Tenure-track successes for recent York History PhD graduates

It is with great pleasure to relate news of job market successes for three recent PhDs from the Graduate History Program. Jason Ellis has recently been appointed to a tenure-track position in the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia, beginning in July, while Maurice Demers has also won a tenure-track position at the University of Sherbrooke in Quebec, after having taught there in a contractually-limited position.

As well, of the four short-listed, interviewed, candidates for the position at UBC received their doctorates from the York Graduate History Program.

Jason Ellis defended his dissertation entitled “’Backward and Brilliant Children: A Social and Policy History of Disability, Childhood and Education in Toronto’s Special Education Classes, 1910 to 1945” in September 2011 and it was later nominated for the Bullen Prize of the Canadian Historical Association.  Since then he has taught at Trent University (Oshawa), Western University, and Wilfrid Laurier University (Brantford) and he received his B.Ed. from OISE-University of Toronto in 2012. His superior teaching skills were officially recognized by the Dean of Laurier-Brantford that year for his course “Children, Toys and Media”.  He also won the Cathy L. James Memorial Award from the Canadian History of Education Association for the best thesis in the history of Canadian Education (in either French or English). He received the award last fall at the annual meeting of CHEA in Vancouver.  Jason now serves as book editor for Historical Studies in Education-Revue d’histoire de l’éducation and is a past co-editor of Left History. Jason did his Masters degree in History at York, graduating in 2005. Previously, he graduated with an Honours BA (History and French Studies) from Queen’s University Kingston in 2004. He has an article forthcoming in the History of Education Quarterly and is presently revising his dissertation for publication.

Before obtaining the tenure-track position at the University of Sherbrooke, Maurice Demers had a two-year contractually limited position there in Latin American and World history. He also taught courses on Latin America as a part-time course director at McGill and Concordia Universities. In 2010 Maurice defended his dissertation entitled “Pan-Americanism Re-Invented in Uncle Sam’s Backyard: Catholic and Latin Identity in French Canada and Mexico in the First Half of the 20th Century.” The dissertation, which was co-supervised by Professors Anne Rubenstein and Roberto Perin, was nominated for the prize awarded by Dean of Graduate Studies for the best dissertation in the Faculty. Maurice did his Masters degree in Latin American Studies (history and political science) at the University of New Mexico. In addition to French and English, he speaks Spanish and Portuguese fluently. A revised version of his dissertation will soon be published by McGill-Queen’s University Press.

Recent York History PhD, Jim Clifford, has secured a tenure-track position as an Assistant Professor in the Department of History at the University of Saskatchewan, starting July 1.

Jim completed an Honours BA in History (minor Politics) at Bishop’s University in 2003. One year later, he graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University with an MA in History with a Major Research Paper on the social representations of poverty in the East End of London in the 1880s and 1890s. Jim’s fascination with East London carried over into his doctoral dissertation undertaken under the supervision of Prof. Stephen Brooke and entitled “A Wetland Suburb on the Edge of London: A Social and Environmental History of West Ham and the River Lea, 1855-1914”.

Since defending the dissertation in January 2011 and having had it nominated for a FGS dissertation prize, Jim has been working as a Postdoctoral Fellow on the SSHRC-funded Digging into Data Project. He co-authored the interdisciplinary “Trading Consequences” project proposal within this, which studies the economic and environmental history of nineteenth-century commodity flows in the British Empire. On top of this, Jim was successful in his application for a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of History at the University of Guelph which he has now had to decline. Jim has also been active in the Network in Canadian History and Environment (NiCHE) Project as a project coordinator and editor since 2010, and was in 2009 a founding member of the editorial collective of the now highly-popular ActiveHistory.ca website. He has presently published two refereed articles and is revising a book manuscript based on his dissertation for UBC Press.

Many congratulations to Jason, Maurice and Jim!