2013 News Archives


Congratulations Professor Rob MacDougall

The History Department would like to congratulate Professor Rob MacDougall on his new book publication. His new book "The People's Network" is about the birth of the telephone industry in the United States and Canada, and the fierce battles between politicians, corporate interests, and ordinary people to control the telephone--the cutting edge, disruptive new technology of its day. 

You’re not going to see THE PEOPLE'S NETWORK on Oprah or in airport bookstores, but it really is a good story, told as well as I could tell it. If you care about the politics of communication, if you’re curious about parallels between the past and the information revolution of today, if you were excited once about the democratizing power of the internet but now feel that optimism slipping away, then I wrote this book for you.

You can order THE PEOPLE'S NETWORK, or just find out more about it, at my website: http://www.robmacdougall.org/the-peoples-network/

I’m redecorating my site right now, so some pages may be sparse or wonky. But the book page is there and those sneaky Amazon affiliate links are in perfect working order. If you have ever read a more entertaining book about municipal telephone pole bylaws in the 1880s, I will give you your money back

Congratulations Professor Roger Emerson

The History Department would like to congratulate Professor Emeritus Roger Emerson in receiving the Saltire Society's Award!

It was announced in Glasgow on 14 November 2013 that Roger L. Emerson, Emeritus Professor of History, had won the Saltire Society’s award for the best book on Scottish history published in the past year. The Society is dedicated to the preservation and furtherance of Scottish culture. Its prestigious award carries a cash prize of  £1,500.

Emerson’s book, An Enlightened Duke: The Life of Archibald Campbell (1682-1761), Earl of Ilay and 3rd Duke of Argyll  (humming earth press, Glasgow, 2013) is the first biography to be written on one of the great 18th century British politicians who has been neglected because of the disappearance of his personal papers. Emerson over many years has collected materials to paint a picture of a very private but important man. Argyll is usually remembered as a patronage politician who ran Scottish affairs for ministries in London from 1725-1742 and again from 1747-1761. His official and other patronage changed the nature of the Scottish  universities, Kirk, and administration, and pushed forward the Scottish Enlightenment (1700-1820) for which Scotland is now known because of the contributions of men like Francis Hutcheson, William Cullen, Adam Smith, Joseph Black, Lord Kames, and William Robertson –all of who got patronage from him. In addition to that, Argyll was the founder and first Governor of the Royal Bank of Scotland (1727-), the first Governor of the British Linen Bank (1745-2000), the originator of the first Scottish development agency, The Board of Trustees for the Fisheries and Manufactures (1728-1850s) and a notable improver of estates in Scotland and in England. On the latter, he maintained as good a botanical garden as the country had, a precursor of Kew Gardens to which some of his plants went after his death. In his gardens, he acclimatized 24 new species of plants to the British climate and introduced other plants which changed British gardens and the landscape by introducing more colour and more evergreens. As an amateur scientist, he collected and used astronomical instruments, chemical apparatus. Indeed, he became something of a universal man who functioned as a skilled lawyer and made medicines for his servants. He put together a remarkable library and was a patron of notable architects and painters. Emerson’s book restores him to the place in British and Scottish history which he merits. 

MA Public History Students Hit Black Gold

On Friday, October 4th, the sun, warmth and fabulous autumn colours of Lambton County provided a perfect setting for a day-trip to the village of Oil Springs for the graduate students in the MA Public History Program.  Through the kind support of Charlie Fairbank, President of Fairbank Oil Properties Limited, the students and the Program’s Acting Director Mike Dove were able to step back in time to the days of Canada’s oil pioneers.  The Oil Heritage District is home to both the Oil Museum of Canada and the oldest oil fields in North America.


History on Film

The Film is the work of the Ontario Visual Heritage Project and is called A Desert Between Us and Them: Raiders, Traitors and Refugees in the War of 1812. This film looks primarily at the war in the Western Theatre where most of the fighting took place. It particularly emphasizes the impact of the war on the local population. 

The film will be shown on TVO on Saturday Oct. 5, 2013, at 9:00pm. Prof. Sabathy-Judd's work, Moravians in Upper Canada: The Fairfield Diary 1792-1813 provided the film makers with the local voices of Moravian missionaries who witnessed the destruction of the mission by American troops on Oct. 6 1813- one day after the Battle of the Thames. 

