My research is focused on the period from 1600 to about 1850 during the advent of the early global era, attending to imperial and industrial forces. I am fascinated by the changes in material life and cultural practice in this period. I focus on the British imperial world, as well as global and comparative topic, recognizing the power of global exchanges. Issues of gender and race are explored through a study of material culture and entanglement.
Material evidence provides unique insights into the past and the techniques of material culture studies are an important element of my research.
White Shirts & Moccasins: Race & Material Practice in the Anglo-World, c. 1700-1900
How did racist thinking become everyday? How was it spread through material practice? How were racism and resistance manifest through material culture?
This project combines three historical strands that explore the racialism promoted or resisted through the making, maintenance and movement of material culture. 1) racialized white-washing laundry; 2) the movement of Indigenous-made arts, with a case study of resonant moccasins; 3) Proto-museums directed by imperial men sprang up from c. 1800 and they will provide a framework for the two strands of material culture, as white-shirted imperial men collected Indigenous arts, bringing empire “home.” Imperial whiteness in dress and policies contrast with the complex agency of Indigenous arts. These material systems will reveal complex histories of racialization, resistance and meaning.
I incorporate material culture study into my courses through a variety of techniques and visits to museum collections on campus.
A collected volume is published from the collaborative project, based in our department: "Object Lives & Global Histories in Northern North America, c. 1780-1980"
Graduate students, a post-doctoral fellow and several faculty participated over four years in this venture. www.objectlives.com
Co-edited with Laura Peers and Anne Whitelaw, Object Lives and Global Histories in Northern North America: Material Culture in Motion, c. 1780-1980 (MQUP, 2021).
Examines the evolution and practice of fashion as a social, economic, political and cultural phenomenon from a cross-cultural perspective. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. Normally offered in alternate years.Fall Term 2021
Examines the evolution and practice of fashion as a social, economic, political and cultural phenomenon from a cross-cultural perspective. Prerequisite: consent of the instructor. Not to be taken if credit received for HECOL 464.Fall Term 2021
The evolution and practice of fashion as a social, economic, political and cultural phenomenon from a cross-cultural perspective. Prerequisite: *3 in HIST at the 300-level or consent of Department.Fall Term 2021
Preparation for the comprehensive and candidacy exams. Prerequisite: consent of Department.Fall Term 2021
I am currently working with Giorgio Riello and Christopher Breward on a two volume collection for Cambridge University Press,
Cambridge Global History of Fashion, which will be a landmark assessment of the features and power of fashion from ancient to contemporary times, from around the globe.