Teaching

Teaching

At UBC, I teach courses on Canadian and global imperial/comparative colonial history. In the 2019-2020 academic year, I am teaching three undergraduate courses: HIST 304 – Researching Local History from the Ground Up (term 1), HIST 305 – History of British Columbia (term 2), and HIST 420 – High and Dry: Drugs in Canadian History [Topics in Canadian History] (term 2).

In general, 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 honoured to have won the Killam Teaching Prize at UBC in 2018.

You can find a range of my syllabi here.


Supervision

I am an active and committed supervisor at the graduate and undergraduate levels. I supervise 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.

Current graduate students:

  • Nicole Yakashiro (MA), settler colonialism and Japanese Canadian history.
  • Dane Allard (co-supervised with Paige Raibmon, MA), Métis history.

Former graduate students:

  • Devin Eeg, MA, 2015-2017. Thesis: “Race, Labour, and the Architecture of White Jobs: Chinese Labour in British Columbia’s Salmon Canning Industry, 1871-1941.” Now in the Law program at UBC.

Current graduate committees:

  • Meghan Longstaffe, PhD, “Gendered Precarity and the Politics of Care: Home and Homelessness in Downtown Eastside Vancouver, 1960s-1980s.”
  • Henry John, PhD, radical environmentalism and the “War In the Woods,” 1980-2000.
  • Rosie Boxall, MA, Tommy Douglas, colonialism, and Saskatchewan.
  • Michael Buse, MA, the role of narrative in California settler colonialism at Fort Ross.

PhD comprehensive exam fields supervised:

  • History of empire and colonialism.
  • Canadian history.
  • History of the North American West.

Former Honours students:

  • Alice Gorton, “Civilized, Roughly: Gender, Race, and the Politics of Leisure in the Cariboo Gold Rush, 1860-1871.”
  • Anna Gooding, “Policing Women: Clubswomen, Policewomen, and Delinquent Girls in Vancouver, 1910-1930.”
  • Catherine Read, “Feminine Futures: Maternal Authority in the Early Years of The Girl’s Own Paper, 1880-1882.”
  • Lindsey Moore, “Contested Historical Terrain: A Consideration of the Settler Narratives of Powell River, 1960-2002.”
  • Benjamin Lewis, “The Language of British Abolitionism: Evangelicalism and the Middle Class, 1787-1807.”

Beyond

Finally, I have also undertaken teaching-related work beyond my course load and supervisory responsibilities. Most notably, this included the intensive research-training program for undergraduate students that I designed and ran at UBC from 2014 to 2017 with external funding. Called the “Gold Rush Program,” this provided an opportunity for nine outstanding undergraduate History students during the summer months. Students hired into my “lab” received close training, mentorship, and experience in historical research methodologies, while working with archival sources related to British Columbia’s mid-nineteenth-century gold rushes and developing their knowledge of this specific topic. Throughout the summers, students focused on the collection, transcription, and description of archival materials; they also received training and experience in public history writing, and wrote short pieces on their research findings and experiences for the project website (to follow).