The following is a list of scholars working in Canada who have published on the history of human rights. This list is focussed on scholars with expertise in history and the concept of human rights.
Eric M. Adams, BA (McGill), LLB (Dalhousie), SJD (Toronto), is a Professor at the University of Alberta, Faculty of Law. Professor Adams has won multiple awards for his teaching and research including several article prizes for his legal historical work, a Provost’s Award for Early Career Teaching Excellence, and a Killam Annual Professorship in 2016-2017 for excellence in research, teaching, and service. Professor Adams publishes widely in the fields of constitutional law, legal history, employment law, human rights, and legal education. In particular, his multidisciplinary work engages with all aspects of Canadian constitutional law, theory, and history including studies of the classic cases, Christie v York, Roncarelli v Duplessis, and R v Drybones. He is the lead legal historian on the SSHRC-funded Partnership Grant, Landscapes of Injustice, investigating the internment, incarceration, dispossession, and exile of Japanese Canadians during the mid-twentieth century. He is currently working on several projects extending from that research, as well as a manuscript on the history of Canadian constitutional law, politics, and culture. A frequent media commentator, his many editorials have appeared in newspapers across the country.
Stephanie Bangarth’s research interests include the issue of race in North American history, law and politics, immigration and ethnicity, and in the history of social movements in modern Canada. Her publications include “Religious Organizations and the ‘Relocation’ of Persons of Japanese Ancestry in North America: Evaluating Advocacy,” American Review of Canadian Studies 34, 3 (Fall 2004): 511-40; “‘We Are Not Asking You to Open Wide the Gates for Chinese Immigration’: The Committee for the Repeal of the Chinese Immigration Act and Early Human Rights Activism in Canada,” Canadian Historical Review 84, 3 (September 2003): 395-422; and Voices Raised in Protest: Defending North American Citizens of Japanese Ancestry, 1942–49 (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2008).
David Black’s research interests focus on Canada’s role in “development cooperation” and in Sub-Saharan Africa (including human security, diplomacy, and the extractive sector); sport in world politics and development; and disability and global development. He has also published on human rights and identity in Canadian and South African foreign policies, and on post-apartheid South Africa in Africa.
Jill Campbell-Miller is a historian who specializes in twentieth century Canadian political and social history. Her interests particularly focus on Canadian foreign assistance and humanitarianism in in South Asia during the mid-twentieth century. Her dissertation, which she is currently revising to become a manuscript, examined the history of Canadian foreign aid in India during the 1950s. She recently completed an AMS postdoctoral fellowship at the Gorsebrook Research Institute at Saint Mary’s University. For that project, she examined Canadian medical humanitarianism in South Asia during the 1950s and 1960s. Her new project at Carleton will look at the histories of two dams constructed during the 1950s, both funded by the Canadian government and with involvement from the same Canadian engineering firm, one in Northeast India, and the other in the Yukon territory. She aims to examine Canadian aid in the context of settler colonialism as well as its importance to the history of the global expansion of Canadian engineering firms.
Linda Cardinal, professor at the School of Political Studies, is chairholder of the Chaire de recherche sur la francophonie et les politiques publiques of the University of Ottawa. Her research interests are language, rights and politics, linguistic policies, language planning and linguistic minorities (Canada, Europe and the world). She is also known for her work on the themes of identity and citizenship in Canada and Québec politics as well as federalism, institutions, political représentations and the history of ideas. As an international expert who contributes to the research on Canada’s francophone minorities in Canadian politics, she has also published numerous articles and directed several works related to these themes. From 2001 to 2004, she directed the journal of political science « Politique et societies ». From 2002 to 2004, she was the chairholder of the Craig Dobbin Chair of Canadian Studies of the University College Dublin; and from 2006 to 2007, the chairholder of the Chaire en études canadiennes of the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris 3. From 2006 to 2012, she co-chaired the search committee Language and Politics of the International Association of Political Science, and in 2012 she was elected both as a member on the Board of executives of the International Political Science Association as well as a member of the Board of Governors of the University of Ottawa. In 2013, she was elected at the Royal Society of Canada. In 2014, she was nominated Chevalière in the Ordre des Palmes Académiques of the French Republic.
