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The Department offers Honours Specialization, Major, Specialization, and Minor modules in History and has recently launched Minors in the Atlantic World, in Studies in Imperialism, and in World History.

The History Department is committed to fostering critical thinking, research, and communication skills within an intimate learning environment. Our students are taught to recognize the fragility of our understanding of the past, to query varying interpretations of “the facts”, and to consider the historical antecedents of the present. History students also benefit from the rich opportunities for extra-curricular engagement provided by the student-run Huron History Society.

  • Faculty Members: A Closer Look

  • Core Faculty

    Dr. A. Bell
    Dr. J. Fang
    Dr. T. Peace
    Dr. G. Read
    Dr. Reid-Maroney
    Sessional and Part-time Faculty
    Professors Emeritus

    Amy Bell
    British and European History, Ph.D. (Queen's)
    Associate Professor, Chair of the History Department

    Email: abell44@huron.uwo.ca
    Office Location: HUC V130
    Office Phone: (519) 438-7224 ext. 293
    Website: http://amyhelenbell.com/

    B.A. (King's College, Halifax), M.A. (Dalhousie), Ph.D. (Queen's)

    Courses Taught
    Europe & Paradoxes of Modernity (2413E)
    Youth Cultures in the 20th Century (2706E)
    Britain Since 1688 (3411E)
    Major Themes in World History (1801E)
    The Historian's Craft (3801E)

    Research Interests

    I am fascinated with the intersections of everyday life, sex, birth, death and violence.  My most recent book analyses suspicious deaths and homicides in London, UK between 1933 and 1953 and traces how the urban destruction and social dislocation of the Second World War affected the discovery and investigation of violent crime.  My two newest projects focus on doctors in London: the first is an analysis of the crime scene photography in abortion cases featuring doctors in 1960s London and the second is a study of doctors and medical students migrating from India to London in the 1930s.  A recent "Historian's Craft" class field trip to the Toronto Police museum has also spurred me to think about a history of crime scene investigation in a Canadian context...watch this space!

    I love walking into a classroom at Huron every day.  The students here inspire me, challenge me and encourage me to be more creative in the classroom and as a researcher.  I have taught across a wide chronological and geographical range at Huron, from World History, to Early Modern Europe to modern Britain and most recently The Historian's Craft.  I am in the process of developing three new courses in British History at Huron:  History 4414F/G, Secrets, Spies and Surveillance in Modern British History, a new second-year social and cultural history of everyday life in Britain during the Twentieth-Century and a new third-year course examining Gender and Crime in Britain from the 19th century to the present.  The small classes and variety of courses taught in Huron's History department allows me to tailor courses to my research interests, and to engage students in the excitement of the research process and in Community-Based Learning.

    Recent Publications
    "We were having a lot of fun at the photographers": Framing Victorian Girlhood at Hellmuth Ladies' College, London, Ontario, 1869-1902", Under Review.

    Murder Capital:  Suspicious Deaths in London 1933-1953. Forthcoming 2014 from Manchester University Press.

    "The Development of Forensic Pathology in London, England: Keith Simpson and the Dobkin Case, 1942" Canadian Bulletin of Medical History, 29:2 (2012), 43-63.

    London was Ours: Diaries and Memoirs of the London Blitz
    . London: IB Tauris, 2008, Paperback 2011.

    "Landscapes of Fear; Wartime London 1939-1945" Journal of British Studies 48: 1 (January 2009), 153-175.

    "Heads up, Girls: Women's Politics, Poetry and the Feminist Historiography of the Great War", Canadian Journal of History 42:3 (Winter/Hiver 2007), 411-438.

    Jun Fang
    Chinese and East Asian History, Ph.D. (Toronto)
    Professor, History

    Email: jfang9@huron.uwo.ca
    Office Location: HUC V126
    Office Phone: (519) 438-7224 ext. 239

    B.A. (Nanjing Normal University), M.A. (Nanjing University), Ph.D. (Toronto)

    Courses Taught
    Major Issues in World History (1801E)
    China:  Tradition and Transformation (2603E)
    Ten Days That Shook the World (2702E)
    Chinese Imperial Law (3615F/G)
    Political Assassination, 1900-2000 (3706E)
    War & Memory in Modern East Asia (4605E)
    Sex, Law and Society in Imperial China (4606F/G)

    Research Interests
    I am primarily interested in the political, military, and social history of late imperial China, and have written extensively on the auxiliary capital of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644).  While teaching in Hong Kong from 1995-2005, I developed my second research interest in the history of education in the former British colony, and have published three edited books and more than a dozen journal articles in this area.  My current project is on the life and times of Mao Xiang (1611-93).

