Professor of History Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Visiting Fulbright Research Chair at Vanderbilt University Spring 2013
PhD, University of Toronto, 1988
History of American popular entertainment in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, especially music and theatre.
Office Hours: Mondays and Wednesdays 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Office: Benson Hall, room 112
I grew up in Montreal and my university education was at McGill University and the University of Toronto. I have been teaching in the History Department at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada since 1988. I am visiting Vanderbilt University as a Fulbright Research Chair for the spring term of 2013 and really look forward to getting to know the faculty and the students.
My recent work has dealt with American popular entertainment in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, especially music and theatre. I am currently working on a book-length manuscript dealing with the popular theatre 1830-1880 and am mapping out a new research project on vaudeville and modernist culture. My last book dealt with cultural politics under the American military government in Germany after WWII. In this work, I looked at military government policy, denazification and the reception of American ‘art’ music in Europe. My first book, which was an expanded version of my dissertation, dealt with the transforming impact of mass merchandising on shopkeeping and consumption in the early twentieth century. Among recent conference presentations are papers dealing with blues iconography, record collecting in the 1950s and sixties, and "double-voiced" "freak" performers in the late nineteenth century.
I am married and have two teenage children, one in high school and the other just entering first-year university. I feel very fortunate to be teaching, researching and writing about areas of history – music, theatre and film – that are also things I enjoy recreationally.