Dr. Rebecca MacAlpine's successful dissertation defence

Thursday, January 4, 2024

"In Protection of No Woman: Consent, Illegitimacy, and Gender-Based Violence in Early Modern Somerset, 1600-1699," explores the adjudication of bastardy (child maintenance) cases in the Somerset Quarter Sessions during the seventeenth century.

Rebecca MacAlpine successfully defended her dissertation on Wednesday, December 13, 2023 at the University of Waterloo (Waterloo). Her research demonstrates that the preoccupation of the court to shift the financial burden away from the parish to the putative father negated the lived experiences that women communicated in their testimony. It argues that the inability to fully engage with these experiences and adjudicate accordingly demonstrates the violating nature of these proceedings for unmarried mothers.

Dr. Ian Milligan (Waterloo) served as Rebecca's supervisor with Dr. Greta Kroeker (also from Waterloo) and Dr. Peter Goddard (University of Guelph) as committee members. Her internal-external dissertation committee member was Dr. Katy Fulfer from Waterloo's Philosophy Department, and her external examiner was Dr. Amy Leonard, from Georgetown University.

"I would like to extend a sincere thanks to my supervising committee, and especially Dr. Greta Kroeker, and my supervisor, Dr. Ian Milligan, for all their support in helping me undertake research during a global pandemic," says Rebecca.

Since March, 2023, Rebecca has worked as the Centre for Teaching Excellence Liaison to the Faculty of Arts. In this role she supports faculty with reaching their teaching goals and implementing them into the classroom. She also continues to research and explore how to teach hard subjects in the classroom through an engagement with Trauma-Informed Care and Feminist pedagogies. She is looking forward to continuing this important work and supporting faculty in reaching their teaching goals.

During her time as a student in the Tri-U Graduate History Program, Rebecca served as one of the three co-presidents of the Tri-U Graduate Student Association, working at creative connections during the pandemic.

Dr. MacAlpine is currently working on several research projects about Trauma-Informed Feminist pedagogies, as well as adapting her dissertation into a book.

Congratulations, Dr. MacAlpine!

I am incredibly grateful for all the support of the Tri-U graduate program. It was great to be able to work alongside a fantastic cohort of graduate students and faculty. 

Dr. Rebecca MacAlpine

Rebecca MacAlpine