    Since joining Huron in 2005, I have taught seven courses on the history of China, East Asia, and the world.  Four of them, namely "Chinese Imperial Law", "Political Assassination", "War and Memory in Modern East Asia", and "Sex, Law, and Society in Imperial China", were created by me and have been well received by the students. 

    Recent Publications
    The Reminiscences of the Shaded Plum Hut:  Scholar and Concubine in Late Ming China. 
    Under review.

    China's Second Capital:  Nanjing under the Ming Dynasty, 1368-1644.  London and New York:  Routledge, 2014.

    "Zhongguo Xinan Langren kao" ("The "Wolf People" in Southwest China during the Ming-Qing Period").  Journal of Beijing Normal University, 40:4 (July 2013), 77-86.

    "Literati Statecraft and Military Resistance during the Ming-Qing Transition:  The Case of the Possibility Society (Jishe)."  The Chinese Historical Review, 19:2 (December 2012), 87-106.

    "Lai Jixi and the Development of Chinese Education at the University of Hong Kong."  Journal of Royal  Asiatic Society Hong Kong Branch, Vol. 52 (2012), 267-289.

    Xianggang jiaoyushi (History of Education in Hong Kong).  Changsha:  Hunan People's Press, 2010 (edition of simplified characters); Hong Kong:  Ling Kee Publishing co., 2008 (edition of complex characters).

    "The Military Functions of the Southern Capital in Ming China."  Monumenta Serica:  European Journal of Oriental Studies, Vol. 55 (2007), 133-156.

    "The Political Functions of the Southern Capital in the Ming Dynasty."  Ming Studies, No. 54 (Fall 2006), 71-106.

    Zhonghua rili tongdian (Chinese Calendrical Compendium).  Changchun:  Jilin wenshi chubanshe, 2006.  4 Vols.

    Thomas Peace
    Canadian History, Ph.D. (York)
    Assistant Professor, History

    Email:  tpeace@uwo.ca
    Office Location:  HUC V127
    Office Phone:  519-438-7224 ext. 227

    B.A. (Acadia), M.A. (St. Mary's), Ph.D. (York)

    Courses Taught
    Major Issues in World History (1801E)
    Canada:  Origins to the Present (2201E)
    Special Topics (4296G)

    Research Interests
    My research examines the interaction between Indigenous and colonial societies in northeastern North America before 1867. Currently, I am finishing a book on the impact and responses of Indigenous communities (specifically Mi'kmaq, Wabanaki, Wendat and Haudenosaunee) to the British Conquest of New France. Two new research projects have spun out of this work. My ongoing research focuses on Indigenous engagement with colonial colleges and day schools at the dawn of the nineteenth century. I am also actively engaged in research that applies Social Network Analysis (SNA) to the study of history. My current project applies SNA to pre-Deportation Acadian Parish Registers in order to better understand the relationship between Mi'kmaw and Acadian peoples. In addition to my academic work, I am a founding editor and regular contributor at ActiveHistory.ca, a website that seeks to make historians' work accessible to the media, policy makers and public more generally.

    Canadian history is boring! I love confronting this and other myths in the classroom. My teaching is structured by two broad concepts: alignment and relationship. Exploring Canadian history in a Canadian context allows us to bring our preconceived understandings of Canada's past, and our relationship to it, into conversation with the documents and artifacts used to construct that past. In every course I teach, I try to understand, and respond to, from where my students have come and where they want to be in the future. In the past, I have taught courses on Canadian history, Environmental history and Indigenous history. At Huron, I will be teaching in the World History course (1801E), Canada: Origins to the Present (2201E), and a special topics course on Indigenous history in the northeast to 1800.

