Dr. Lynne Marks

Dr. Lynne Marks
Office: Cle B222

BA (UofT), MA, PhD (York)

Area of expertise

Modern Canadian History, Women’s and Gender History, North American Religion

Office Hours

Please email for appointment


I received my B.A. from the University of Toronto in 1982, and my M.A. and Ph.D from York University in Toronto, graduating in 1992. I have been teaching at UVic since 1992, and very much enjoy teaching Canadian history, women’s and gender history, as well as the social history of religion. My most recent book, ​Infidels and the Damn Churches:  Irreligion and Religion in Settler British Columbia, looks at why British Columbians in the past have been less religious than those in the rest of Canada. This pattern remains true today, but I explore it for the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, asking questions about how this particularly secular pattern links to issues of gender and class, as well as race and racism, in this early period. I have also published on questions of social welfare in British Columbia, and how the history of social welfare may help us to understand the nature of  early 21st century welfare “reform” in this province.

I am currently working on a SSHRC-funded project on the relationship between Canadian second wave feminism, religion/secularism and motherhood and family, particularly among low income, Indigenous and immigrant and racialized women activists, with Dr. Margaret Little of Queen’s University and Dr. Sarah Nickel of the University of Saskatchewan.  I am a co-investigator on the SSHRC-funded Cascadia project, which explores why people in the Pacific Northwest are today and historically have been much less religious than those elsewhere in North America. I am also involved in the SSHRC-funded Defying Hatred project (Jordan Stanger-Ross PI), which explores responses to anti-semitism by Victoria's oldest synagogue. My portion of the project explores the complexities and contradictions​ of anti-semitism, perceived Jewish whiteness and Jewish racism against other racialized groups in the context of a racially diverse 19th century Victoria. Recently I have also been spending much of my time as President of UVic's Faculty Association.

Awards and Honours

  • Canadian Historical Association Clio Award for the best book published in BC History in 2017 for Infidels and the Damn Churches.
  • UVic REACH Award for Graduate Supervision and Mentorship, 2017
  • Provost’s Award for Activism and Advocacy, University of Victoria, 2015​
  • Marion Dewar prize by the National Capital Committee on the Scholarship, Preservation and Dissemination of Women's History, 2012
  • The Switzer-Cooperstock Prize in Western Canadian Jewish History, 2010
  • Floyd S. Chalmers Award for the best book published in Ontario History in 1996 for Revivals and Roller Rinks.


Selected publications


Infidels and the Damn Churches Visions Revivals and Roller Rinks
  • Infidels and the Damn Churches: Irreligion and Religion in Settler British Columbia (UBC Press, 2017).
  • Co-editor, Visions:  The Canadian History Modules Project (with Penny Bryden, Colin Coates, Marcel Martel, Maureen Lux and Daniel Sampson) (Nelson Education Ltd., 2010 and 2nd edition, 2015).​
  • Revivals and Rollers Rinks: Religion, Leisure and Identity in Late Nineteenth Century Small Town Ontario (University of Toronto Press, 1996).

Selected Articles:

  • Lynne Marks and Jordan Stanger Ross, “White Jews of Victoria, 1858-1914,” in Ellen Eisenberg ed., Jewish Identities in the American West: Relational Perspectives (Brandeis University Press, 2022).
  • Linda Ambrose, Tina Block and Lynne Marks, “Forum Introduction:  Challenging Orthodoxies:  Religion, Secularism and Feminism Among English-Canadian Women, 1960s-1980s,” Gender and History Volume 34, 2 (July 2022), 317-324. 
  • Lynne Marks and Margaret Little, “In the Forefront and on the Margins: Jews, Secularism and Women's Liberation in Ontario and British Columbia, 1960s–1980s,” Gender and History Volume 34, 2 (July 2022), 325-338.
  • Lynne Marks, Margaret Little, Marin Beck, Emma Pazat and Taylor Antoniazzi, "'Jesus is Not Part of This Collective':  Secular Passions and Religious Alienation Among the Sisterhood," in Feeling Feminism:  Activism, Affect and Canada's Second Wave, Lara Campbell, Michael Dawson and Catherine Gidney, eds., (UBC Press, April 2022).  
  • Tina Block and Lynne Marks, "'But People Tend to Go the Way Their Families Go':​ Irreligion Across the Generations in the Pacific Northwest," in ​Religion at the Edge:  Nature, Spirituality and Secularity in the Pacific Northwest​, Paul Bramadat, Patricia O'Connell Killen and Sarah Wilkins-Laflamme, eds., (UBC Press, April 2022).
  • Tina Block and Lynne Marks, "The Pacific Northwest," in The Cambridge History of Atheism:  Atheis​m in the Contemporary World, vol. 2, Stephen Bullivant and Michael Ruse, eds. (Cambridge University Press, 2021).
  • Margaret Little, Lynne Marks, Marin Beck, Emma Pazat and Liza Tom, "Family Matters:  Immigrant Women's Activism in Ontario and British Columbia, 1960s-1980s,", Atlantis, vol 41, no. 1 (2020). 
  • With Little, M Gaucher and T.R. Noddings, “‘A job that should be respected’:  Contested Visions of Motherhood and English Canada’s Second Wave Women’s Movements, 1970 – 1990”, Women’s History Review (2016).
  •  “’Not being religious didn’t take away from their Jewishness’:  The complexities of lived religion among late 19th and early 20th century B.C. Jews”, BC Studies: The British Columbian Quarterly, No 181 (Spring 2014).
  • “Challenging Binaries:  Working-Class Women and Lived Religion in English Canada and the United States”, Labor: Studies in Working-Class History of the Americas, 6.1 (Spring 2009), pp. 107-125.
  •  “Leaving God Behind when They Crossed the Rocky Mountains: Exploring Unbelief in Turn-of-the-Century British Columbia” in P. Baskerville and E.W. Sager, eds., Household Counts Canadian Households and Families in 1901 (University of Toronto Press, 2007), pp 371-404.
  •  “A Closer Look at the Neo-Liberal Petri Dish: Welfare Reform in British Columbia and Ontario”, (with Margaret Little), Canadian Review of Social Policy vol. 57 (Fall 2006).
  • “‘A Fragment of Heaven on Earth’?: Religion, Gender and Family in Turn of the Century Canadian Church Periodicals”, Journal of Family History (April 2001), pp. 251-271.
  • "Railing, Tattling, General Rumour and Common Fame:  Speech, Gossip, Gender and Church Regulation in Upper Canada", Canadian Historical Review, 81, 3 (September 2000) pp. 380-402.


