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 […]


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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 […]

Great Western Railway Station, Toronto, 1873. Source: Toronto Public Library, E 2-35b.

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 […]

"Retro Computing on the Green" Source: Bruno Cordioli, Flickr.


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 […]

Nature’s Past Episode 52: Hydro-Power and War

    Episode 52: Hydro-Power and War [51:26] Download Audio What fuels war? The total war of the Second World War placed enormous demands on the resources and environment of Canada. Manufacturing equipment for the war and harvesting natural resources for production were some of the most substantial contributions Canadians made […]

"This is our strength ... electric power" by Marian Scott [1945] Source: Toronto Public Library

Nature's Past Episode 51: Has Environmental History Lost Its Way?

Nature’s Past Episode 51: Has Environmental History Lost Its Way?

    Episode 51: Has Environmental History Lost Its Way? [53:04] Download Audio Late last year in December, Lisa Brady, the editor of the journal, Environmental History, posted a provocatively titled blog article, “Has Environmental History Lost Its Way?” In that article, she reviews a round table panel from the most […]

Nature’s Past Episode 50: Canadian Energy History

    Episode 50: Canadian Energy History [54:06] Download Audio According to a study by Richard Unger and John Thistle, Canadians consumed 430 petajoules of energy in 1867. Combining energy from animal labour, food, firewood, wind, water, coal, crude oil, natural gas and electricity, by 2004 Canadians reached a historic peak […]



History and Computing Workshop: Online Teaching

On November 12, 2015, we held a joint “History and Computing”/teaching workshop in the Department of History at York University. We held a round-table discussion with instructors who have previously taught online courses in history at York and at other universities. The discussion covered a wide range of issues from […]