• History Alum Matthew Melnyk recognized at the 40 Under Forty Business Achievement Awards for 2023

    Matthew Melnyk (BA Honours, MA History) was honoured last week at the Business Link Media Group’s annual 40 Under Forty Business Achievement Awards. The award recognizes “individuals under the age of 40 who make significant positive contributions to the local economy, community, and business ecosystem.” This is the 20th year that the Business Link Media Group has held the awards.

    Congratulations, Matthew!



  • Professor Mark Spencer Lectures in Tokyo

    If you are wondering where your colleague is, there’s a good reason he’s not responding to your emails. On Tuesday, May 30, Professor Spencer will be at the Institute of Christianity and Culture in Tokyo to deliver a lecture entitled: “Revisiting David Hume’s Review of the Rev. Robert Henry’s History of Great Britain.”

    Safe travels, Mark, and we look forward to hearing about your travels upon your return!

    Poster_Prof. Spencer_page-0001.jpg

    Categories: Faculty, Lectures/Symposiums

  • Master of Arts in History Thesis Defence: Kathleen Powell

    Kathleen Powell, a Master of Arts in History candidate, will defend the thesis “‘At Breakfast We Heard Whistles Blowing’: Nationalist Sentiment in St. Catharines, 1899-1902” on Wednesday, June 7 at 10:00 a.m. in GLA 201. 

    The examination committee includes Dr. Elizabeth Vlossak, Chair; Dr. Jessica Clark, Supervisor; Dr. Phillip Mackintosh, External Examiner (Department of Geography & Tourism Studies, Brock University); Dr. Olatunji Ojo, Acting Graduate Program Director; and Dr. Daniel Samson, Committee Member. 

    Photo by tim de leij on Unsplash

  • New original research article by Prof Colin Rose

    A new article by Professor Colin Rose, “Homicide in early modern Bologna: a prepositional cartography” was published this week in Urban History. This open access article “uses GIS to trace the locations of homicides in early modern Bologna, Italy, with a ‘prepositional cartography’ that translates early modern Italian spatial mentalities into modern GIS analyses.”

    Congratulations, Professor Rose!

    Urban History First View , pp. 1 – 20

    Tags: , ,
    Categories: Faculty, Publications

  • The General (Vol 8) is now available

    Congratulations to the Brock University Historical Society on the publication of the 2023 edition of The General! 

    The General is an undergraduate history journal published by the Brock University Historical Society. Its goal is to highlight undergraduate students’ academic achievements and celebrate their passion for history. The 2023 edition of The General features sixteen historical essays. They cover a range of diverse topics including the Norse presence in North America, the Black Death, the history of chocolate, and the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

    Read more about it in the BrockNews!

    Categories: Brock University Historical Society, The General, Undergraduate

  • 2023 Sankey Lecture to Focus on Freemason Material Culture

    Sankey Lecture on Freemason Material Culture to offer a “Masonic Antique Roadshow” 

    The Marie Kondo Method. Swedish Death Cleaning. “Hoarders” reality TV shows. Downsizing.  

    De-cluttering is a hot trend in our heavily material culture. 

    At risk, however, is the loss of culturally significant objects and entire collections of ephemera, records, and artifacts.  

    Dr. Heather K. Calloway, the current Executive Director of University Collections at Indiana University, is working to manage and preserve collections of fraternal organizations, namely, the Freemasons, that are at serious risk of being discarded. 

    “Whether a lodge is moving, closing, or downsizing their space, the collections amassed by fraternal groups are at risk of being orphaned… They are often stored in closets, basements, and attics where environmental and storage conditions are abysmal. There is little or no emergency planning for these objects,” says Dr. Calloway. 

    Dr. Calloway will be presenting her lecture, “Skeletons in the Lodge Hall: Hidden Collections and Fraternal Curiosities,” at the 14th Annual Charles A. Sankey Lecture Series on Sunday, March 26th, in Sean O’Sullivan Theatre. 

