The Boundaries of Ethnicity

The Boundaries of Ethnicity: German Speakers in Ontario and the Great Lakes, 1880-1930

This monograph-length project examines the conflicting views over issues of citizenship and ethnicity held by German-speaking immigrants, bilingual Canadians of German heritage, politicians, and religious leaders. It stresses the importance bilingualism and religious identities within the individual, group, and national construction of ethnicity. It argues that the negotiation between state bureaucrats, community leaders, and bilingual children carved out a space for cultural pluralism in many Canadians’ understanding of nation in the early-twentieth century. The book engages with broader debates about state authority, nationalist ideologies, and language policy in North America. This project grows out of my doctoral dissertation, which was awarded the 2014 German-Canadian Studies Dissertation Prize. The revised manuscript includes new perspectives on Francophones in Ontario and German speakers in the United States.

Parts of this project have been published in the Canadian Historical Review and the Journal of the Canadian Historical Association.