People

Rainer Baehre

Photo of  Rainer  Baehre
Memorial University of NewfoundlandHistory Location Corner Brook Canada Discipline(s): History Research Interests: Canadian History, Social History, Cultural History, Environmental History, First Nations, Gender Studies, Cultural Studies, Sociology, Anthropology Languages: English
Biography

My recent primary research interest in environmental history – the interaction of the human and natural environment – has focused on Newfoundland and Labrador, and lately on the region of the Humber Arm/Bay of Islands sub-region in western Newfoundland to the south of the UNESCO world site, Gros Morne National Park.  This work consists of an edited collection, several published chapters and articles, and a range of conference papers including the following examples:

Outrageous Seas: Shipwreck and Survival in the Waters off Newfoundland, 1583-1893. Kingston and Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1999
A study of how the sea and shipwreck narratives have contributed to defining social and cultural identity

Nineteenth Century Medical and Anthropological Views of the Labrador Inuit.  In “Very Rough Country”: Proceedings of the Labrador Explorations Symposium, ed. Martha MacDonald.  St. John’s: The Labrador Institute, 2010, pp. 228-250
A study of how late-eighteenth and nineteenth-century medical practitioners and anthropologists applied their respective “knowledge” and applied it to geography and climate in an effort to construct racial stereotypes of the Inuit.

Ship Owners, Captains, and Fishers: Narrative Accounts of Disputed American Fishing Practices in Newfoundland Waters, 1890-1925.  Paper presented at a session on “Crossing the Land-Sea Border: Fishermen and Environmental Identity in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Its Islands,” American Society for Environmental History Association, Toronto, ON, 6 April 2013

The Folk Art of Bond Penney: Outwoodsmen and Logging Culture in Western Newfoundland, 1939-46.  Paper presented at a session on Nature, Culture, and Power,  Canadian Historical Association Annual Meeting, Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, Vancouver, B.C., 3 June 2008
Blogged after July 1 together with other presentations in environmental history on the Network in Canadian History and Environment (NiCHE) website at http://niche.uwo.ca/node/13.

Indigenizing the Academy: the case of Grenfell Campus, Memorial University, and the Newfoundland Mi’kmaq Resurgence Morning Watch: Education and Social Analysis, 41 (Spring 2013) – in press
A review of the literature on the Newfoundland Mi’kmaq and history of the Qalipu First Nations band and how scholarship, politics, and post-secondary education related to Aboriginal issues has been influenced by history, place, identity and the environment.

Projects

Humber River Basin/Bay of Islands interactive website
A long-term project documenting and interpreting the environmental history of communities in the region which encompasses studies of Woods Island – a resettled outport; Crow Gulch – an abandoned “jackytar” (or metis) community; the American fishing presence at the turn of the twentieth century; the impact of the Corner Brook pulp and paper mill and the industrialization of the region; a literary and visual history of the region’s environment, and other themes.

A collaborative effort with Glenn Payne, Geospatial Research Facility, College of the North Atlantic (Corner Brook), and the Town of Humber Arm South Resettlement House and Museum (Benoit’s Cove) in the digital reconstruction of the harbour of Woods Island, as it existed in the 1950s prior to resettlement. This included a virtual fly-over of the harbour and the digital reconstruction of its vernacular architecture, then linked to historical photos of the properties and the families which owned them together with oral history describing the resettlement process and how it impacted traditional outport life.

A collaborative effort with Darin Brooks, GIS Co-ordinator, College of the North Atlantic (Corner Brook), in a “soft” GIS project – a “story map” which situates, links, and compares old and new photographs using applied GIS mapping.

Claire Campbell

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Dalhousie UniversityHistory Location Halifax Canada Discipline(s): History Research Interests: Canadian History, Public History, Environmental History, Social History, First Nations, Cultural Studies Languages: English

Stéphane Castonguay

Photo of  Stéphane  Castonguay
Université du Québec à Trois-RivièresHistory Location Trois-Rivières Canada Discipline(s): History Research Interests: Environmental History, Government, Cultural Studies, Canadian History Languages: French
Biography

Spécialiste de l’histoire des sciences et de l’histoire environnementale, je m’intéresse spécifiquement aux rapports entre gouvernement, environnement, et représentation de la nature. Mes recherches actuelles portent sur les activités scientifiques gouvernementales dans les secteurs minier, agricole et forestier au Québec (l’invention de l’environnement au Québec), ainsi que sur les conventions phytopathologiques internationales et la globalisation des épidémies d’insectes et de maladies végétales au début du XXe siècle (L’unification entomologique du globe).

 

Jim Clifford

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York UniversityHistory Location Toronto Canada Discipline(s): History Research Interests: Environmental History, Digital Humanities, Social History, Public History, Politics Languages: English Website: http://www.jimclifford.ca/
Biography

I am a postdoctoral fellow working with Dr. Colin Coates, on a collaborative research project, Trading Consequences, which has funding from a Digging into Data grant. In July 2013, I will join the History Department at the University of Saskatchewan as an assistant professor.

