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, was published by UBC Press in 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.
Are you interested in learning how to conduct historical research? Do you want to make new discoveries or uncover new stories about a local community? Are you wondering how you can connect your History courses with the wider world, or hoping to use your studies to contribute to public knowledge about the past? HIST 304 is a practical course designed around these priorities. Through lectures, discussions, and assignments – as well as unique hands-on opportunities to conduct historical research – the course will introduce local history as a field of study, build your research skills, and offer you the chance to contribute to new teaching resources or other public history projects.
The history of British Columbia is all around us. HIST 305 examines the events and processes that have made this place, with a particular focus on the late eighteenth century to the present. Key themes will include colonialism and migration; the role of race, gender, class, and sexuality in shaping British Columbia and different people’s experiences of it; power, protest, and the making of a modern state; and British Columbia’s relationship with Canada and the world. We will also reflect on how these histories continue to shape British Columbia and our lives here today.
How can studying the past help us to understand better the recent legalization of cannabis or the opioid crisis today? This question drives the 2019W offering of HIST 420, which will focus on the history of drugs in Canadian history. From alcohol and tobacco to opium and marijuana, we will explore the social, cultural, political, and legal histories of drugs, the people who have used them, and their shifting regulation and (de)criminalization in northern North America.
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.
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).