Professor of History and Peace and Conflict Studies, Director of Mennonite Studies

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

Scholarly and Professional Activities:

Member, Publications Committee, Awards to Scholarly Publishing Program (2017-present)

Consulting Editor, Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online (2010-present)

Editor, Immigration and Ethnicity in Canada / Immigration et ethnicite au Canada Booklet Series (2009-present)

Member, Advisory Board, Canadian Historical Review (2001-2015)

Research Areas: 

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

Courses Taught:

ARTS 125 - Who are the Mennonites?
HIST 224 - Food, Culture & History
HIST 247 - Mennonite History: A Survey
HIST 351 - Canada: The Immigrant Experience
PACS 203/HIST 232 - A History of Peace Movements
PACS 301 - Refugees and Forced Migration
PACS 321/WS 331 - Gender in War & Peace

MPACS 610 - Contemporary Nonviolent Movements


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.”

Selected Publications:

  • 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

  • "Mennonites and Foodways: A Miagrope of Meaning." Keynote address to Essex-Kent Mennonite Historical Association, May 2014, and Mennonite Historical Society of British Columbia, September 2014.
  • Presented Menno Simons Lectures at Bethel College, Kansas, October 2013.
  • 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:

University of Waterloo

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