History - Alumni


Congratulations to former History Alumni on the publishing of their own books.

Kristine Alexander: Guiding Modern Girls                                                                                      

BIO:   My interest in young people’s texts and cultures began at the University of Winnipeg, where I took courses with historian of childhood Tamara Myers and CRYTC-affiliated U of W English professors Murray Evans, Mavis Reimer, and Deborah Schnitzer. I went on to graduate studies in History at York University, where I used the global Girl Guide movement as a way into bigger questions about girls’ culture, empire, and internationalism during the 1920s and 1930s. Currently, my research program has two main objectives: to investigate how young people in the early to mid twentieth century influenced and were affected by imperialism, colonialism, and war; and to contribute to broader epistemological and methodological conversations about children’s agency and the production of academic knowledge about young people.

Guiding Modern Girls:  Across the British Empire and the world, the 1920s and 1930s were a time of unprecedented social and cultural change. Girls and young women were at the heart of many of these shifts, which included the aftermath of the First World War, the enfranchisement of women, and the rise of the flapper or “Modern Girl.” Out of this milieu, the Girl Guide movement emerged as a response to popular concerns about age, gender, race, class, and social instability. The British-based Guide movement attracted more than a million members in over forty countries during the interwar years. Its success, however, was neither simple nor straightforward. Using an innovative multi-sited approach, Kristine Alexander digs deeper to analyze the ways in which Guiding sought to mould young people in England, Canada, and India. She weaves together a fascinating account that connects the histories of girlhood, internationalism, and empire, while asking how girls and young women understood and responded to Guiding’s attempts to lead them toward a service-oriented, “useful” feminine future. Guiding Modern Girls adds new depth to what are largely separate understandings of interwar girlhood, British imperialism, and internationalism. By analyzing the Guides as a worldwide organization whose early twentieth-century leaders sought to create a conservatively modern ideal of gender, class, age, and race relations, this book also reveals how girls and young women understood, reworked, and sometimes challenged the expectations placed on them by the world’s largest voluntary organization for girls.

Valerie Deacon: The Extreme Right in the French Resistance

BIO:   Since finishing my PhD in 2011, I have been working at New York University as the Elihu Rose Visiting Assistant Professor. Although I remain affiliated as a Visiting Scholar, I am physically in Canada at the moment, working on my second project. My research has focused on the French Resistance and my first book – The extreme right in the French Resistance – was published in 2016 with LSU Press. I have published several articles on various aspects of the Resistance and have now begun a project about the relationship between French civilians and downed Anglo-American aircrews during the Second World War.

The Extreme Right in the French Resistance   In the aftermath of World War II, historical accounts and public commentaries enshrined the French Resistance as an apolitical, unified movement committed to upholding human rights, equality, and republican values during the dark period of German occupation. Valerie Deacon complicates that conventional view by uncovering extreme-right participants in the Resistance, specifically those who engaged in conspiratorial, anti-republican, and quasi-fascist activities in the 1930s, but later devoted themselves to freeing the country from Nazi control. The political campaigns of the 1930s―against communism, republicanism, freemasonry, and the government―taught France’s ultra-right-wing groups to organize underground movements. When France fell to the Germans in 1940, many activists unabashedly cited previous participation in groups of the extreme right as their motive for joining the Resistance. Deacon’s analysis of extreme-right participation in the Resistance supports the view that the domestic situation in Nazi-controlled France was more complex than had previously been suggested. Extending beyond past narratives, Deacon details how rightist resisters navigated between different options in the changing political context. In the process, she refutes the established view of the Resistance as apolitical, united, and Gaullist. The Extreme Right in the French Resistance highlights the complexities of the French Resistance, what it meant to be a resister, and how the experiences of the extreme right proved incompatible with the postwar resistance narrative.

Rhonda Hinther: Perogies and Politics: Canada's Ukrainian Left, 1891-1991

BIO:   Rhonda L. Hinther is an associate professor in the Department of History at Brandon University. She is the co-editor of Re-imagining Ukrainian Canadians also published by University of Toronto Press. Research Interests,Oral History, Gender and Women’s History, Labour History and Radicalism, Ethnicity and Children’s History

Perogies and Politics: In Perogies and Politics, Rhonda Hinther explores the twentieth-century history of the Ukrainian left in Canada from the standpoint of the women, men, and children who formed and fostered it.For twentieth-century leftist Ukrainians, culture and politics were inextricably linked. The interaction of Ukrainian socio-cultural identity with Marxist-Leninism resulted in one of the most dynamic national working-class movements Canada has ever known. The Ukrainian left’s success lay in its ability to meet the needs of and speak in meaningful, respectful, and empowering ways to its supporters’ experiences and interests as individuals and as members of a distinct immigrant working-class community. This offered to Ukrainians a radical social, cultural, and political alternative to the fledgling Ukrainian churches and right-wing Ukrainian nationalist movements. Hinther’s colourful and in-depth work reveals how left-wing Ukrainians were affected by changing social, economic, and political forces and how they in turn responded to and challenged these forces. 

Meghan Fitzpatrick: Invisible Scars

BIO:  Dr. Meghan Fitzpatrick holds a PhD from King’s College London (Department of War Studies). She obtained her Masters in Contemporary British History from the Institute of Historical Studies, University of London and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from the University of Winnipeg. She has lectured at the UK Joint Services Command and Staff College and presented papers at numerous international conferences. Her doctorate examined the psychiatric care of Commonwealth troops deployed during the Korean War (1950-1953). She has written extensively about military medicine, posttraumatic stress and the health and well being of veterans. Her research interests include the development of British and Commonwealth defence policy with an emphasis on military health, multinational operations and the dynamics involved in coalition warfare.

Invisible Scars Invisible Scars provides the first extended exploration of Commonwealth Division psychiatry during the Korean War and the psychiatric-care systems in place for the thousands of soldiers who fought in that conflict. Fitzpatrick demonstrates that although Commonwealth forces were generally successful in returning psychologically traumatized servicemen to duty, they failed to compensate or support in a meaningful way veterans returning to civilian life. Moreover, ignorance at home contributed to widespread misunderstanding of their condition. This book offers an intimate look into the history of psychological trauma. In addition, it engages with current disability, pensions, and compensation issues that remain hotly contested.