I was born and raised in Edmonton, a city traditionally regarded as the “gateway to the North.” I first became interested in northern history while pursuing my undergraduate degree at the University of Alberta, where I undertook research funded in part through the Canadian Circumpolar Institute. I then (somewhat counterintuitively) decided to continue my study of northern Canada in England, at the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge. Since completing my PhD in late 2010, I’ve held postdoctoral fellowships at the University of British Columbia and Rutgers, and a tenure-track appointment at the University of Maine.
My research concerns the cultural and environmental history of the modern Canadian North, especially travel and sojourning in the region. My current book manuscript examines the culture of northern Canadian exploration in roughly the first half of the twentieth century. My new project examines fur trapping by sojourners in the western Canadian Arctic and Subarctic during the twentieth century. Other current research interests include the history of northern field science, travel, and tourism; American military attempts to understand northern environments in the mid-twentieth century; and the comparative history of postwar Arctic field science in different circumpolar nations.
- “Many Tiny Traces: Antimodernism and Northern Exploration Between the Wars.” In Stephen Bocking and Brad Martin, eds., Perspectives on the Environmental History of Northern Canada. Calgary: University of Calgary Press and NiCHE (forthcoming).
- “Toward an Early Twentieth-Century Canadian Culture of Arctic Exploration.” In Susan A. Kaplan and Robert McCracken Peck, eds., North by Degree: Arctic Exploration and Its Impact on Society. Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 2013. 109-41.
- “Auktoritet och expertis: Forskning, lokal kunskap och politik i Kanadas nordområden.” [“Expert authority in the early twentieth-century Canadian Arctic.” Polarår: Ymer 2009. 105-27. Published as Christina Sawchuk.
- “An Arctic Republic of Letters in Early Twentieth-Century Canada.” Nordlit 23 (2008): 273-92. Published as Christina Sawchuk.
Areas of Graduate Supervision
Northern and circumpolar history; modern Canadian history; Canadian environmental history
- Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis postdoctoral fellowship, 2012-13
- SSHRC postdoctoral fellowship, 2011-12
- SSHRC doctoral fellowship, 2008-09
- University of Cambridge Overseas Student Researchship, 2006
- Cambridge Commonwealth Trusts Canada Graduate Scholarship, 2006
- Sir James Lougheed Award of Distinction, 2006
- Mackenzie King Travelling Scholarship, 2006
- Governor General’s Silver Medal, 2005