialized difference and exclusion, claims to land and sovereignty, familial and social lives, and contested political formations as critical to the dynamics of power and changes in the relationships among Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in the province. They also push in new directions, asking how historians might investigate settler colonialism without taking for granted its meanings, distinctiveness, and ascendency in British Columbia. Drawing on the methodologies and frameworks of fields too often separated – histories of the future, childhood and family, settler colonial studies, and Indigenous history – the articles offer new insights into the configurations and limits of settler colonialism. At the heart of this special issue lies the shared...
This special issue examines the place of “relations” in colonial life, interrogating their forms, meanings and significance in a range of contexts across the British Empire from the late eighteenth century to the present.
An introduction to public history in Canada, this course will explore the politics and practice of remembering, representing, and interpreting the country’s past outside of academia today. We will consider: what is the relationship between history and commemoration, and between academic and popular history? How has Canadian history been used and misused, celebrated and contested in the world around us? Why do such public representations of the past matter? And ultimately, what purpose can Canadian history serve in the present? Through lectures, discussions, and assignments, we will explore these issues by thinking widely and creatively about where Canadian history gets told in public, from art installations, museums, documentaries, state apologies, and government celebrations, to advertisements, fiction, music, and graffiti. While building a strong understanding of the uses and significance of public history in Canada. HIST 236 will introduce students to the methods of historical practice, including primary-source analysis, historical writing, library and research skills, and public history.
The history of British Columbia is all around us: in its rivers and its roads, its buildings and its property boundaries, its politics and its people. This course will examine the diverse processes that have shaped this history, with a particular focus from the late eighteenth century to the present. We will consider a wide range of topics including settler colonialism; the role of race, gender, age, and sexuality in shaping society and experience; official regulations and personal histories of migration; politics, power, and protest movements; changing understandings of the environment; and British Columbia’s relationship with Canada and the world beyond its borders. In so doing, we will investigate how these histories have been told and re-told, and continue to shape the ways we live here, whether we call it home, consider ourselves visitors, or something in between. Through assignments and activities, you will have the opportunity to expand on particular areas of interest, to conduct original research, and to connect class materials with the communities in which you live.
At UBC, I offer courses on Canadian and global imperial/comparative colonial history. I also supervise graduate and Honours students working on a range of topics that relate to histories of British Columbia or Canada, settler colonialism and empire, gender, race, and/or migration. Please be in touch if you have any questions about potential graduate supervision.
My ever-evolving teaching practice is animated by several priorities. These include teaching that is clear, transparent, and accessible; rooted in genuine care and inflected with enthusiasm; unafraid to be quirky; attentive to the importance of representation; and focused not only what we are learning but also why it matters. My courses are always designed with the intention of equipping students both to succeed in the course, and to gain take-away lessons – knowledge, understanding, skills, and questions – that can continue to grow and resonate after term is over. I also particularly love creating hands-on opportunities for students to be historians, slowing down the often-rapid pace of university courses in order to immerse ourselves in the real unresolved mysteries and detective work of historical research.
I am a yonsei/fourth-generation settler (she/her/hers). I come from Japanese emigrant (Nikkei) and hakujin (white, and in my case primarily British) families; I am both, hāfu, and neither. Born of the twentieth-century convergence of my families' global trajectories, I grew up on occupied W̱SÁNEĆ territory on southern Vancouver Island, and now live and work on occupied xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) territory. I love these places as home, and recognize that with great love comes great responsibility.
I have been at UBC since 2012. In addition to my position in the Department of History, I am affiliated faculty with UBC's Asian Canadian and Asian Migration Studies program. I completed my PhD at University College London (2011), my MA in History at Simon Fraser University (2008), and my BA Honours in History at the University of Victoria (2006).
I think a lot about humour, graffiti, skateboards, and the detective genre. I believe that none of this is irrelevant to how I approach my work.