    Recent Publications
    "Decolonization and Resilience in North American Indigenous History," a review of Linford D. Fisher, The Indian Great Awakening; Tom Arne Midtrød, The Memory of All Ancient Customs; Matthew L. Rhoades, Long Knives and the Longhouse; and Michael Witgen, An Infinity of Nations; for The Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History, vol 14 no 3, (Winter 2013).

    The Royal Proclamation in Historical Context, special issue of Canada Watch, (Toronto: Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies/ActiveHistory.ca, 2013)

    Lainey, Jonathan et Thomas Peace, “Louis Vincent Sawantanan: premier bachelier autochtone canadien, ” dans Gaston Deschênes et Denis Vaugeois, eds., Vivre la Conquête: Des parcours individuels, (Sillery: Septentrion, 2013).

    “The Slow Process of Conquest: Huron-Wendat Responses to the Conquest of Quebec, 1697-1791” in Phillip A. Buckner and John G. Reid, eds., Revisiting 1759: The Conquest of Canada in Historical Perspective, (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2012): 115-140.

    “The Call of Passive History,” Left History, Vol. 15, no. 1 (Fall/Winter 2010-11): 21-26.

    “Journeying by Canoe: Reflections on the Canoe and Spirituality,” Leisure/Loisir, Vol. 33, no. 1 (2009): 217-240.

    Frequent contributions to ActiveHistory.ca

    Geoff Read
    European History, Ph.D. (York)
    Assistant Professor, History

    Email: gread4@huron.uwo.ca
    Office Location: HUC A217
    Office Phone: (519) 438-7224 ext. 222

    B.A. (Huron), M.A. (York), Ph.D. (York)

    Courses Taught
    Major Issues in World History (1801E)
    Precolonial Africa (2602F/G)
    European Imperialism in Africa, 1830-1994 (2604F/G)
    Patterns and Perspectives in World History (2701E)
    Gender and Modern Europe (2810F/G)
    Current Crises in Historical Perspective (3705E)
    European Imperialism (4702F/G)
    Masculinity and Modern History (4802F/G)

    Research Interests
    I have just published a book on race and gender and the political parties in interwar France and have published on gender and the French right in the 1920s and 1930s.  I've also published, with my co-author Todd Webb, on the portrayal of Louis Riel and the Métis resistance in Western Canada in the trans-Atlantic press.  From this work we hope to proceed to a book on messianic resistance to western imperialism in the late nineteenth century.  In addition, I'm pursuing a new book project on single men in the French Empire, and my co-editor Kristin Burnett of Lakehead University and I have published a reader on Aboriginal history in Canada. Dr. Burnett and I are working on a second edition of this book and she, Lucas Savino of the Centre for Global Studies, and I are also working on a reader on Indigenous peoples in the Americas. Finally, Dr. Savino and I are working on an edited collection on "Contested National Identities" with Dr. Ramona Mielusel of the University of Louisiana.

    I teach a great deal of world history. I find it particularly interesting to study and teach the history of global interconnections and interconnectedness. My interest in teaching in this field stems from and stimulates my research on western imperialism. Also in keeping with my research interests, I enjoy teaching and learning about gender and history.  Finally, I'm keen to demonstrate the relevance of historical inquiry in the present.  Generally speaking, I am passionate about and interested in a wide variety of material, and I try to encourage a similar passion and engagement in my students.

    Recent and Forthcoming Publications
    The Republic of Men: Gender, Race, Women, and the Political Parties in Interwar France
    (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2014).

    “Was there a Fascist Femininity? Gender and French Fascism in Political Context.” In The French Right between the Wars: Political Movements and Intellectual Trends from Conservatism to Fascism, 127-140.  Samuel Kalman and Sean Kennedy, eds. (New York: Berghahn Books, 2014).

    “‘Citizens Useful to their Country and to Humanity’: The Influence and Convergence of Eugenics and Pro-Natalism in Interwar French Politics, 1918-1940,” Canadian Bulletin of Medical History 29, 2 (fall 2012): 171-195.

    With Kristin Burnett, eds., Aboriginal History: A Reader (Don Mills: Oxford University Press, 2012).

    With Todd Webb, “‘Only Pemmican Eaters’? The Formation of Métis Identities in the Atlantic World, 1869-85.” In Aboriginal History: A Reader, 151-163. Burnett, Kristin and Geoff Read, eds. (Don Mills: Oxford University Press, 2012).

