PhD, Queen’s University, 1997
Telephone: 519-661-2111 ext. 84993
Office: Lawson Hall 2268
Office Hours: Wednesdays 12:30-2:30pm or by appointment
Professor MacEachern teaches & researches Canadian history, with an emphasis on environmental & climate history.
A healthy society spends most of its energies trained on the present & the future. But a healthy society also devotes some of its energies to remembering & understanding the past. The historian's job is to tell or remind people today about the lives of others in the past. That's it. Doing so goes a small way to fulfilling the obligation that people of the past are not forgotten. And it holds a promise & a threat to people of today, that they won't be forgotten either.
I am available at the coordinates above, and welcome hearing from you.
Major Research Projects
I have two books forthcoming from McGill-Queen’s University Press: The Miramichi Fire: A History will appear in spring 2020, and The Summer Trade: A History of Tourism on Prince Edward Island, written with Edward MacDonald, will appear later in 2020. I am also at work on a super-secret book, which is fun. In the longer term, I am studying phenology in turn-of-the-century Canada, using the Environment Canada & Climate Change meteorological history collection at Western. I was the founding director of NiCHE: Network in Canadian History & Environment, and am the editor of the Canadian History & Environment series at University of Calgary Press.
(with William J Turkel) Method and Meaning in Canadian Environmental History. Nelson, 2009. Includes "An Introduction, in Theory and Practice" and "Lost in Shipping: Canadian National Parks and the International Donation of Wildlife."
The Institute of Man and Resources: An Environmental Fable. Island Studies Press, 2003.
Natural Selections: National Parks in Atlantic Canada, 1935-1970. McGill-Queen's University Press, 2001.
Recent Chapters & Journal Articles
- Terence Young, Alan MacEachern, and Lary Dilsaver, “From Competition to Cooperation: A History of Canada-US National Park Relations,” Environment and History.
- “J.E. Bernier and the Historical Record,” Polar Record 53 no.1 (Jan 2017), 102-4.
- “Banff is …Hell? The Struggle of Being Canada’s First, Most Famous, and Most Visited National Park,” Arcadia: Explorations in Environmental History no.10 (Summer 2016).
- Edward MacDonald and Alan MacEachern, “Rites of Passage: Tourism and the Crossing to Prince Edward Island,” Histoire sociale/Social History, vol.49 no.99 (Juin/June 2016), 291-308.
- “Canada’s Best Idea? The Canadian and American National Park Services in the 1910s,” National Parks Beyond the Nation: Global Perspectives on ‘America’s Best Idea,’ eds. Adrian Howkins, Jared Orsi, Mark Fiege (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2016), 51-67.
- “The Landscapes of Tourism: Scenic Images in Prince Edward Island Tourism Literature,” Time and a Place: The Environmental History of Prince Edward Island, eds. Edward MacDonald, Josh MacFadyen, and Irene Novaczek (Kingston-Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2016), 246-63.
- “Children of the Hummus: Growing up Back-to-the-Land on Prince Edward Island,” Canadian Countercultures and the Environment, ed. Colin Coates (Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 2016), 259-85.
Recent Public & Digital History Projects
- “MB Williams: Living & Writing the Early Years of Parks Canada.” Environment & Society Portal, Virtual Exhibitions 2018, no. 3. Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society.
- “Bear vs. Groundhog: The Battle for February 2,” Canada’s History, Feb-Mar 2019, 44-7.
- “Missing the Island” museum exhibit, Confederation Centre of the Arts. Charlottetown, PEI, May - Sep 2018.
- Alan MacEachern and Edward MacDonald, “Collecting Memories,” Canada’s History (Dec 2017 - Jan 2018), 42-6.
- Edward MacDonald and Alan MacEachern, “Unwanted Guests: Postwar Tourism and Racism on Prince Edward Island,” The Island Magazine 82 (Fall/Winter 2017). 35-8.
- “The Big Chill: The ‘Year Without a Summer’ in Canada,” Canada’s History, Aug-Sept 2016, 52-5.
- Alan MacEachern and Michael O’Hagan, “Canada’s Year Without a Summer” online exhibit and teaching resource, Jan 2016.
Recent Conferences Organized
- Program Chair and Local Arrangements Coordinator, Canadian Historical Association annual meeting, London, ON, June 2020.
- Canadian History & Environment Summer School (CHESS), on energy history, London, ON, May 2020.
In the News
- “In Praise of a Nondescript Government Facility (or, The Most Canadian Title Ever),” ActiveHistory blog, Oct 2019.
- “Well-Grounded,” jointly published on The Otter & Seeing the Woods blogs, Jul 2019.
- “The Active Historian Action Figure,” ActiveHistory blog, Jul 2019.
- “Absence Makes the Art. Go Ponder,” Borealia blog, Oct 2018.
- “When History Stops at the Border,” jointly published on The Otter & Acadiensis blogs, Apr 2018.
- “The Alanthropocene,” The Otter blog, Jan 2018.
- “A Theory, in Practice: Back to the Bering Land Bridge,” ActiveHistory blog, 13 Jul 2017.
- “希望: A Postcard from China,” The Otter blog, Jul 2017.
- “Anticipating the Anthropocene,” The Otter blog, May 2017.
- “The Bering Land Bridge Theory: Not Dead Yet,” ActiveHistory blog, Sep 2016.
- “Clio and Climate,” historicalclimatology.com, May 2016.
- “The Phoenix Response,” The Otter blog, May 2016.
- “Ian McTaggart-Cowan in Banff and Jasper: Bringing Wildlife Science to the National Parks,” The Otter blog, Apr 2016.
Awards and Distinctions
- Visiting Professor, School of Architecture & Urban Planning, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China, 2017.
- Carson Fellow, Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, LMU Munich, 2016.
- SSHRC Strategic Knowledge Clusters grant, principal investigator, 2007-15.