Jane McGaughey wins British Library Fellowship

© The British Library

The GMM Project Team is delighted to our announce that Dr. Jane McGaughey, our Principal Investigator, has won a prestigious Canada-UK Foundation and Eccles Centre Canadian Fellowship at the British Library for 2022.

The fellowship will allow Jane to broaden the GMM Project’s current parameters by examining the treatment of immigrant mothers at Canadian colonial lunatic asylums and hospitals along the St Lawrence River/Lake Ontario migration corridor.

My research at the British Library will investigate the treatment of immigrant mothers in pre-Confederation Canadian hospitals and asylums in terms of how medical and civic duties of care were framed by cholera and typhus pandemics, migration, gender, and the growing fields of obstetrics and gynaecology. It will examine maternal migrants at medical institutions in Québec, Montreal, Kingston, and Toronto, creating new transnational comparisons of gendered migration, motherhood, and disease. 

This focus on unexplored intersections of motherhood and migration in colonial Canada raises many questions as to how unprecedented levels of migration during pandemic waves affected medical understandings and cultural representations of immigrant mothers. To what extent were immigrant mothers seen as a further strain on the colonial medical system during the pandemics? Why were so many immigrant mothers treated at colonial asylums in Canada rather than hospitals? How often were did doctors, politicians, and journalists make correlations between migration and maternal care complications? How were immigrant mothers represented in the colonial press?  These themes compliment my larger research agenda as the Johnson Chair in Quebec and Canadian Irish Studies at Concordia University, highlighting the role played by Irish immigrants and their descendants in the social, cultural, religious, and economic evolution of Québec and Canada.

You can read more about the Eccles Centre and its fellowships here: https://www.bl.uk/eccles-centre/fellowships-and-awards/canada-uk-fellowship.

Our congratulations as well to Professor Allan Greer of McGill University, who was the other fellowship winner for 2022!

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