Cynthia Comacchio

Dr. Cynthia Comacchio



Professor, History, Wilfrid Laurier University
Series Editor, Studies in Childhood and Family in Canada, Wilfrid Laurier University Press
Co-Editor, Journal of Canadian Studies


Cynthia Comacchio has taught in WLU’s history department since 1992. Her research focuses on the histories of childhood, youth, family and education, particularly as these highlight age and generational relations. Her current study examines the Great War’s ‘hidden casualties:’ the personal, familial and community consequences of veterans’ mental and physical health, in conjunction with the SSHRC funded project, “Through Veteran’s Eyes: Digital Approaches to the Hidden Histories of Veterans, Families, and the State 1918 – 2000,” with Terry Copp and under the direction of Mark Humphries, Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Defence Studies.

Select Publications


with Neil Sutherland, Ring Around the Maple: Canadian Childhoods, 1850 to 2000 (2016).

The Dominion of Youth: Adolescence and the Making of Modern Canada (WLUP: 2006).

Articles and Book Chapters:

“Young Canada:” Youth and Nation-Building, 1867-1900”, in Christine Feldman Barrett, ed. Lost Histories of Youth Culture. London: Peter Lang, 2015.

“Challenging Strathcona: The Cadet Training Controversy in English Canada, 1920 – 1950,” in Lara Campbell, Michael Dawson, Catherine Gidney, eds. War Resistance in Canada. Toronto: Between the Lines, 2015.

“ ‘To Hold On High the Torch of Liberty’: Canadian Youth in the Second World War,” in Geoffrey Hayes, Michael Bechtold, Matt Symes eds. Canada and the Second World War: Essays in Honour of Terry Copp. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2012.

Awards and Honours

John A. Macdonald Prize, Canadian Historical Association, Honourable Mention, Best Monograph in Canadian History [English], for The Dominion of Youth: Adolescence and the Making of Modern Canada (2008).

Founders Award, Best Book in the History of Education 2007-08, Canadian History of Education Association, for The Dominion of Youth: Adolescence and the Making of Modern Canada (2008).

Faculty of Arts Teaching Scholar Award, Wilfrid Laurier University, 2002.

University Teaching Award, Wilfrid Laurier University, 2002.

Best Article in a Scholarly Journal, 2002; History of Education Society, for “Inventing the Extracurriculum: High School Culture in Interwar Ontario.” Ontario History, Spring 2001.
Distinguished Visiting Scholar, Faculty of Educational Studies, University of British Columbia, 2001.

Graduate Supervision

childhood, youth and family in 20th century Canada; health and medicine; homefronts, especially regarding gender, “race” and age participation; the sociocultural history of the world wars and their aftermath.