Department of History Post-Docs
We are very excited to welcome three post-doctoral fellows to the History Department in Fall 2021 and look forward to their contributions to the department, our students and the broader community.
Dr. Rebecca Ralph
Dr. Rebecca Ralph holds an Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) Fellowship under the supervision of Dr. Jeff Webb.
Dr. Rebecca Ralph will be joining the Department of History this fall as the ISER Post Doctoral Fellow. She will be working with Dr. Jeff Webb and undertaking a new project titled “Dismantling Denominationalism: An Examination of Educational Change in Post-Confederation Newfoundland and Labrador, 1949-1997.”
Dr. Ralph, who is from Traytown, NL, completed her BA (2011) and MA (2014) at MUN. She received her PhD in January 2020 from the Department of History at the University of Calgary. Her SSHRC funded dissertation examined the history of how denominational pluralism became accepted in Newfoundland, which led to the development and entrenchment of the denominational school system in Newfoundland and Labrador during the 19th and early 20th century. She has a forthcoming article in Acadiensis about the development of denominational pluralism in Newfoundland titled “Brother Slattery Wins an Essay Contest: An Irish Christian Brother’s Influence on Education Reform in 1890s Newfoundland.”
Her new project will explore changes to and the decline of the denominational school system following confederation with Canada, building on her work about the history and legacy of the impact of 19th century colonial church-state relationships on British settler colonies. The project will focus on how diminishing support for church leadership in education in concert with significant social and economic changes led to calls for and ultimately the abolishment of the denominational school system in 1997.
Rebecca is excited to return to MUN and is looking forward to once again living in beautiful St. John’s, NL.
Dr. Meaghan Walker
Research Interests: Maritime History, Dress History, Gender, Race, Empire, Labour
Dr. Walker studies the clothing of working men who went to sea under British jurisdiction in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Her Ewart A. Pratt Post-doctoral project will look at the supply and consumption of mass-produced menswear in Newfoundland and Labrador, with a special consideration of the close relationship between ready-made slop clothing (mass-produced garments produced through government contracts) and the extensive military and civilian maritime workforce in the region. She is also interested in how imperial institutions like prisons, hospitals and asylums, poor relief, religious missions, fishing premises and military establishments made use of cheap, bulk-contracted menswear intended for the maritime labour market and how this institutional use normalized ready-made clothing for general consumers by the late nineteenth-century.
Dr. Michael Westcott
In the spring of 2020, Dr. Michael Westcott successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis titled Transforming the Liberal State: Gender, Class, and Ethnicity on the Newfoundland Home Front, 1914-1918. His dissertation examined how changing wartime notions of gender, class, and ethnicity altered the workings of the Liberal state and resulted in wartime phenomena such as prohibition, conscription, price control, taxation, and the persecution of so-called “enemy aliens.”
He is currently working on a postdoctoral project titled Newfoundlanders in the Canadian Expeditionary Force: The Impact of Military Service on Community and National Identity. This project seeks to determine what impact the service of over 3,000 Newfoundlanders with the Canadian Expeditionary Force had on their identity as both Newfoundlanders and British subjects in North America. Dr. Westcott is also currently revising his monograph, With a Unity of Purpose: The Newfoundland Home Front and the Liberal Order in the Great War, for publication.
In his spare time, Dr. Westcott enjoys hiking, canoeing, cycling, hunting, fishing, and just about any other activity that takes place outdoors.