I was born, raised and educated in Edmonton. A late bloomer in terms of having any academic inclination, my early years were spent as an aspiring rock star gaining an education at a number of interesting venues in the late 80s and 90s. By the mid-90s I had seen the light and entered University. It didn’t take me long to figure out that the only thing close to exciting me on the same level as being on stage was the study of history. At the U of A I had the great fortune of being taught by a series of fantastic Historians including Ken Munro, John Langdon, David Marples and Rich Connors. The rest, as they say, is History! I received my BA (Hons) and MA in History at the University of Alberta and in 2000 I began a PhD at the University of Guelph under the supervision of Elizabeth Ewan who helped me to find the amazing world of Scottish social history. The thesis, completed in 2005, was published in a considerably revised form as Crime and Community in Reformation Scotland (Pickering and Chatto, 2013). In July 2005 I took up a one year appointment at the University of Windsor where a fantastic group of colleagues and students helped me to cut my teeth as a professional historian. The following year I returned to Edmonton and took up a tenure-track position in the Humanities Department at MacEwan University.
My research concentrates upon the exercise and negotiation of social power among the inhabitants of early modern (1500-1650) Scottish towns. In particular, I am interested in the role social and moral regulation, crime and misbehaviour, marginalization and normative social structures play in the construction of collective identities and the creation of social boundaries that help to define urban communities. While each of these subjects, in their own right, provides valuable insight into the experiences of early modern peoples, they are parts of a much larger enquiry into the subtle relationship between order and discipline, culture and control. I am currently working on a monograph-length study that examines family life and household membership in 16th -and 17th -century Scotland, exploring in particular how conflict and crisis impacted households and how households responded to such challenges. The research suggests that conflict could positively reaffirm bonds within the household, temper patriarchal ideals, and effectively reshape social relations within urban communities.
I am always happy to chat about history – if you’re interested in learning more about our program, history courses we offer, or about my research send me an email (email@example.com) or stop by and visit me in 7-353H.