Link to view the video

Professor Marta Dyczok-Workshop

Marta Dyczok at a Holocaust workshop

Marta Dyczok was at the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC for a 2 week workshop on Landscapes of the Uprooted this summer. An international group of scholars from Britain, Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, Israel, the US and Canada discussed the history of over 30 million people displaced by the Holocaust and World War II. The workshop concluded a public presentation on 23 August 2013. [Read Full Article]

Relay For Life

Relay For Life Picture

The Department’s team in the 2013 Relay for Life was The Great Fires of London: (from right to left), Lindsay Kernohan, Brittney Foster, Michelle Hutchison Grondin, Claire Halstead, Gordon Vance, Chris Schultz, Dave Schiks, Elicia Wilkinson, Minna Yee, and Jonathan Vance (Caitlin Harvey arrived just moments too late to get in the photo). With the help of our supporters, we raised over $4000 for the Canadian Cancer Society!

Neville Thompson will discuss his new book Canada & the End of the Imperial Dream

Neville Thompson, Professor Emeritus at Western University, will discuss his new book Canada & the End of the Imperial Dream. In it, Thompson looks at Beverly Baxter, a Canadian-born journalist and British politician who reinforced the imperial connection through 'London Letters', a regular column in Maclean's magazine. This talk will be held on June 4th at 7:00pm at the London Central Library. 

International Museum Day: Museums and the Future of 3D Printing and Imaging

Professor Bill Turkel and PhD candidate Devon Elliott share innovations in interactive exhibition design, including 3D printing and object imaging. Turkel and Elliott will demonstrate how objects are photographed using Museum London’s exhibition London Works and will reproduce them as tangible pieces on the 3D printer. Turkel and Elliott will speak informally about the future of technology in museums, and how 3D imaging and printers can recreate objects that we wouldn’t normally be able to touch. 

Congratulations to Dr. Robert Croskery!

Please join the History Department in congratulating Robert Croskery, who has successfully completed and defended his thesis:  "Religious Rebels: The Religious Views and Motivations of Confederate Generals." 

Congratulations to Dr. Cynthia Brown!

Please join the History Department in congratulating Cynthia Brown, who successfully defended her thesis:  "Cassino and Monte Sole:  Divergent Memories of Italy's Second World War".

Professor Karen Priestman invited to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

Professor Priestman has been invited to the Curt C. and Else Silberman Faculty Seminar, hosted by the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC.  From June 3-14, we will explore this year's topic, "Teaching about the Holocaust: Antisemitism, the 'Final Solution,' Jewish Response, and Denial."  This year, the seminar will be led by renowned Holocaust historian Christopher Browning (whose best-known work is Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland).

Congratulations to Dr. Stephanie Potter!

Please join the History Department in congratulating Stephanie Potter, who today successfully defended her dissertation, "'Smile and Carry On:' Canadian Cavalry on the Western Front, 1914-1918." Well done, Dr. Potter!

London Works: Labouring in the Forest City

Public History London Works Display

Each year the MA Public History students collaborate with a community institution, and this year the program is pleased to announce London Works: Labouring in the Forest City, an exhibit now open at Museum London. The exhibit highlights the history of industrialization, medicine, law and the role of Western University in the city, and gendered and child labour. Students also produced an exhibit catalogue, engaged in promoting the exhibit through social media, and developed family and school programming activities. London Works runs until September 22nd at the museum.

Congratulations Dr. Joshua MacFadyen & Professor Alan MacEachern

Congratulations to Dr.Joshua MacFadyen and Professor Alan MacEachern for winning the 1st prize "award for the most effective poster (quality of research and visual appeal)" at the American Society for Environmental History meeting in Toronto, 6 April 2013.

Congratulations Professor Margaret McGlynn

The History Department is pleased to announce that Professor Margaret McGlynn has been appointed as the Assistant Dean (Graduate Studies) in the Faculty of Social Science effective 1 July 2013. Congratulations!

Pulitzer Prize winning Journalist speaks to second year history class

David Shribman, flanked by HIS 2131B student Alexandra Marinucci and Professor Geoffrey Stewart

On Tuesday January 29, 2013, David Shribman, executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette spoke to Professor Stewart’s class of HIS 2131B: The Presidency in American History. Mr. Shribman, who received the Pulitzer Prize in 1995 for his coverage of the American political scene, drew from his experiences in Washington, DC to take questions from the class about the presidency and the fascinating individuals who have held that office. A regular panelist on the PBS show Washington Week in Review, Mr. Shribman is also a frequent analyst for BBC radio and the CBC and his political commentaries have appeared in the Globe and Mail.