Meet our Grad Students

Currently under construction

Brendan Cummins
Program:  MA (History)
Supervisor:  Prof. Lynn Kennedy (HIstory)

Working Thesis Title:  Heresy and Humbug:  Millerites, Mormons and the Protestant Definition of Religious Freedom in Monroe County, New York 1830 - 1845

Research Interest:  My project stems from a fascination with new religious movements in nineteenth-century America.  I am interested in how those movements were treated by mainstream denominations in a nation that prided itself on religious tolerance and freedom.  By examining the persecutions of Mormons and Millerites in the 1830s and 1840s from the perspective of mainstream denominations, I hope to demonstrate how Protestant evangelicals came together and defined and shaped American religious life to the detriment of all other forms of religious expression.  By focusing on the mainstream denominations and not new religious movements I hope to challenge some long held thoughts about the impact of religion on the formation of the new American republic.  This project is focusing on Monroe County in western New York state, in the heart of the burned-over district and is being completed through extensive reading of nineteenth-century newspapers, church records, speeches and memoirs.  I believe my research will contribute to a much larger conversation about the nature of religion, faith and society in the United States of America.

Grant Easton
Program:  MA (History)
Supervisor:  Prof. Christopher Epplett (History)

Working Thesis Title:  The Anonymous' Designs: A Closer Examination of the Late Roman Empire, its Military Technology and Manpower, and its Inability to Change

Research Interest:  As an avid military buff with particular interest in unfielded, prototype, or "hidden" ancient (or modern) military weaponry, a curious pamphlet including some non-traditional warfighting contraptions known as the De Rebus Bellicis (c. 5th Century A.D.) has become a topic of interest.  As modern scholars believe none of these concepts were ever fielded, there are a plethora of questions surrounding why this material was created, and what the anonymous author of this work was really trying to accomplish.  This project will attempt to answer some of these questions while also examining the Roman military, its role (and changes) in the Late Roman Empire, and why it never felt the need to adopt/implement hardware solutions such as those outlined in the aforementioned work.

Ashley Henrickson
Program:  MA (History)
Supervisor:  Prof. Kristine Alexander (History)

Working Thesis Title:  "Dear Marjorie, How does it feel to have a soldier brother?":  Using Wartime Correspondence to Examine the Experiences of Young Canadians during the Great War (1914-1918)

Research Interest:  My research examines the wartime experiences of young Canadians during the Great War by analyzing the letters that soldiers sent to their young unmarried sisters or children.  Last semester I had the opportunity to work with the Institute of Child and Youth Studies (ICYS), and am excited to do so again this year.

Shannon Ingram
Program:  MA (History)
Supervisor:  Prof. Carol Williams (History and Women & Gender Studies)

Working Thesis Title:  Silenced Histories: Accessing Abortion Services in Southern Alberta, 1969 to 1988

Research Interest:  Acknowledging the stigma surrounding discussing women's reproductive histories within historical discourse, my research aims to include the voices of both women who have accessed abortion services and medical practitioners who have facilitated abortion services during the period between 1969 and 1988 in Southern Alberta.  This research includes the use of oral history and archival research on abortion within Canada during the partial decriminalization and full decriminalization of abortion in Canada.  I have been fortunate to work as a graduate assistant with the Centre for Oral History and Tradition (COHT) on community-based oral history research projects such as The Coyote Flats Oral History Project and the Nikkei Memory Capture Project that has aided my use of oral history within my own research.