Michèle Dagenais

Photo of  Michèle  Dagenais
Université de MontréalHistory Location Montreal Canada Discipline(s): History Research Interests: Environmental History, Urban Development, Politics, Cultural Studies, Public History Languages: French
Biography

Les villes constituent mon principal objet de recherche que j’examine à travers l’histoire de leur mise en forme concrète et symbolique. Je cherche à montrer que le travail entourant l’organisation physique des villes façonne la manière dont elles sont gouvernées et contribue à la structuration des rapports sociaux et politiques à cette échelle. Cette façon de concevoir l’histoire des villes comme produit de composantes matérielles et sociales interreliées a donné lieu à la publication de travaux sur le développement des espaces publics de culture et de loisirs à Montréal et Toronto aux 19e et 20esiècles, et sur la structuration du domaine municipal par le truchement des réseaux d’eau potable et d’eaux usées. Récemment, j’ai publié une monographie sur la transformation des rapports entre Montréal et l’eau en cherchant à reconstituer le rôle de l’eau et de ses transformations successives dans le processus d’urbanisation de cette ville depuis le début du 19e siècle. Depuis, je poursuis mes travaux sur l’histoire de l’environnement à l’échelle plus vaste du système hydrographique Grands Lacs – Saint-Laurent.

Par ailleurs, je m’intéresse aux enjeux liés à l’écriture et aux usages publics de l’histoire, sur le plan théorique et pratique. J’ai participé à divers débats et réflexions sur l’enseignement de l’histoire. De même, il m’arrive de collaborer à l’élaboration d’expositions ou à la production de documents historiques destinés à divers publics.

Projects

Montréal au fil de ses rivières : lecture cartographique et environnementale de son tissue urbain
(Institut de recherche sur l’histoire de l’architecture, 2012-2014)
(Valérie Mahaut, École d’architecture – Michèle Dagenais, histoire, Université de Montréal)
Ce projet de recherche multidisciplinaire (architecture, aménagement, histoire) vise à mettre au jour et interpréter les traces de l’eau en contexte montréalais avec l’objectif de faire ressortir le pouvoir « morphogénérateur » de l’eau dans la production des formes urbaines. Pour cela, nous avons constitué un répertoire de cartes contenant plusieurs centaines de cartes qui ont été numérisées, parmi lesquelles certaines ont été géoréférencées. Cependant, même en travaillant les cartes de façon à faire correspondre le plus possible leur tracé, le résultat obtenu est difficilement utilisable. Impossible dans les circonstances de retracer avec précision le parcours des cours d’eau sur l’île. Pour contourner ce problème, nous avons construit une maquette de l’île de Montréal à partir d’une carte topographique de 2009. Cette maquette exagère 60 fois la topographie par rapport au relief existant afin de mettre en évidence et à valider le tracé et la localisation des composantes hydrographiques (lits de rivières, bassins et milieux humides) repérées sur les différentes cartes historiques de Montréal. Réalisation envisagée d’une maquette 3D numérique qui, elle aussi, s’avèrera utile dans la poursuite de la recherche, orientée vers l’histoire de cours d’eau particuliers.

 

Le système Grands Lacs – Saint-Laurent : définitions et représentations, 19e-20e siècles
(CRSH, développement savoir, 2012-2014)
(Michèle Dagenais – Stephen Bocking, environmental studies, Trent U. – Jamie Benidickson, faculté de droit, U. Ottawa – Stéphane Castonguay, histoire, UQTR – Ken Cruikshank, histoire, McMaster U.)
Ce projet de recherche vise à reconstituer comment, historiquement, s’est construite la notion de « système Grands Lacs – Saint-Laurent » en scrutant les processus à travers lesquels ont été produites les définitions employées pour le gérer. Nous cherchons à comprendre comment, sur les plans juridique, politique et écologique, des critères distincts mènent à la mise en forme de définitions parfois conflictuelles, parfois complémentaires, d’une entité qui s’est construite graduellement. Les recherches sont menées dans les documents des instances juridiques, gouvernementales et scientifiques afin de construire des outils méthodologiques et cartographiques sur le système GL-SL qui seront versés sur un site internet et une base de données intégrée: bibliographies, répertoire des groupes de recherche et des sites consacrés aux Grands Lacs – Saint-Laurent, collection de cartes géographiques, sources numérisées.

