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 […]


Who Teaches Digital History in Canada? 5

  Digital history is coming to York University in Fall 2016. That is to say, I finally got around to organizing and preparing to teach digital history. As I get ready to teach this course, I am surveying the landscape of digital history teaching in Canada, looking for ideas. Readers […]


History and Computing: Moodle Show and Tell

On Thursday, March 31, 2016, we held another History and Computing Workshop in the History Common Room at York University. The topic for this workshop was Moodle and course/learning management systems. I began the workshop with a general overview of CMS/LMS and the common uses of these technologies for online […]