Zoey Lorne
Program:  MA (History)
Supervisor:  Prof. Janay Nugent (History)

Working Thesis Title:  The Creation and Regulation of Gender in Early Modern Scotland

Research Interest:  My research topic is the creation of gender in early modern Scottish criminal records through the study of women's crimes.  I will examine how women's representation in criminal court records demonstrates the creation of gender and how it is understood in an early modern context.  My research will expand the concept of gender as it is understood within the historical paradigm by deconstructing the conceptualization of how "woman" acquires meaning in relations to power, as seen through contextually relevant laws and the ciminalization of women.  This study will focus on the early modern crimes of infanticide, witchcraft, and slander, which are perceived as dominantly women's crimes.  I am attempting to challenge stable gender categories through the study of multiple processes of social organization such as legal reforms and religious beliefs.  During my undergrad I conducted an Honour's Theis on gender construction in the Scottish witchcraft trials.  This research revealed that the concept of woman acquires cultural meaning through interlinked processes and changing relationships of power dynamics.  My goal with this research is to generate new knowledge into why these crimes are understood to be female, and how laws reinforced gender ideals of early modern women.

Diane McKenzie
Program:  MA (CSPT)
Supervisor:  Prof. Carol Williams (History and Women & Gender Studies)

Working Thesis Title:  A History of Rural Women and the Intergenerational Transfer of the Family Farm

Research Interest:  My aim is to study the intergenerational transfer of gendered norms that impede women’s full participation in the intergenerational transfer of the family farm. This topic is interesting and important to me as a women. I consider what I am learning as foundational to the work I aspire to; helping farm families to understand and expose the gendered social constructs that decision making is often based on. My central research question is: How does the reproduction of current gender norms impede women’s participation in the intergenerational transfer of the family farm?

One assumption I hold is that gendered norms are in keeping with a patriarchal tradition. I see patriarchal traditions, as they apply to family farm business decision making, as points of resistance to women’s equality. My goal is to examine the strengths, weaknesses and legitimacy of these traditions. I believe by exposing the invisibilities and unquestioned traditions that support and maintain a patriarchal capitalist system can act as an impetus for change, change that will assist women in better understanding the system they sometimes support and where that support is found.

Through gathering oral histories within generational cohorts of farm women I will work to examine the differences and similarities in women’s personal experiences. My goal is to reach for the new possibilities in the construction and intergenerational transfer of gendered norms in the case of the transfer of the family farm assets, particularly land. I consider my research both political and educational and I am currently working to connect with the agricultural community to open the discussion I feel are central to developing new traditions, working to normalize women as full and equal partners in the family farms.

Elaine Toth
Program: MA (History)
Supervisor: Prof. Amy Shaw (History)

Working Thesis Title: Faith and Family: The Post-Second World War Dutch Child Immigrant to Canada

Research Interest: Stemming from personal history, my interest is in child immigrants from the Netherlands to Canada after World War Two. In an effort to trace children's migration experiences, I plan to conduct oral history interviews to gain insight into how the war, family, and religion may have influenced integration into Canadian society. My work as a graduate assistant with the Institute of Child and Youth Studies has instilled in me a passion to explore a child's active role in shaping their immigration process. Using childhood agency as a category of analysis, I hope to contribute to an understanding of some of the challenges faced by immigrant children.

Kaitlynn Weaver
Program:  MA (CSPT)
Supervisor:  Prof. Kristine Alexander (History)

Working Thesis Title:  'Parroting back what they hear':  Theorizing Young People's Participation in Canadian Politics with Teachers educated at the University of Lethbridge

Research Interest:  My research explores how negative age-based assumptions about children and youth - such as their perceived apolitical and innocent nature - influence adults' perceptions of young people.  I do this by asking University of Lethbridge trained student- and practicing-teachers why they think young people are unable to vote in Canadian elections.  Themes of political engagement serve as a proxy to understand how teachers conceive of the capabilities of young people in general.  This qualitative study uses critical discourse analysis to analyze how power and ideology are sustained and reproduced through individual and social discourse.  Specifically, I explore how rhetoric about children's (in)capacities are justified when adults change subject positions from child to adult, a transition that most people go through unlike race or gender.  Ultimately, my thesis uses a feminist lens to challenge widely held beliefs about the socially constructed stage of childhood for the purposes of social change in educational contexts.
I have had the opportunity to work with the Institute for Child and Youth Studies (I-CYS) throughout my MA and it has greatly enhanced my own research project and my professional development as a scholar.