Finis Dunaway

Photo of  Finis  Dunaway
Trent UniversityHistory Location Peterborough Canada Discipline(s): History Research Interests: Environmental History, Media, Landscape, Visual Arts, American Studies Languages: English
Projects

Seeing Green: Visual Media and the Making of American Environmentalism (under contract with the University of Chicago Press)

 

Matthew Milner

Photo of  Matthew  Milner
McGill UniversityHistory Location Montreal Canada Discipline(s): History Research Interests: Philosophy of Science, Renaissance Studies, Digital Humanities, Religion, Text Analysis, Cultural Studies, Health Languages: English, French
Biography

As a cultural historian, I am interested in the relationships between religious practices and other realms like medicine, natural philosophy, and the arts in late medieval and early modern England. Much of this work focuses on processes of cultural translation and transition. Indeed, my work straddles period-boundaries, disciplinary expectations, and configurations, aiming to fruitfully disrupt them. I see the late medieval and early modern as a coherent period of transition and cultural translation. My doctoral research exemplified these pursuits, as I examined how the experience and aims of religious reform in England were shaped by a pervasive and well established sensory culture and its theories. I took to task the persistent stereotypes in existing scholarship of the intellectualized Protestant versus the sensual Catholic. By placing the practicalities of ritual life in the context of medical, sacramental, and moral views on sensation, material cultural changes, and empirical methodologies, a much more complex picture of reform emerged. The results, outlined at length in my book, reveal a medieval and conservative approach to the Reformation by contemporaries, a view that alters the periodization of the Reformation itself.

My interest in digital humanities is extremely practical – I don’t find that the digital tools available to historians are of much use beyond simple note taking or bibliographic management. They tend not to cater to the needs of cultural and social analyses, or the tracking of the necessary data to facilitate such work. Over the past decade my work in digital humanities has moved from individual research data management in the building of a my own research web application, Promus, to the creation of a custom Content Management System CMS for the Making Publics and Virtual Textile projects at McGill, and now as a result of this activity, and most recently with a SSHRC funded project, an effective vocabulary that models historical social and cultural networks and allows their dissemination using the Research Description Framework or RDF.

Projects

Connecting the Renaissance Senses
Connecting the Renaissance Senses is an interdisciplinary collection of essays that will engage in outlining an appropriate methodology for the study of the senses in the renaissance. It will draw upon a diverse and interdisciplinary set of scholars across the width of renaissance geographies will offer more to scholars than a monograph.

The Cultural Mediation of Religion in Early Modern Europe
This collection of essays grows out of the March 2012 Conference held at McGill University, ‘Religion and Modes of Cultural Mediation in Early Modernity’. The proposal is currently under review with Cambridge University Press.

Empiricism & Particularity in the English Reformation
My new book project, Empiricism and Particularity in the English Reformation, will examine the ways in which medieval moral culture’s emphasis on discretion operated in conjunction with late fifteenth-century and sixteenth-century epistemological changes in the context of religious reform.

Vernacular Knowledge of the Senses
This article/chapter length project forms an element of my larger book project on empiricism. One area lacking in sensory studies of late medieval and early modern England is the extent to which men and women knew of their senses, how, and how this changed over the late fifteenth through sixteenth centuries.

Historical Reconstructions
As semi-professional musician, I’ve been involved in one historical reconstruction, under the production of Alexandra Buckle, and am currently involved in another with the Montreal-based choral collective One Equall Musick of which I’m a founding member.

William Turkel

Photo of  William  Turkel
University of Western OntarioHistory Location London Canada Discipline(s): History Research Interests: Digital Humanities, Technology, Media Languages: English Website: http://williamjturkel.net/
Projects

I am currently working on two projects. One is a study of attempts to build a self-replicating device, from the machine tools of the Industrial Revolution to the RepRaps of today. As part of this research, I have built a series of 3D printers and other CNC tools. The other project is a study of mid-20th-century analog electronic computing. My colleagues and I are reverse engineering the vacuum-tube-based computers of the 1930s, 40s and 50s using the transistors and analog integrated circuits that became available a generation later.

My ‘super-secret’ monograph Spark from the Deep is now in press at the Johns Hopkins University Press and will be available in 2013. This year I am teaching Max 6 programming to undergraduates in Western’s new digital humanities option, and to graduate students in my interactive exhibit design studio. I am also working with a number of people on the new edition of The Programming Historian and continuing to collaborate with colleagues and students on applying methods like experimentation, text mining and machine learning to historical research.

Jessica Van Horssen

Photo of  Jessica  Van Horssen
York UniversityHistory Location Toronto Canada Discipline(s): Canadian History Research Interests: Health, Canadian History, Environmental History, Geography Languages: English
Biography

Dr van Horssen received her PhD from the University of Western Ontario in 2010. She has held a post-doctoral fellowship at McGill/ Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières from 2010 to 2012, and is also a visiting fellow at the Rachel Carson Centre for Environment and Society, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, München. Her monograph, to be published in 2013 by the University of British Columbia Press, is a groundbreaking historical study of Asbestos, Quebec. She has taught a range of courses at the undergraduate level at both McGill and Bishop’s University, including environmental history, modern Canada, indigenous studies and public history.