B.A. (Brandon) M.A. (Manitoba) Ed. Cert. (Brandon)
Since 2012, I have been University Archivist (Emeritus) at Brandon University. In practical terms, I am now an independent researcher, writer, documentary producer with many interests – traditional historical and archival practice included – that tend to converge on public history. The digital revolution has furnished a new terrain for public history and given a new urgency to the need to come to terms with its epistemological nature and practice. I spend lots of time thinking about that. I developed a course on public history for the B.U. History Department. I teach it every few years.
I am currently working on three public history projects.
The first is a paper titled The Grand Rapids of the Assiniboine – a Place. The paper examines a locale centered on the Grand Rapids of the Assiniboine as a case study of how and why places emerge and decline (some disappear entirely) over time. The Grand Rapids of the Assiniboine – a Place will be published in Manitoba History in 2018.
The second, for BELL-MTS Stories From Home, is a series of five short documentaries titled In the Archives. Each segment considers the power of archival materials – photographs and text – to evoke particular places and eras, and to make the past present.
The third, that has yet to take any particular form, e.g. documentary script, dramatization, is tentatively titled Before Brandon – Donald MacKay and the Founding of Brandon House, 1793. Donald MacKay is a seminal, but deeply under appreciated figure in the history of Manitoba. MacKay’s establishment of Hudson’s Bay Company post Brandon House on the Assiniboine River is integral to the history of the eastern prairies in the early nineteenth century and presents an opening to Manitoba’s modern historical narrative.