Dr. Jennifer Tunnicliffe is a human rights historian with a particular interest in how domestic and transnational activism shapes cultural attitudes and legislative approaches to rights and freedoms. Her work has appeared in the Canadian Historical Review, Social History / Histoire Sociale, History Compass, and on the ActiveHistory blog. She has been featured on the Champlain Society’s “Witness to Yesterday” podcast and has contributed research to the Canadian Museum of Human Rights and the Centre for International Governance.
Her first book, Resisting Rights: Canada and the International Bill of Rights, 1947-76 (UBC Press, 2019), challenges the narrative of Canada as an historic advocate for international human rights and explores the key role that rights activists have played in shaping Canadian diplomacy at the United Nations. She is also a co-editor of Constant Struggle: Histories of Canadian Democratization (under review with McGill-Queen’s University Press), a collection that explores the historical realities that have shaped how democracy has been understood and practiced throughout Canadian history. Her current book project, Drawing the Line: Free Speech and the Regulation of Hate in Canadian History, examines the evolution of Canada’s hate speech laws through a human rights framework, situating Canadian policy in a global context.
Prior to joining Toronto Metropolitan University Dr. Tunnicliffe was an Assistant Professor at King’s University College at Western University, an L. R. Wilson Assistant Professor at the Wilson Institute for Canadian History, and she held a SSHRC postdoctoral fellow at the University of Waterloo. She received her PhD in history from McMaster University.