    Kristin Burnett with Geoff Read, “Introduction: Aboriginal History in a Colonial Context.” In Aboriginal History: A Reader, xv-xxv. Burnett, Kristin and Geoff Read, eds. (Don Mills: Oxford University Press, 2012).

    With Todd Webb, “‘The Catholic Mahdi of the North West’: Louis Riel and the Métis Resistance in Trans-Atlantic and Imperial Context,” Canadian Historical Review 93, 2 (spring 2012): 171-195.

    "'Des Hommes et des citoyens': Paternalism and Masculinity on the Republican Right in Interwar France, 1919-1939," Historical Reflections/Raflexions historique 34, 2 (summer 2008): 88-111.

    "'He Is Depending on You': Militarism, Martyrdom and the Appeal to Manliness in the Case of France's Croix de Feu, 1931-1940," Journal of the Canadian Historical Association 19 (2005): 261-292.

    Nina Reid-Maroney
    American History, Ph.D. (Toronto)
    Associate Professor, History

    Email: nreidmar@huron.uwo.ca 
    Office Location: HUC A305
    Office Phone: (519) 438-7224 ext. 358 

    B.A. (Western), M.A. (Sussex), Ph.D. (Toronto) 

    Courses Taught
    History of the United States, 1607-present (2301E)
    Enlightenment in the Atlantic World (2704E)
    African American History (3311F/3313G)
    The Historian's Craft (3801E)
    American Dreams:  Radicals and Reformers from the City on a Hill to Herland (4305E)

    Research Interests
    My areas of interest are American religious and intellectual history, the history of anti-slavery movements, and the history of women and religion in North America.  I have just completed a large five-year grant project "The Promised Land:  The Freedom Experience of Chatham Kent's Black Settlements", funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and a new book about the life of an African Canadian Baptist minister and Canada's first ordained woman, the Reverend Jennie Johnson.  Currently I am working on two new research projects.  One is a study of Canada's antislavery culture in the broad context of abolition in the United States and elsewhere in the Atlantic world.  The second is a study of the American revolutionary, physician and abolitionish, Benjamin Rush, and his place in the enlightened culture of the 18th-century Philadelphia.

    My teaching places the study of American history within the global framework of the History program.  All of my courses are directly informed by my programs of research, and several courses include community-based learning components that integrate research and teaching in new ways. These projects give students a chance to engage in lasting scholarship while they think about the social and political contexts in which our knowledge about the past is created.  You can read more about student research in my History classes and find links to student research websites here:  http://historianscraft2013.wordpress.com/

    Selected Publications
    The Reverend Jennie Johnson and African Canadian History, 1868-1967 (Rochester, NY, University of Rochester Press 2013)

    With Boulou Ebanda de B'béri, and Handel Kashope Wright, eds.  The Promised land:  History and Historiography of the Black Experience in Chatham-Kent's Settlements and beyond.  (Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 2013.)

    "History and Historiography in the Promised Land" in The Promised Land: History and Historiography of the Black Experience in Chatham-Kent's Settlements and beyond.  B. E. de B'béri, N. Reid-Maroney and H. K. Wright, eds., (Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 2013.)

    "A Contented Mind is a Continual Feast:  Intellectual Migrations in the Promised Land" in The Promised Land: History and Historiography of the Black Experience in Chatham-Kent's Settlements and beyond.  B. E. de B'béri, N. Reid-Maroney and H. K. Wright, eds., (Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 2013.)

    “Black Pennsylvanians in Nineteenth-Century Canada” in The Civil War in Pennsylvania: The African American Experience (Pittsburg PA:  Heinz History Center; Smithsonian Institution and PACW 150, 2013.)

    “Millennialism and the Church of England’s Mission to Fugitive Slaves in Canada" in Apocalypse and the Millennium: Providential Religion in the Era of the Civil War. Ben Wright and Zachary Dresser (Baton Rouge, Louisiana State University Press, forthcoming.)

