June 14, 2021
UCalgary History PhD focuses on understanding the impact of conservative Christian leaders on Newfoundland and Labrador schools and society and the history of church-state relations in British settler colonies.
Dr. Rebecca Ralph, who completed her PhD in the Department of History in January 2020, will be taking up a 1-year Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Institute for Social and Economic Research at Memorial University of Newfoundland in the fall of 2021.
She will be based in the Department of History at MUN and will be working with Dr. Jeff Webb, an expert in the social and cultural history of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Her new project is titled, “Dismantling Denominationalism: An Examination of Educational Change in Post-Confederation Newfoundland and Labrador, 1949-1997.” This project will build on her SSHRC funded doctoral research, which examined how public acceptance of denominational pluralism in the 19th century led to the construction and entrenchment of the denominational education system in Newfoundland. She is in the process of publishing her doctoral research and has an article forthcoming in the Spring issue of Acadiensis titled “Brother Slattery Wins an Essay Contest: An Irish Christian Brother’s Influence on Education Reform in 1890s Newfoundland.”
Her new project will continue her focus on understanding the impact of conservative Christian leaders on Newfoundland and Labrador schools and society and the history of church-state relations in British settler colonies. The project will include archival and oral history research to understand how social and economic changes in post-Confederation Newfoundland and Labrador diminished public acceptance of churches as leaders in education and led to the abolishment of denominational education in 1997.
Dr. Ralph is excited to return to MUN, where she completed both her BA and MA, and is looking forward to once again living in beautiful St. John’s, Newfoundland.