Dr. Laurie K. Bertram is a scholar specializing in histories of gender and material culture in Canada and the global North. Her forthcoming book with University of Toronto Press explores the shape of Icelandic immigrant culture in North America. The book uses everyday forms of expression, including baking, clothing and ghost stories, to understand the evolution of Icelandic immigrant popular culture and identity from 1870 onwards.
Bertram’s newest research focuses on histories of sex work in 19th and early 20th century Canada. Her public history practice includes a new spring 2016 teaching exhibit at the University of Toronto on the history of sex work legislation in Canada and “PIONEER LADIES (of the evening),” a travelling exhibit that explores the lives and legacies of criminalized women in Western Canada through textiles and fashion. She is currently conducting research for a second book on the relationship between brothel culture, biopolitics and colonialism on the Canadian Prairies between 1870 and 1910.