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Graduate Student Profiles

Kristoffer Archibald

“Seeing the Invisible: Interpreting Environmental Change in Sydney, Nova Scotia”

I am a PhD candidate in Concordia’s history department. I graduated from St. Thomas University with Bachelor of Arts in history and English literature, and then completed my MA in history at Trent University.

My current research will identify the different ways in which people linked the health of the environment with that of their bodies in twentieth century Sydney, Nova Scotia. It will analyze how broader developments in medicine, workplace safety, labour relations, and environmental politics influenced this conceptualization. The project aims to investigate the history of changing cultural and political responses to Sydney’s industrial landscape, the pollution of the surrounding environment, and the cumulative health effects on local communities. The project is supported by SSHRC and FRQSC doctoral fellowships as well as by a Faculty of Arts and Science Graduate Fellowship from Concordia University.

In addition to my research on environment and health, I am a teaching assistant within the Department of History and over the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 academic years I have held the post of Head Teaching Assistant. I also serve as an editor for History in the Making Review, the history department’s graduate student journal. I have presented my research at local and international conferences, including the papers “Making Polar Bears Vulnerable,” “Constructing a Reputable Space,” and “Going to See the White Bear.” Upcoming presentations include “Obtaining Experiences of Health and Environment in Sydney, Nova Scotia” and “Bodily Health, the Environment, and Sydney Steel.” I have published the review essay “Canadians at Play” in Strata (Fall 2012) and collaborated on the development of an online Canadian climate history database available through the Network in Canadian History and Environment (

Kathryn and Finn

Kathryn Boschmann

My name is Kathryn Boschmann and I am currently a PhD student at Concordia University in the Department of History under the supervision of Dr. Steven High. I completed my BA (Honours) at the University of Winnipeg in 2013 and my Masters at Carleton University in 2015. My research focuses on oral history as a method to explore interfaith relations between Jews, Muslims, and Christians in two central neighbourhoods in Winnipeg, Manitoba during the post-1945 period. I’ve worked as a research assistant for many years and as a curatorial assistant at the Manitoba Museum where my job focused on conducting and processing oral history interviews with recent newcomers in Manitoba and organizing Community Engagement Team meetings.

My dissertation is tentatively titled, “Faith and Space: Jews, Christians, and Muslims in Post-1945 Winnipeg.” While the history of religious groups in Canada as political or ethnic entities has been studied by scholars, their history as practicing faith communities within 20th century urban centers has largely been ignored. Anchored in intensive multi-session oral history interviews, my research will explore the history of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim faith communities during the post-1945 period in Winnipeg, Manitoba, focusing primarily on the city’s North and West Ends. I will explore how faith has shaped the character of these neighbourhoods and the relationships among people in an urban space over time. These older and dynamic neighbourhoods have been major centers of immigration and remain so. How has the religious character of these areas changed in response to their demographic evolution? How have these faith communities related to one another within this setting? What relationships, if any, have they formed with the indigenous community in the city and how has this evolved over time? What kind of spaces or objects are significant to participants and their communities in their faith practice?

I love the prairies and grew up on a small farm in Southern Manitoba with cows, chickens, goats, dogs, and cats. I share my Montreal apartment with a small, black cat named Finn who is excellent company while I read and write.


Fred Burrill

I am a doctoral student whose research grows out of my engagement in the struggles against gentrification and for the right to housing in the working class neighbourhood of St-Henri, where I am looking at collective memory in the context of deindustrialization.

My dissertation, “Displacement Wars and the Battle for Collective Memory in Saint-Henri, 1970-2016,” seeks to complicate the bifurcation of industrial past and post-industrial present. In opposition to the vision of developers and politicians, the self-perception of many long-time neighbourhood residents continues to be grounded in forms of solidarity and community activism deeply rooted in radical traditions that are in many ways the heritage of industrial organization. By tracing through interviews the history of popular mobilizing for local rights (to housing, employment, health care, and against gentrification) in the years of economic dislocation following the closing of the Lachine Canal, I hope to problematize our understanding of Montréal as a post-industrial city. When we pay attention to the contingent nature of global economic shifts in a very local context, important questions arise. How and when in Montréal did decision-makers begin to understand industrialism, as an economic production scheme and a system of social organization, as belonging to the past? What was the reaction of poor and working people to this new understanding of their collective history? What role did the resistance of these communities have in creating the vision of urban space we experience today, and how did they ground this resistance in their own memories of the past?


Eric Fillion

Eric Fillion is a PhD candidate in the department of history at Concordia University. His research focuses on the origins of Canada’s cultural diplomacy and – more specifically – the use of music in Brazilian-Canadian relations (1938-1968). This project builds on the experience he acquired as a musician (he played drums and percussions for several Montreal-based groups between 1995 and 2010) and his ongoing work on the Quatuor de jazz libre du Quebec, a separatist free jazz ensemble associated with the Quebec Left of the 1960s and 1970s ; this work earned him the 2017 Political History Prize (best French language article) awarded by the Political History Group of the Canadian Historical Association. Eric Fillion is also the founder and director general of Tenzier, a non-profit organization, which has as its mandate to preserve and disseminate archival recordings by Quebec avant-garde artists. He is the recipient of a Keith Lowther Graduate Award, a Concordia University Graduate Doctoral Fellowship, and a Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship (CGS). In 2017, he completed a three-month research trip in Brazil with a Concordia Mobility Award and a CGS Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplement.

