Gillian Poulter, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of History & Classics

Phone: (902) 585-1289

Research Interests

My doctoral research centred on issues of national identity in 19th century Montreal, and argued that British colonists appropriated indigenous cultural activities such as lacrosse and snowshoeing in order to construct for themselves a new identity as native Canadians.

My current research continues my interest in the construction of identity and looks at the ways in which ordinary people commemorate their lives.  To this end I have embarked on two intersecting research projects.  One examines the cultural rituals and traditions surrounding funerals and weddings in Kings County, Nova Scotia from c.1850-1839.  The other attempts to discern ways in which historians may make better use of scrapbooks as historical sources and ‘read’ them as auto/biography.

Selected Publications

Becoming Native in a Foreign Land: Sport, Visual Culture and National Identity, Montreal 1840-1885, (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2009).

"'Eminently Canadian': Indigenous Sports and Canadian Identity in Victorian Montreal," Hidden in Plain Sight: Contributions of Aboriginal Peoples to Canadian Identity and Culture, Vol. 1. eds. David Newhouse, Cora Voyageur, and Daniel J.K. Beavon (Toronto: UTP, 2005).

"Montreal and its Environs: Imagining a National Landscape, c.1867-1885," Journal of Canadian Studies 38, 3 (Fall 2004): 69-100.

"Snowshoeing and Lacrosse: Canada's Nineteenth-Century 'National Games'," Culture, Sport Society 6.2/3 (Summer/Autumn 2003): 293-320. Reprinted in Ethnicity, Sport, Identity: Struggles for Status eds. J.A. Mangan and Andrew Ritchie (London: Frank Cass, 2004): 293-320.

"Representation as Colonial Rhetoric: the image of 'the native' and 'the habitant' in the formation of colonial identities in early nineteenth-century Lower Canada", Journal of Canadian Art History 16,1 (Dec 1994): 10-29.