Marlene Epp

Professor Emeritus of History and Peace and Conflict Studies (Retired 2022)
Marlene Epp

(519) 885-0220 ext. 24257
Office:  CGUC 4205

BA, University of Manitoba, 1980
MA, University of Waterloo, 1990
PhD, University of Toronto, 1996

Research Areas: 

Mennonite history; gender studies; the history of immigrants and refugees in Canada; the history of food and culture

Courses Taught:

HIST 224 - Food, Culture & History
HIST 247 - Mennonite History: A Survey
HIST 351 - Canada: The Immigrant Experience
MENN 125 - Who are the Mennonites?
PACS 203/HIST 232 - A History of Peace Movements
PACS 325 - Refugees and Forced Migration
PACS 321/GSJ 331 - Gender in War & Peace

MPACS 610 - Contemporary Nonviolent Movements

Remote video URL
Remote video URL


Marlene Epp is a Canadian historian with eclectic research and teaching interests in Mennonite studies, Immigrants and refugees, women and gender, the history of peace and nonviolence, and the history of food and culture. About research she says:  “I like to hear the stories of ordinary people’s everyday lives. It’s the underside of history, and one of the most important sides of history. I like writing, although it is often difficult. I love to put sentences together in a creative way in order to transmit my enthusiasm for a topic.” About teaching she says: “Students have a lot to offer from their own lives. Every student has a story, so I try finding ways to personalize my teaching and find out what life experience they bring to the classroom.”

Marlene holds a globe while teaching PACS students in the Grebel atrium

Selected Publications:

  • “Responding to ‘War’s Havoc’: The Relief Work of Mennonite Women.” In Sarah Glassford and Amy Shaw, eds. Making the Best of It: Women and Girls of Canada and Newfoundland during the Second World War. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2020, 163-79.

  • With Franca Iacovetta. “Beyond Sisters or Strangers: Feminist Immigrant Women’s History and Rewriting Canadian History.” In Nancy Janovicek and Carmen Nielson, eds. Reading Canadian Women’s and Gender History. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2019, 225-54.

  • Refugees in Canada: A Brief History. Booklet #35 Immigration and Ethnicity in Canada / L’Immigration et l’ethnicité au Canada. Canadian Historical Association, 2017.  

  • “‘The dumpling in my soup was lonely just like me’: Food in the Memories of Mennonite Women Refugees.” In Donna R. Gabaccia and Franca Iacovetta, eds. Borders, Conflict Zones, and Memory: Scholarly Engagements with Luisa Passerini. London: UK, Routledge, 2017. Republished from Women’s History Review 25, no. 3 (June 2016): 365-81.

  • Sisters or Strangers? Immigrant, Ethnic, and Racialized Women in Canadian History. Editor, with Franca Iacovetta. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2016, second edition.
  • “Peppernuts and Anarsa: Food, Religion, and Ritual.” Anabaptist Witness 2, no. 2 (November 2015): 87-90.

  • “Eating Across Borders: Reading Immigrant Cookbooks.” Histoire Sociale/Social History 96 (May 2015): 45-65.
  • Edible Histories, Cultural Politics: Towards a Canadian Food History. Co-edited with Franca Iacovetta and Valerie Korinek.  Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2012.
  • Mennonites in Ontario: An Introduction. Waterloo: Mennonite Historical Society of Ontario, 1994, 2002, 2012.
  • Mennonite Women in Canada: A History. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2008, 378 pp.
  • Women Without Men: Mennonite Refugees of the Second World War. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2000. Reprinted 2003.
  • “Catching Babies and Delivering the Dead: Midwives and Undertakers in Mennonite Settlement Communities.” In Myra Rutherdale, ed. Caregiving on the Periphery: Historical Perspectives on Nursing and Midwifery in Canada. Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2010, 61-83.
  •  “Sexual Violence in War: Mennonite Refugees during the Second World War.” In Stephen J. Rockel and Rick Halpern, eds. Inventing Collateral Damage: Civilian Casualties, War, and Empire. Toronto: Between the Lines Press, 2009.
  •  “The Semiotics of Zwieback: Feast and Famine in the Narratives of Mennonite Refugee Women.” In Marlene Epp, et al., eds. Sisters or Strangers? Immigrant, Ethnic, and Racialized Women in Canadian History. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2004.
  • “Midwife-Healers in Canadian Mennonite Immigrant Communities: Women who ‘made things right’.” Histoire Sociale / Social History 80 (November 2007): 323-44.

Web Features and Articles

Selected Activities: 

  • Co-Chair, Global Mennonite Peacebuilding Conference & Festival, June 9-12, 2016

  • Member, Program Committee, Crossing the Line: Women of Anabaptist Traditions Encounter Borders and Boundaries, June 22-25, 2017, Eastern Mennonite University

  • Editor of Canadian Historical Association's booklet series on Immigration and Ethnicity in Canada/L'Immigration et l'ethnicité au Canada.

Fellowships and Awards:

  • Winner of Best Article in Journal of the Canadian Historical Association,  for “Pioneers, Refugees, Exiles, and Transnationals: Gendering Diaspora in an Ethno-Religious Context”, 2001.

Web Page: UW Department of History: