Laura Ishiguro is a yonsei hāfu settler of Japanese and British descent, born and raised on Lekwungen and WSÁNEĆ territory on southern Vancouver Island. She received her BA Honours degree from the University of Victoria, her MA from Simon Fraser University, and her PhD from University College London.

An Assistant Professor in the Department of History at the University of British Columbia since 2012, she is a social historian specializing in the history of Canada and the British Empire, with an emphasis on British Columbia in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. She has published on histories of settler colonialism and empire, gender and family, and the everyday in this context. Her 2016 BC Studies article, “‘Growing Up and Grown Up … in Our Future City’: Discourses of Childhood and Settler Futurity in Colonial British Columbia,” won the 2017 article prize from the Canadian Committee on Migration, Ethnicity, and Transnationalism, an affiliate committee of the Canadian Historical Association. Based on her research on transnational histories of Canada, she has also been selected as a Wilson Associate with the Wilson Institute of Canadian History at McMaster University (2017-2020). Her first book, Nothing to Write Home About: British Family Correspondence and the Settler Colonial Everyday in British Columbia, will be published by UBC Press in March 2019, and she is now working on her next research project, which will be a history of settler colonial disorder through a biography of one family.

While the majority of her research to date has focused on histories of white settler families, Laura also has an ongoing interest in academic and community narratives about Nikkei history in North America. Drawing on this, for example, she is a co-investigator on the Landscapes of Injustice research project based at the University of Victoria, which is studying the forced sale of Japanese Canadian property during the Second World War. In this capacity, she co-authored a report on settler colonialism and Japanese Canadian history (2017), along with Nicole Yakashiro and Will Archibald. A copy of this report can be found here:

In the Department of History, Laura teaches courses on the history of Canada, empire and comparative colonialism, public history, and gender and sexuality. She was awarded a Killam Teaching Prize in 2018. In the 2018-19 year, her course on the history of British Columbia offers students – among other things – an opportunity to do close, hands-on work with an important collection of letters written by Japanese Canadian teenagers in the Second World War, recently donated to UBC Rare Books and Special Collections. Earlier this year, she also conducted a number of media interviews about this collection. These include Matt Meuse’s radio documentary for CBC’s Doc Project, which can be found here:; and an On the Coast interview, which can be found here: