Student Affiliate

Thomas MacMillan is a doctoral candidate in History at Concordia University studying labour and working-class history in the United States and Canada under Dr. Steven High.  

He was born and raised in Portland, Maine. He is descended from French-Canadian and Scottish-Canadian emigrants on both sides of his family. As a teenager, he was a participant in Seeds of Peace, an international peace-building organization with a summer camp in his home state. He earned a B.A. from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts while studying International Development and Social Change. At Clark, he co-founded an organization which advocated for the human rights of Palestinians. While working in public education for a decade, he was an activist in his hometown and led campaigns for drug reform, public park preservation, and living wages. He also ran for office twice (Maine House of Representatives and Mayor). He then returned to academia, where he earned a M.A. in History from the University of Maine under Dr. Nathan Godfried. His thesis studied the history of urban reform, nativism, and class conflict in Portland, Maine with an emphasis on the Ku Klux Klan.  

 Since enrolling at Concordia in 2019, Tom has been involved in the Teaching and Research Assistants at Concordia University (TRAC), where he was elected mobilization officer in three elections. His academic emphasis is on transnational labour organizing and his dissertation project examines independent labour organizing on the West Coast of North America with an emphasis on Vancouver and the San Francisco Bay Area during the New Left period and beyond. He hopes to incorporate oral history as well as archival research to capture the experiences of worker-organizers, their nascent organizations, and their impact on the period’s social, economic, and political changes.  

He has published multiple newspaper op-eds about racial justice and labour history. He also co-authored a chapter in “Where Are The Workers?” (University of Illinois Press, 2022) which examines the 2011 Maine Labor Mural crisis. 

In his free time, Tom enjoys spending time with his family, visiting nature, attending live sports and comedy shows, and historical true crime podcasts.