BBC World Service Episode on the Creation of Modern Canada   Recently updated !

  Over the weekend, I appeared on  BBC World Service on an episode of The Forum.  The episode was a wide-ranging discussion of Canadian history since Confederation in 1867. I participated on a panel alongside Margaret Macmillan and Phillip Buckner. You can listen to the full episode in the player above.


Active History in Solitude

Next month, I will start my first sabbatical. To prepare, I just finished reading Michael Harris’s new book,  Solitude: A Singular Life in a Crowded World. The book came out in late April just as my teaching semester wrapped up. The timing couldn’t be better. Sabbaticals are another part of […]


Nature’s Past Episode 56: Animal Metropolis   Recently updated !

Episode 56: Animal Metropolis [38:08] Download Audio To kick off the 2017 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences in Toronto, Ontario, I joined two of the editors of a new volume on histories of human-animal relations in urban Canada published by University of Calgary Press. Joanna Dean and Christabelle Sethna […]


The Presence of the Past: The Possibilities of Virtual Reality for History

For the past year, I’ve been thinking a lot about virtual reality and its potential applications for historians. Can we use virtual reality to better understand the past?  Can the experience of virtual reality alter historical thinking? Can we now build time machines, teleporters, and holodecks using virtual reality? These […]


2017 Melville-Nelles-Hoffmann Lecture in Environmental History: Sara Pritchard

The Department of History is proud to host the annual Melville-Nelles-Hoffmann Lecture in Environmental History on March 20, at 4pm, in the Schulich Private Dining Room. This year’s lecture will be delivered by Professor Sara B. Pritchard from Cornell University. Professor Pritchard is a leading scholar in environmental history and Science and Technology Studies […]


Nature’s Past Episode 55: Asbestos Mining and Environmental Health

    Episode 55: Asbestos Mining and Environmental Health [38:08] Download Audio In 2012, Canada stopped mining and exporting asbestos. Once considered a miracle mineral for its fireproof qualities, asbestos came to be better known as a carcinogenic, hazardous material banned in numerous countries around the world. Canada was once a […]


Nature’s Past Episode 54: Reclaiming the Don, From Dissertation to Book

    Episode 54: Reclaiming the Don, From Dissertation to Book [28:00] Download Audio In 2008, I interviewed Jennifer Bonnell about her work on the environmental history of the Don River Valley. It was the first episode of this podcast. Back then, Bonnell was a doctoral student at the Ontario Institute […]


A Historian’s Year with a Chromebook

Could a Chromebook satisfy the computing needs of a historian? Over the past twelve months, I’ve been using one to find out. Google’s low-cost, Web-based operating system, ChromeOS, is one of the most unique developments in computing in recent years. It is a lean computer operating system based almost entirely […]


Urban Animals Interview on ‘Calgary Today’ NewsTalk 770

  Last week at the annual meeting of the Canadian Historical Association in Calgary, I presented some of my research on the regulation of urban livestock husbandry in nineteenth-century Canadian cities. I also spoke about this a month earlier at the 2016 Calgary Institute for the Humanities community forum. Because […]