New Award (2022/2023): MSN Student Kyra Philbert wins CAHN Scholarship & Public Humanities Seed Grant

Kyra Philbert (she/her) engaged with the qualitative, emergent methodology of a/r/tography to generate openings into the moral fabric of the Canadian Nurse. Based in her own embodied experiences as a brown-skinned queer ciswoman providing direct patient care, Kyra explored “what makes Blackness so surprising in Canadian Nursing?”. This query is an adaptation of Katherine McKittrick’s work on the surprise of Black Canada. Through Black feminist thought and the figure of resistance Marie-Joseph Angélique, Kyra revised history to complicate and unpack the underlying assumptions made about the virtue of nursing within Canada.

Kyra was the 2022 recipient of the Margaret Allemang Scholarship for the History of Nursing Award (Canadian Association of the History of Nursing). In addition, Kyra received a Public Humanities seed grant from University of British Columbia to present the artistic component of her scholarship to a public audience. This presentation happened during National Nursing Week 2023.

Learn more about Nurse Angélique on Kyra’s website: https://kyraphilbert.ca/2022/05/08/nurse-angelique/



History Drop In: Come Pitch an Idea!

History Office Hour Drop In: May 8, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Are you interested in working on a (small!) history project that you can add to your resume/CV? Stop by Lydia Wytenbroek’s office (T237) on May 8 from 10-1 with ideas (or just come come and chat :)). The possibilities are endless, but you are all more creative than me! Are you interested in exploring the history of a piece of medical technology? Changes in charting? The evolution of a nursing theory? The history of the UBC SON football team (!!)? Did you know UBC NUS once sued engineering? Do you want to find out why? Come chat about your idea!


South Asian Nurses Oral History Project (2023)

We are currently in the process of conducting interviews of South Asian nurses who worked in BC. We have a team of 6 interviewers. More news to come!


The purpose of this UBC Consortium for Nursing History Inquiry project is to explore the histories and experiences of retired South Asian nurses who practiced in BC prior to 2020. For much of the twentieth century, nursing histories written by nurses focused on the stories and experiences of white nursing leaders. When social historian Kathryn McPherson wrote her seminal book Bedside Matters (1996) on Canadian nursing history in the 1990s, she argued that whiteness was central to the definition of nursing professionalism in Canada. This led other scholars to employ the analytical categories of race, gender, and class in new analyses of nursing in Canada. In the 2000s, historians began to focus on the histories of Black and Indigenous nurses in Canada (Flynn, 2011; McCallum, 2014). Despite more recent attempts to tell the stories of Black and Brown nurses, there remains little work done on the history of South Asian nurses in Canada. This study will contribute to this gap in the literature by focusing on the stories of South Asian nurses who lived and worked in British Columbia from the early twentieth century to 2020. A key component of the project is to conduct oral history interviews with retired South Asian nurses who have practiced in BC