    Philadelphia’s Enlightenment, 1740-1800: Kingdom of Christ, Empire of Reason (Westport, CT, Greenwood Press, 2000)

    Sessional and Part-Time Faculty 

    Peter Krats, Canadian History, Ph.D. (U.W.O.). Dr. Krats' research interests look to Canada's "resource frontiers", with special attention given to the Nickel Belt in Northeastern Ontario. email:  pkrats@uwo.ca

    Timothy Compeau, Ph.D. Candidate (Western). Colonial North America and Atlantic World. Compeau's dissertation explores the loyalist experience in the American Revolution through the context of eighteenth century honour culture. He is also engaged in a variety of public history projects, including an exploration of the uses of augmented reality in teaching history. email:  tcompeau@uwo.ca

    Douglas Leighton
    Canadian History, Ph.D. (U.W.O.)
    Associate Professor, History

    Email: jleighto@huron.uwo.ca
    Office Location: HUC W13
    Office Phone: (519) 438-7224 ext. 241

    B.A. (McMaster), M.A. (McMaster), Ph.D. (Western), M.Div. (Huron)  

    Courses Taught
    The Automobile and Modern Culture (4809E)

    Dr. Leighton is currently Associate Professor of History in Huron University College's Faculty of Arts and Social Science and an adjunct professor in its Faculty of Theology and in the University of Western Ontario's Faculty of Graduate Studies. A graduate of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario (B.A. magna cum laude, M.A.) and of the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario (Dip. Ed., Ph.D., M. Div. (Huron), with honours), he teaches Canadian history and has created courses in First Nations-settler relations and in automotive history.

    Active professionally, Dr. Leighton served two consecutive terms as president of the Ontario Historical Society, including one during its centennial in 1988, is a past president of the Canadian Church Historical Society and was a member of the Council of the Champlain Society for over two decades. He was the first chair of the Canadian Historical Association's Native History Study Group. He is currently vice-president of the Society of Automotive Historians.

    An ordained priest of the Anglican Church of Canada, Dr. Leighton has actively served in several parishes. He is presently the chair of the Diocese of Huron's Archives Committee and of its ad hoc committee on first nations' residential schools healing and reconciliation. He is on the staff of Bishop Cronyn Memorial Church, a historic inner-city London parish known for its compassionate community role and its liturgical excellence.

    Recent honours and awards have included the Huron University College Teaching Award (2003), a SSHRCC Standard Group Research Grant (2003-2006), Canon of St. Paul's Cathedral (2005), the University of Western Ontario Alumni Association/Bank of Nova Scotia/University Students' Council Teaching Award (2007), Canon Historian of the Diocese of Huron (2009).

    Research Interests
    19th-century Indian policy in the Canadas was the subject of two articles in Ontario History, of fifteen biographies in The Dictionary of Canadian Biography, and of two monographs. More recent work has focused on frontier families and communities in the late 18th-century Great Lakes region and on the role of the churches in the social formation of Upper Canada/Canada West. Articles examining the automotive industry in southwestern Ontario (2000) and the early history of post-World War II sports-car racing in the region (2008) appeared in the Automotive History Review. The entry 'automobiles' appeared in The Oxford Companion to Canadian History in 2004. Ongoing research projects include the regional history of the automobile's impact, the history of the London Fire Department and the historical role of the Diocese of Huron within southwestern Ontario.

    I firmly believe in sharing knowledge with the wider community beyond the academic one and during my career have given more than 100 research-based addresses to a wide range of groups. I am frequently interviewed by broadcast and print media on my areas of specialization.

    My career has involved teaching at the high school, community college and university levels: my students have ranged in age from fourteen to seventy-seven. I regard teaching as a high calling, which takes long and careful preparation. I hope to awaken and sustain in my students the same fascination for the study of history which has motivated me. University-level learning has been described as a 'prolonged conversation': I hope that my classes embrace this active, two-way model of learning. I hope too that my students continue to learn from me. I have certainly learned from them.

    Professors Emeriti

    Jack S. Blocker, Ph.D. (Wisconsin), Professor Emeritus. Dr. Blocker's areas of interest include: African-American Migrations, The History of Alcohol and Temperance, and Historical Methods.

    Gary Owens, BA, MA (Nebraska); PhD (Wisconsin), British History.  Professor Emeritus.

    Colin Read, Ph.D. (Toronto), Professor Emertius, Canada, Upper Canada. Dr. Read has published extensively on the Rebellions of 1837 in the Canadas and is currently researching Loyalism in Norfolk County.

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