Welfare state conference to honour retiring professor

An interdisciplinary conference on the history of the welfare state this weekend will celebrate the career of Canadian Studies professor James Struthers.

The Future History of the Welfare State will be held March 6 and 7, 2015, at Catherine Parr Traill College in honour Professor Struthers, who retired in 2014 after 37 years of service to Trent.

Professor Struthers was a founding figure in historical scholarship on the Canadian welfare state, having completed his PhD on the politics of unemployment in Canada at the University of Toronto in 1979.

He revised the dissertation into a book, No Fault of Their Own: Unemployment and the Canadian Welfare State, 1914-1941. His second book, The Limits of Affluence: Welfare in Ontario, 1920-1970, traced the development of welfare policy in Ontario.

Struthers was hired by Trent’s Canadian Studies program as a lecturer in 1977 and promoted to Assistant Professor after completing his doctorate in 1979. He taught courses on social policy, multiculturalism, and the history of Ontario.

The conference will feature leading scholars from across Canada discussing their current research projects and reflecting on emerging directions in the field of welfare state history.

Among the twelve presenters are two Trent alumni, Penny Bryden of the University of Victoria and Suzanne Morton of McGill University in Montreal.

Professor Struthers’s influence has extended widely, and his scholarship continues to serve as a model for historians seeking to place the development of relations of care in a wider social context.

The conference is open to the public. Admission is free.

Photo of Professor Struthers.
Photo of Professor Struthers.