HSTR 230B Canada Since Confederation
HSTR 327A Gender and Sexuality in Canada to 1920
HSTR 327B Gender and Sexuality in Canada 1920 - present
HSTR 485A Gender, Sexuality and the Body since 1800
HSTR 503A Field in Canadian History I
HSTR 513 Topical Field in Women's/Gender History
HSTR 522 Topical Field in Religious History

Grad students

PhD Students (completed and in progress):

  • Cameron Duder, “The Spreading Depths: Lesbian and Bisexual Women in English Canada, 1910-1965."  (2001)
  • Kori Street, “Bankers and Bomb Makers: Gender Ideology and Women’s Paid Work in Banking and Munitions during the First World War in Canada”. (2001)
  • Tina Marie Block,  “Everyday Infidels: A Social History of Secularism in The Postwar Pacific Northwest.” (2006)
  • Georgia Sitara,  “Humanitarianism in the age of Capital and Empire: Canada, 1870-1890.” (co-supervisor) (2007)
  • Andrea Eidinger, "What My Mother Taught Me: The Construction of Canadian Jewish Womanhood in Montreal, 1945-1980." (2011)
  • Kathryn Bridge, "Being Young in the Country: Settler Children and Childhood in British Columbia and Alberta, 1860-1925." (2012)
  • Sarah Van Vugt, “Beauty on the Job: Visual Representation, Bodies, and Canada’s Women War Workers, 1939-1945.” (2016)
  • Kefen Zhou, “Mission to Modernize Higher Education in China: Lincoln Zhang and the West China Union University, 1890-1955.” (co-supervisor) (2023)
  • Pia Russell, "Decolonizing Canadian historical consciousness: Truth-telling, textbooks, and Indigenous resurgence." (in progress)

Graduate Student M.A. Theses (completed since 2010):

  • Kendra Horosko, “Deliciously Detailed Narratives: The Use of Food in Stories of British War Brides’ Experiences.” (2010)
  • Marki Sellers, “'Wearing the Mantle on Both Shoulders': An Examination of the Development of Cultural  Change, Mutual Accommodation,  and Hybrid Forms at Fort Simpson/Laxtgu'alaams, 1834-1862.” (co-supervisor) (2010)
  • Ashley Forseille, “’Reading Love Between the Lines’: Religion, Courtship, and Correspondence in the Salvation Army, 1906-1910.” (co-supervisor) (2012)
  • Melanie Ihmels, “The Mischiefmakers:  Women’s Movement Development in Victoria, British Columbia, 1850-1910.” (2014)
  • Judith Gibbard, “Instruments in God’s Hands”: American Protestant Attitudes to Suffering, 1908-1955.” (2014)
  • Bonnie Sawyer, “A Critical History of Social Work, the Canadian Salvation Army and Female Sexual ‘Deviance’ in Canada, 1886-1940.” (2014)
  • Paige Fehr,  "Psychiatry and Eugenics: The Classification and Diagnosis of Female Patients in British Columbia’s Psychiatric Institutions, 1918-1933." (2017)
  • Pia ​Russell, "Whose History? A Reconnaissance of British Columbia’s First Fifty Years of History Textbooks, 1871-1921." (2019)
  • Drew Koehn, "​Masks of Hegemony: Populism, Neoliberalism, and Welfare Narratives in British Columbia, 1975-2004." (co-supervisor) (2019)
  • Liang Han, "Chinese Religious Life in Victoria, BC 1858-1930." (2019)
  • Taylor Antoniazzi, "Books by women, for women, about women: an oral history of everywomans books in Victoria, BC, 1975-1997." (2020)
  • Georgia King, "'National Housekeeping:' Rethinking Nationalism through the Irish Housewives Association." (2020)
  • Paige Thombs, "Arc of the Covenant:  The Evolution of Trinity Western University's Community Covenant as a Response to Secularization." (2020)
  • Erica Greenup, "Living Feminism and Leaving Catholicism in Victoria, BC since the 1960s." (2021)
  • Christine Hughes, “Strategies of Resistance and Subversion: The Politics and Writing of Jane Rule, 1960s-1980s.” (co-supervisor) (2022)
  • Morghan Watson, thesis title TBA, (co-supervisor) in progress.