Modern Canadian social history
Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Trent University, 2010
Master of Arts, Queen's University, 2011
In broad strokes, my dissertation, "The Politics of Reproduction: Birth Control, Eugenics, and the Canadian Left, 1892-1969" will be a reconnaissance of radical and political movements during the early twentieth century, with an eye to how they became informed and understood the interplay between questions of birth control, contraception, sexuality, and eugenics in Canada. I desire to examine an important, yet overlooked facet of the Canadian relationship between not only birth control and eugenics, but leftist politics as well. Interdisciplinary in its very nature, my enquiry sets out to explore a vital question in Canadian history – how was human reproduction understood, policed and transformed? – by looking at the contending schools of rebels, reds, and sexual radicals who sought authoritative and convincing policies with respect to it. Since no adequate account of Canadian history could ignore such a fundamental issue, and because few scholars would dispute the role of communists, social democrats and progressive liberals in pushing to transform the reproductive order, my thesis is obviously of national significance, and will join transnational conversations already in progress.
This thesis is being carried out under the supervision of Dr. Ian McKay.