Ruth Frager’s teaching and research focuses on women’s history, the history of immigrant groups, and working-class history, emphasizing modern Canada. Her new book, co-authored with Carmela Patrias, is entitled Discounted Labour: Women Workers in Canada, 1870-1939. Her earlier book, Sweatshop Strife: Class, Ethnicity, and Gender in the Jewish Labour Movement in Toronto, 1900-1939, won an award from the Ontario Historical Society. She is now working on the human rights campaigns in Ontario in the aftermath of the Second World War. Her most recent articles are: “Labour History and the Interlocking Hierarchies of Class, Ethnicity, and Gender: A Canadian Perspective,” in the International Review of Social History and “‘This is Our Country, These Are Our Rights’: Minorities and the Origins of Ontario’s Human Rights Campaigns,” co-authored with Carmela Patrias, in the Canadian Historical Review.
David Goutor’s is a co-editor of Taking Liberties: A History of Human Rights in Canada (OUP 2013). His research interests include: Organized labour’s attempts to influence public debates and policy; Transnational migration, migratory labour systems, and the construction of stereotypes of immigrant workers; The history of nation-building, particularly the role of class, race and gender in defining the “national community”; Business and business leaders’ approach to immigration, labour markets, and national development; Gender, women’s history and the impact of social and cultural norms on roles in the workplace and labour markets; Organized labour’s interaction with social movements, including feminism, the Human Rights and Civil-Rights Movements, and nationalism in Quebec; International & comparative approaches to labour, working class, left politics; Globalization and resistance; Slavery and the slave trade, emancipation and the transition to “free” labour systems.
Rhoda E. Howard-Hassmann is (Emeritus) a Canada Research Chair in International Human Rights, jointly appointed to the Department of Political Science and the School of International Policy and Governance (Balsillie School of International Affairs). She is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Her most recent books include Reparations to Africa (2008) and Can Globalization Promote Human Rights? (2010), as well as her co-edited The Age of Apology (2008) and the forthcoming co-edited Human Right to Citizenship: A Slippery Concept. She maintains a website on political apologies and a blog, Rights & Rightlessness, which can be accessed at rhodahassmann.blogspot.com.
Bonny Ibhawoh (M.A. Ibadan; Ph.D Dalhousie) teaches Human Rights History and African History in the Department of History and the Centre for Peace Studies. He also teaches in the McMaster Arts & Scence Program and the Institute on Globalization and the Human Condition. He has taught in universities in Africa, Europe and North America. Previously, he was professor at Brock University, Canada; professor in the Department of Political Science at University of North Carolina at Asheville; Human Rights Fellow at the Carnegie Council for Ethics and International Affairs, New York; Research Fellow at the Danish Institute for Human Rights, Copenhagen and Associate Member of the Centre for African Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. He has also taught at Ambrose Alli University and the University of Lagos. Dr Ibhawoh is a member of the United Nations Expert Mechanism Group on the Right to Development.
His research interests are global human rights, peace/conflict studies, legal and imperial history. His articles on these themes have appeared in historical and interdisciplinary journals – Human Rights Quarterly, The Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights, the Journal of Global History, and Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology (Journal of the American Psychological Association).
He is the author of Human Rights in Africa (Cambridge University Press, 2018); Imperial Justice (Oxford University Press, 2013) and Imperialism and Human Rights (SUNY Press, 2007) [named Choice Outstanding Academic Title]. Dr Ibhawoh is member of the College of New Scholars of the Royal Society of Canada, a recipient of the McMaster Student Union Teaching Award and the Nelson Mandela Distinguished Africanist Award.
Professor Lucie Lamarche’s career includes ongoing research, teaching, and publishing in the fields of human rights, social and labour law, international law, and feminist studies. Her major focus is the implementation of economic and social human rights, though she encourages interdisciplinary approaches. Her academic work has been complemented by her work with the United Nations, UNESCO, Law Commission of Canada, Status of Women Canada, Canadian Bar Association, and Conseil du statut de la femme du Québec.
