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Wilfrid Laurier University Laurier Brantford
December 6, 2016
Canadian Excellence

Dr. Tarah Brookfield

Associate Professor, History and Youth & Children's Studies

Contact Information
Phone: 519.756.8228 ext.5792

Office Location: RCW 309
Office Hours: Winter - Tuesdays 11:30-12:30 and Wednesdays 11:00-12:00
Languages Spoken


Academic Background
Ph.D. York University, History 
M.A.  University of Waterloo, History                                        
B.A.  McGill University, Honours History and Anthropology

I'm excited to be part of two programs at Laurier Brantford: History and Youth & Children's Studies.

My research focuses on how Canadian women have worked with and against the state to improve women’s rights, advocate for peace, and increase the safety of children and families endangered by militarization during the World Wars and Cold War. I am also in young people’s experiences in the Cold War era, particularly surrounding their fears and conception of nuclear war. More recently I have begun work about historic representations of orphans, fostering, and adoption in Canada.

I am currently working on a new book project about the history of Grindstone Island which hosted peace and non-violence training workshops and other social justice programs for adults, youth, and families during the 1960s-1980s. I am also beginning a project on the lives of girls living in orphanages in 19th and 20th century Brantford and Hamilton.

Recent Publications

 “The Fasting Granny vs. The Trudeau Government: Demanding an End to the Canadian Presence in Vietnam,” Worth Fighting For: War Resistance in Canadian History, eds. Lara Campbell, Michael Dawson and Catherine Gidney. (Toronto: Between the Lines, Press, Forthcoming Winter 2015.) 20 pp.

“Until the world deserves them”: Representations of Apocalyptic Childhoods in The Day After, Testament, and Threads,” in The Child in Post-Apocalyptic Cinema, ed. Debbie Olsen (Lexington Books, forthcoming Winter 2015). 26 pp.

“The Home Front Becomes the Front Line: Fallout Shelter Madness,” Gender History: Canadian Perspectives, eds. Willeen G. Keough and Lara Campbell (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2013) 196-206.

 “Modeling the UN’s Mission in Semi-Formal Wear: Edmonton’s Miss United Nations Pageants of the 1960s,”Contesting the Body and Nation in Canadian History eds. Jane Nichols and Patrizia Gentile, (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2013).

“No Woman is an Island: Heroes, Heroines and Power in the Gendered World of Lost,” The Journal of the Popular Culture 46.2 (2013): 315-337.

Cold War Comforts: Canadian Women, Child Safety and Global Insecurity (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2012)

 “Maverick Mothers and Mercy Flights: Canada’s Controversial Introduction to International Adoption,” Journal of the Canadian Historical Association, 19(1) 2009, 307-330.

“Divided by the Ballot Box: The Montreal Council of Women and the 1917 Election,” Canadian Historical Review, 89(4) December 2008: 473-501.

Courses Taught Recently

  • HI 293 History of Canada since Confederation 
  • HI 430 Reading Seminar in 20th Century Canada                                      
  • HI 480 Research Seminar in 20th Century Canada
  • YC 200 Childhood and Youth Through the Ages
  • CT 413E Adoption: Past and Present
  • CT 430 Youth Cultures
  • CT 352 War in the Contemporary World
  • CT 326 Children, Toys and Media