Born in Toronto and raised in Montreal, I completed a BA in History at Concordia University. After graduating in 1993, I set off for central New Jersey where I entered the Ph.D. program in History at Rutgers University. From 1996-1999, I spent three glorious years roaming the streets of Paris. I joined the faculty at SFU in 2001 and completed my doctoral dissertation in 2002.
Since the beginning of my academic career, I have been interested in the study of a wide range of cultural objects and moments from the French past. My early research included subjects as diverse as the emergent science of handwriting analysis in nineteenth-century France and the "uncanny" rehabilitation of wounded soldiers during and after World War I. My book, Future Tense: The Culture of Anticipation in France Between the Wars, examines representations of the future and the futuristic between 1918 and 1939. I have also published articles on experimental and documentary film and history, including the work of Peter Watkins and Louis Malle. I am currently in the early stages of a SSHRC-funded book project on the cultural politics of the atomic age in postwar France. I am also the host of New Books in French Studies, a monthly podcast featuring interviews with scholars of France and the Francophone world about their latest books. The podcast is one of over 80 channels in the New Books Network providing listeners within and outside of the academy with an opportunity to learn more about recent scholarship in a wide range of fields.
Future Tense: The Culture of Anticipation in France between the Wars
Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2009
- “Radiation Affects: Three Novels about French Nuclear Imperialism in Algeria” for Fiction and Film for Scholars of France, 11.2 (January 2021).
- “Zoom Can’t Kill the Radio Stars” for French History Network blog (June 23, 2020)
- “How to build a scholarly community without leaving your apartment!” Journal of the History of Ideas blog (January 2020).
- ‘“No Hiroshima in Africa”: The Algerian War and the Question of French Nuclear Testing in the Sahara”’ in History of the Present, 9.1 (Spring 2019): 84-112.
- “On What Is Wrong with White Mice: Peter Watkins’s Fällan (1975) in Future Revolutions: New Perspectives on Peter Watkins, edited by Wolf Kino (Berlin: Pogobooks Verlag, 2018), 92-99.
- '"Avec l'amour au poing": Elie Wajeman's Les Anarchistes (2015)', Fiction and Film Scholars of France, 7, no. 4 (March 2017).
- “Cite Specific: Analyzing Endnotes to Teach Historical Methods,” Perspectives on History: The Newsletter of the American Historical Association (December 2016).
- "Malle e/on mai: Louis Malle's Takes on May 68" in May 68: Rethinking France's Last Revolution, edited by Julian Jackson, Anne-Louise Milne and James Williams (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), 325-339.
- "Fortress France: Protecting the Nation and Its Bodies, Historical Reflections/Refléxions Historiques 33 (2007): 475-504.
- "If the Revolution Had Been Televised: The Productive Anachronisms of Peter Watkins' La Commune (Paris, 1871)" in Rethinking History 10, no. 4 (2006): 553-571.
- "Graphology and the Science of Individual Identity in Modern France" in Configurations 4 no. 1 (1996): 1-31.
- "Reconstructions: Prosthetics and the Male Body in Post WWI France" in differences 7, no. 3 (1995): 109-140.
Areas of Graduate Supervision:
Modern Europe, France, Cultural History, Colonial and Postcolonial History
I teach a range of subjects at the undergraduate and graduate levels including courses on modern Europe, modern France, and historical methods. I also regularly teach in the Honours program in History. In 2012, I was awarded a Teaching Learning Development Grant from SFU's Institute for the Study of Teaching and Learning in the Disciplines as the Principle Investigator of "Excavating the Present in the History Classroom," a research study focused on History student engagement with current events.
- Cormack Teaching Award, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, 2014
- SSHRC Small Grant for "Atomic Clouds in Tricolour: The Cultural Politics of the Bomb in France, 1960-1966", 2013-2015
- Teaching Learning Development Grant, Institute for the Study of Teaching and Learning in the Disciplines, SFU, 2012-2013
- Social Science and Humanities Research Council Travel Grant, 2006
- Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute, Faculty Fellowship, 2005-2006
- Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Small Research Grant, 2005
- Simon Fraser University, President's Research Grant, 2003-2005