Dominique Marshall is Professor of History at Carleton University. She teaches and researches the past of social policy, children’s rights, humanitarian aid, refugees, disability and technology. She coordinates the Canadian Network on Humanitarian History, which supports the rescue of archives of Canadian development and aid, co-directs the Carleton University Disability Research Group, the IDRC funded program Gendered Design in STEAM, and is a Co-Investigator of the SSHRC funded Partnership Local Engagement Refugee Research Network. She has written about Canadian social policies and poor families, the Child Welfare Committee of the League of Nations, the Conference on the African Child of 1931, and the history of OXFAM in Canada. She was the president of the Canadian Historical Association from 2013 to 2015, a member of the Board of the Canadian Federation of Social Sciences and Humanities (CFSSH) from 2012 to 2017, and the French Editor of the Journal of the Canadian Historical Association for 20 years. She has been year-long visiting fellow at the the London School of Economics, the School of Oriental and African Studies, and Oxford Brookes. Her book, Aux origines sociales de l’État providence(1998) (available in English as The Social Origins of the Welfare State (2006)) received the Jean-Charles Falardeau Prize (now Canada Prize) from the CFSSH. She is Adjunct Professor in the Department of History at the University of Ottawa, member of the advisory board of Resilient Humanitarianism funded by the Australian Research Council and of the Ottawa Historical Association, and affiliated to the Institute of Political Economy, the Canadian Accessibility Network and the Institute of African Studies of Carleton University.
Paul-Etienne Rainville completed his doctoral thesis in 2018 on the history of the struggle for human rights in Quebec from the post-war period to the Quiet Revolution (1945-1960). His research interests include the history of citizenship, the State, interethnic relations, colonialism and identity, social movements, and human rights. His work has been published in several journals (Canadian Historical Review, Histoire Social/Social History, Droits et libertés). Paul-Étienne is the recipient of prestigious prizes, including the Prize for the Best Article (French) from the Groupe d’histoire politique de la Société historique du Canada (2019) and the Political Book Prize from the Assemblé nationale du Québec (2019). He is a researcher in residence at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research (CRIEM, 2019-2020) and specializes in Montreal studies. He is currently editing a volume on the history of Montreal identities for the induction of the Centre des mémoires montréalaises (MEM). In May 2020 he became a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto (CRSH-FRQSC, 2020-2022) under the supervision of Sean Mills. He studies the debates surrounding the adoption of the first anti-discrimination laws in Quebec in the early 1960s.
I am currently researching transnational solidarity movements, focusing on the particularities of South-South political activism. I have recently completed work on an edited volume that examines notions of citizenship, human rights and political community in transnational solidarity movements across the Global South during the Cold War.
As a cultural historian, my teaching frequently involves the exploration of art, performance, craft, and media technologies. I have recently begun a pilot project at UBC Okanagan teaching hands-on documentary filmmaking as a tool for historians and other humanities and social science scholars. My course Digital Media and History uses creative practice and dialogue to uncover the many ways in which historians use film and digital media for inquiry, interpretation, and communication. I have recently given talks on the role of digital media in political activism, collective memory struggles, and public history debates.
Beginning in July 2015, I am also Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, which has its home in the Latin American Studies Program at UBCO.
Dr. Jennifer Tunnicliffe is a human rights historian with a particular interest in how domestic and transnational activism shapes cultural attitudes and legislative approaches to rights and freedoms. Her work has appeared in the Canadian Historical Review, Social History / Histoire Sociale, History Compass, and on the ActiveHistory blog. She has been featured on the Champlain Society’s “Witness to Yesterday” podcast and has contributed research to the Canadian Museum of Human Rights and the Centre for International Governance.
Her first book, Resisting Rights: Canada and the International Bill of Rights, 1947-76 (UBC Press, 2019), challenges the narrative of Canada as an historic advocate for international human rights and explores the key role that rights activists have played in shaping Canadian diplomacy at the United Nations. She is also a co-editor of Constant Struggle: Histories of Canadian Democratization (under review with McGill-Queen’s University Press), a collection that explores the historical realities that have shaped how democracy has been understood and practiced throughout Canadian history. Her current book project, Drawing the Line: Free Speech and the Regulation of Hate in Canadian History, examines the evolution of Canada’s hate speech laws through a human rights framework, situating Canadian policy in a global context.
Prior to joining Ryerson, Dr. Tunnicliffe was an Assistant Professor at King’s University College at Western University, an L. R. Wilson Assistant Professor at the Wilson Institute for Canadian History, and she held a SSHRC postdoctoral fellow at the University of Waterloo. She received her PhD in history from McMaster University.
Dr. Webster’s research is focused on trans-Pacific interactions between Canada and Asia, especially in the realms of diplomacy, religion and economic development; and the transnational diplomatic identities of movements for independence around the Pacific Rim, especially in Timor-Leste (East Timor) and Indonesia. He has three major current projects: Modern Missionaries: Canadian Development Advisors in Southeast Asia, 1945-65; Notion-States: Non-State Diplomacy on the Pacific Rim; Canadian Churches and the trans-Pacific.
The readings lists available on this site deal with a range of topics from human rights to biographies and specific events.