Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
MacEwan University, Edmonton, AB
Website URL
body, nudity, nudism, gender, sexuality, environment, cities, public space, childhood, mobility, Canada, twentieth century
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

I am an instructor in the Humanities Department at MacEwan University.

I hold a PhD in history from Carleton University. My book, The Nature of the Body: A Cultural History of Nudism in Postwar Canada, is currently under review. It examines the nudist clubs that formed in Canada after the Second World War and functioned as alternatives to modern public beaches, parks, and campgrounds. Committed to dissociating nudity from sexuality, nudist clubs created space for men, women, and children to socialize in the nude. My study explores the ways nudists transgressed cultural taboos around nudity but simultaneously sought social respectability and promoted their movement as complementary to modern family life. I consider nudist club operations, nudist representations of the body through photography and pageants, and tensions surrounding new forms of social nudism that emerged around 1970.

My new research projects reflect my interest in the body through a focus on the physicality of children’s experiences of the world around them, and on adult responses to children’s physical mobility. My project, “Growing Up in Urban Canada, 1900-1960,” considers children’s use of urban public space in Vancouver, Edmonton, and Toronto. A second research project compares and contrasts the experiences of, and institutional responses to, Indigenous and non-Indigenous child runaways on the Canadian prairies in the first half of the twentieth century.

Recent Publications

“’Nudists at Heart’: Children’s Nature and Child Psychology in the Postwar Canadian Nudist Movement,” Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth 10, vol. 2 (Spring 2017), 228-247.

“Nudity as Embodied Citizenship and Spectacle: Pageants at Canada’s Nudist Clubs, 1949–1975.” In Contesting Bodies and Nation in Canadian History. Edited by Patrizia Gentile and Jane Nicholas. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2013, 226-246.

“Centring the Suburb, Focusing on the Family: Calgary’s Anglican and Alliance Churches, 1945-1969.” Histoire sociale/Social History 42, no. 84 (November 2009): 423-446. Re-printed in Visions: The Canadian History Modules Project, Module 46 – “Brave New Families: Domesticity in Early Cold War Canada,” ed. Cynthia Comacchio. Toronto: Nelson Education, 2015.

Media Coverage
Interviewed about the history of nudism in Canada on CBC Radio One, Definitely Not the Opera, “What happens when you make ‘private parts’ public?” 4 December 2010.
Country Focus
Expertise by Geography
North America
Expertise by Chronology
Modern, 20th century
Expertise by Topic
Children & Youth, Environment, Family, Gender, Sexuality, Urban History, Women