A) Publications (selected / liste sélective)

Parti pris pour le jazz ou l’écoute engagée chez la gauche québécoise, 1963-1968.” In Avec ou sans Parti pris : actes du colloque, edited by Gilles Dupuis et al. Montreal: Éditions Nota bene, 2016 [forthcoming].

“Jazz libre : ‘musique-action’ ou la recherche d’une praxis révolutionnaire au Québec (1967-1975).” Labour / Le Travail 77 (Spring 2016): 93-120.

“Jazz libre et free jazz (1967-1975).” In La contre-culture au Québec, edited by Karim Larose and Frédéric Rondeau, 25-53. Montreal: Presses de l’Université de Montréal, 2016.

“Le rock québécois débarque en France. À soir on fait peur au monde, Tabarnac, ou : le retour par le rockumentaire.” Nouvelles Vues 16 (Winter-Spring 2015).

“Le sahabi de Sonde : évolution et mutation d’une source sonore.” Circuit : musiques contemporaines 23, No. 1 (2013): 9-14.


Julie Guyot

Julie Guyot (M.A,. in History) has always been interested in the history of ideas, the story of dependent peoples and movements toward emancipation.  Within the framework of her master's degree studies at UQAM, she focused her research on 18th century Irish history and Lower Canada history of the first half of the 19th century.  Her thesis was a comparative study of the public discourse of Theobald Wolfe Tone (1790-1798) and Louis-Joseph Papineau (1827-1837).  Currently studying for a doctorate in the School of Canadian and Irish Studies (SCIS)-History Department at Concordia University, her proposal is to continue the rich comparison of Ireland and Quebec, albeit in a new direction, widening her analysis of the speeches and political campaigns of Louis-Joseph Papineau from 1837-1867 against colonial domination by juxtaposing his activities and heritage with the political career of his Irish contemporary, the renowned “Catholic Emancipator” Daniel O'Connell for the years 1823-1845.

The candidate will be concentrating on the situation of Ireland after its constitutional union into the United Kingdom (the Union Act of 1801) and the situation of Lower Canada (which had by now become Eastern Canada) after its union with the colony of Upper Canada (1840).  It must be understood that both territories remained under the rule of Great Britain.  In this context, the analysis aims to highlight the different forms of expression of colonial consciousness of the two parliamentarians under study.  Their demands, which can be qualified as democratic and autonomist, not to say liberal or republican, will be examined from a constitutional perspective as well as that of political philosophy.  The underlying problem is thus the evolution of the workings of imperialism with respect to these lands under British administration.

This transnational approach will allow her to demonstrate how important it is to gain an understanding of the relations, and types of relations, between England and her satellite nations.  This will enable her to outline British political thought, so essential for a threefold perspective on identity and culture; namely, the British (central imperialist), the Irish (close periphery), and the Canadian (outlying peripheral colony).  Her approach intends to contribute to the study of  the local constructions of identity in relation to empire.  Her research leads finally to question as to what degree the work of Daniel O'Connell, which some see as representing constitutional nationalism, led to the emergence of the Catholic Nation and ultimatly to the affirmation of Irish nationalism.  In turn, is not Papineau's discourse a sort of civic nationalism that springs from an awareness of his Americanness («Américanité»)?   It is likewise crucial to clarify Papineau's intellectual and political heritage.  To what extent did Papineau contribute to anchoring and developing a national and republican tradition in Quebec ?

Julie Guyot is also a Professor at Cégep Édouard-Montpetit.

Hugo Rueda

Hugo Rueda

Hugo Rueda (Santiago, Chile, 1985) is a PhD student in the History Department at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. He holds a bachelor’s degree in History (Universidad de Chile, 2008), a master’s degree in Art History (Universidad de Barcelona, 2013), and a second master’s degree in Latin American Studies (Universidad de Chile, 2014). Both his professional background and current academic interests have an inter- and multi-disciplinary approach within the humanities, with a special focus in cultural history, as well as visual, material, and heritage studies in Latin America.

Under the supervision of Dr. Nora Jaffary and Dr. Erica Lehrer, Hugo’s research investigates the origins and development of history museums in Latin America, specifically those in Chile.  His research analyzes the discourses, collections, and display methods in history museums from the 19th century onwards, establishing connections between the narratives provided by the museum, and currents in political, social and historiographical thought. 

Aside from being a graduate student, Hugo is also a biker, amateur painter, enthusiastic reader, and a dog lover.

