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Matt Barrett

Matthew Barrett completed MA and PhD degrees in history from Queen’s University under the supervision of Dr. Allan English. He then held a SSHRC postdoctoral fellowship at the Canadian War Museum from 2019 to 2021. His academic work has appeared in Canadian Historical Review, Canadian Journal of History, Journal of Canadian Studies, Histoire sociale/Social History, and Canadian Military History. These articles explored topics ranging from the contested meaning of martial masculinity in Indigenous and settler communities during the late nineteenth century, the implications of combat stress on mental health and suicide, the medicalization and stigmatization of homosexuality in the Second World War, and the use of graphic history to study and depict the past. He won the 2019 Histoire sociale/Social History best article prize for “Worthless Cheques and Financial Honour: Cheque Fraud and Canadian Gentlemen Officers during the First World War.” He received the 2020 Linda F. Dietz essay prize for “Conduct Unbecoming an Officer and a Doctor: Medical Attitudes toward Homosexuality and the Court Martial of Dr. Percy Ryberg.”

He is also the author of two books released in 2022. Scandalous Conduct: Canadian Officer Courts Martial, 1914–45 (UBC Press) examines how concepts of honour and dishonour shaped officer corps discipline and punishments of dismissal and cashiering in the Canadian Army during the world wars. He illustrated and co-wrote with historian and fellow Queen’s alumni Robert Engen Through Their Eyes: A Graphic History of Hill 70 and Canada’s First World War (MQUP). By combining artwork and text, the book invites readers to reimagine the First World War through the eyes of the Canadian soldiers who lived it and to think more deeply about how we visualize and narrate the past.

Having always been interested in drawing and history, Matt enjoys creating comics to share stories about the past with new audiences. Recently he has contributed several illustrated series for projects with Defining Moments Canada.

Matt is currently the managing editor for the journal Canadian Military History.

Matt was featured on Episode 23 of the Alumni Archives Podcast. Listen to his interview here. 

Department of History, Queen's University

49 Bader Lane, Watson Hall 212
Kingston ON K7L 3N6




Queen's University is situated on traditional Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe territory.