Marks, Lynne


Phone number: (250) 721-7392
Department: History

Research description:

- Social history of religion/irreligion
- Canadian history
- Women's/Gender history
- History of social welfare and current issues in social welfare/social policy.

Expertise Profile
To understand why British Columbians are less religious than the rest of Canada, we need to step back in time to the 19th century.

History professor Dr. Lynne Marks unearths the historical roots of the West Coast's secular behaviour from the 1880s to World War I. In a manuscript she authored, Dr. Marks explores how factors such as ethnic diversity and religious practice in 19th century British Columbia influenced people's perceptions on gender and social class.

To the people of that time, choosing a religion or none impacted the way they understood their lives, she says. Dr. Marks looks at how their choices have shaped our present culture, down to why gay rights don't stir as much uproar in this province as in Ontario.

Dr. Marks has recently begun a new project with Dr. Margaret Little of Queen's department of politics and gender studies that explores the second wave women's movement in Canada from the late 1960s to the 1980s, looking particularly at how different elements of the women's movement perceived issues of motherhood and family.

In class, Dr. Marks refrains from imposing her opinions on the research matter, but rather, facilitates discussion forums so her students can think for themselves and contribute to her area with new insights.

Community projects

Dr. Marks is involved in research on the history of religion/irreligion in late 19th- and early 20th- century B.C., including Vancouver Island. She looks at why British Columbians have always been less religious/less church-going than other Canadians.

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