Elizabeth Tabakow

Elizabeth Tabakow

I am a first year PhD student under the supervision of Professors Barbara Lorenzkowski and Matthew Penney. After completing a BA in Psychology in 2011, I undertook an MA in Concordia University’s History department and travelled for the first time to Japan. Entitled “Flight to a ‘French-Coloured’ City: Gendered Paths, Imagination, and Experience in Japanese Migration to Montreal, 1998-2012,” my MA thesis considered the gender discrepancy in recent Japanese migration to Quebec, migrant imaginings of the metropolis, and the prominence of transnational rather than local community networks. My doctoral thesis, tentatively titled “Intimate Spaces, Internationalized Selves: Japanese Migration to Montreal, Quebec, 1990-2013,” will explore the intersections of gender, migration, and space in the life-worlds of Japanese migrants to Montreal, Canada, from the “lost decade” of the 1990s to the present. In this project, I hope to elucidate Japanese “spaces of imagination,” “spaces of intimacy,” and “spaces of belonging” in the city and beyond. My study dislocates British Columbia as the center of Japanese migration, and shifts the focus of analysis onto contemporary narratives of sojourning and immigration. Further, my framework will be transnational as I follow my young migrants’ life-courses, sometimes back and forth, across the Pacific. By disrupting the “national” framing of Japanese Canadian scholarship, I also hope to contextualize my interview partners’ experiences in the rich international literature on Japanese migration. Finally, through oral history interviewing, I aim to bring the concerns of Japanese youth to the forefront of migrant history.

Throughout my graduate studies, I have enjoyed working as a Teaching Assistant (2012-2013) for “Introduction to European History,” and as a Marker-Mentor (2011-2012) for “Film in History,” “History of China,” and “History of Japan.” During my MA, I was also employed as a Writing Assistant by Concordia’s Student Learning Services and as a Research Assistant in Japanese History. My MA and PhD research (2011-2013) has been generously supported by provincial (FQRSC) and federal (SSHRC) scholarships, Faculty of Arts and Sciences graduate fellowships, such as the Doctoral Fellowship in Ethnic Studies, and history department awards, such as the Inge Thurm Bursary in Women’s History. Outside of academia, I have a passion for Japanese popular culture, and can often be found listening to J-pop, playing classic video games, or reading Japanese literature.


Caroline Trottier-Gascon

​I am a PhD student in history at Concordia University. I am preparing an oral history project with Montreal's trans communities. In my thesis, I will focus on the 1980s and 1990s. By orienting my work towards audiovisual production and public history, I will ensure it will have social impact outside the Academy. Previously, I completed a BA and an MA at Université de Montréal, in which I studied age and youth in Renaissance Venice.

My favourite show is Daria. I was always inspired by her defiant cynicism in seasons 1-3, which reflected my own jadedness. But as I grow older, I feel more in tune with the vulnerable Daria of seasons 4-5. When I first watched the show, I hated Tom as he broke the strong relationship between Daria and Jane, but now, I like him for what he reveals about Daria through the conflicts he creates and the contradictions he exposes in her. He provides the dialectic tensions that allows Daria to grow. This new Daria keeps her edge and her identity, but she is now capable of transcending her critical bent for constructive purposes: in particular, she builds a better relationship with Quinn, Jake and Helen and learns to channel her critical stance towards social action (compare "Lost Girls", in season 3, with "Partner's Complaint", early in season 4, and then "Fizz Ed", and later "Prize Fighters", in season 5, to see her evolution). "Is it College Yet?" concludes this story: once she has resolved the tensions in her identity and behaviour, she can part ways with Tom and transition into a newly developed emerging adult. The final scene at the pizza shop epitomizes this change. Not only does it restore the Jane-Daria relationship to its central position as in seasons 1-3, but it presents Daria as more confident than ever. Sure, she did not "beat Ms. Li senseless with [her] trophy", but her ever trenchant critique of university tells us that she's not getting "soft" either--she is only more purposeful.

My PhD is my Tom: beyond academic inquiry, it challenges me in very contradictory, personal ways and creates conflicts I will have to resolve and grow through. All I can hope is that at the end, I too will get to share a slice with Jane--after all, there's no aspect, no facet, no moment of life, that can't be improved with pizza.

Oh and hopefully it will be a meaningful contribution to the historical discipline.

Lisa van den Berghe

Lisa VandenBerghe 


I officially began my career in costume design in 2003, the same year I graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) in San Francisco, California. In 2013, I received my bachelor's degree from Arizona State University with the same high honors in History, and now attend Concordia University as a master's student with plans to pursue a PhD.

Historical costumes and handcrafts have been passions throughout my life. It has been natural to incorporate them into my independent studies of women’s material culture between 1300-1800. My current research focus is on the needlework pattern books of the early modern period and I've received strong support when presenting at conferences on the topic. 

I participate in historical costuming events and scholarly conferences around the world, and I am active in several educational organizations. My current volunteer activities are with Concordia as Treasurer of the Graduate History Students' Association, and as a member of the committee organizing the 2016 History in the Making conference.

An American with west coast origins, I have lived in Paris, France and now reside in Montreal, Canada, but yearn for a return to Europe.

You can find me on the web at

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