    The annual lecture series was created in 2009 by the Sankey Centre for Masonic Studies in conjunction with Brock University. The Centre is named in honour of Dr. Charles A. Sankey, who served as Chancellor of Brock University from 1969-1974 and was a renowned Masonic scholar. He was active in all the concordant bodies of Masonry including the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, the Royal Order of Scotland, and Royal Arch Masons. His extensive collection of rare Masonic books and papers is in the Special Collections of the James Gibson Library at Brock. 

    “We are always excited when the Sankey Lecture comes around,” says archivist David Sharron, the Head of Archives and Special Collections at the Brock Library.  “Hearing presenters like Heather Calloway and the attending Masons and scholars speak about Freemasonry so intelligently and passionately makes us feel secure that the Masonic book collection we have at Brock will always be needed and regarded in the best light.”  

    As a part of the event, which is back in person for the first time since 2019, Dr. Calloway will be bringing some objects from the Indiana University’s collection of Freemason objects. Along with Mr. Sharron, she invites members of the public to bring in their own Freemason objects to discuss their historical significance.  

    Dr. Calloway notes that, “Fraternal history and material culture is found everywhere. It is held by private groups, archives, public and academic libraries, historical societies, and museums… Without action to address these needs for collection stewardship, many are at high risk for damage or loss.” 

    When: Sunday, March 26, 2023, 3:00 pm.
    Where: Sean O’Sullivan Theatre

    Reception and “Masonic Antiques Roadshow” to follow in Market Hall. 

    Please reserve your FREE TICKETS in advance.  

    More details can be found on ExperienceBU. 


    Categories: News, Sankey

  • 2022-2023 History Speaker Series

    The Department of History is hosting a Speaker Series, featuring Professor Mikko Tolonen from the University of Helsinki.

    This talk aims to envision how the use of machine learning and data-driven approaches can become an everyday practice for historians in the not-too-distant future. Drawing from the lessons learned from a decade of collaborative work at an interdisciplinary Helsinki Computational History Group (COMHIS), the talk will discuss the group’s research strategy and some of their recent studies of the Enlightenment. COMHIS has worked to harmonize and integrate metadata and full text sources, including the English Short Title Catalogue (ESTC) and Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO). The talk will introduce the concept of bibliographic data science and use it to examine the representativeness and biases in ECCO. Of the many down-stream use cases, the talk will focus on eighteenth-century reception studies and networks of publishing in the Scottish Enlightenment. The talk will end with a demonstration of the possibilities of using unstructured ECCO data and large language model (BERT) for clustering eighteenth-century subject topics that feeds back to the ESTC metadata creating a virtuous circle in the research use of the available data.

    Mikko Tolonen PhD is Associate Professor in Digital Humanities at the Faculty of Arts at the University of Helsinki. His background is in intellectual history, and he is the PI of Helsinki Computational History Group (COMHIS). His main research focus is on an integrated study of public discourse and knowledge production that combines metadata from library catalogues as well as full-text archives of books, newspapers and periodicals in early modern Europe. Tolonen works also in other areas of Enlightenment studies. Currently he is leading two Academy of Finland projects: Rise of Commercial Society and Eighteenth-Century Publishing (RiCEP); and Detection of Historical Discourses with High-Performance Computing (HPC-HD).

    All are Welcome!


  • CLAS 3F75: Archaeological Practicum Info Session, Tuesday, January 18th, 5:30 – 6:30 pm on Microsoft Teams

    On Tuesday, January 18, 5:30-6:30 pm, Dr Smith and Dr Greene will be hosting an info session on Teams for the two archaeological field schools offered by the Department this summer:

    CLAS 3F75: Maritime Heritage of Southeast Sicily. Approx. dates: June 18 – July 25, 2022. Project ‘U Mari (“the sea” in local Sicilian dialect) explores the maritime heritage of southeast Sicily, examining millennia of connections across the Mediterranean. Participants study artifacts from shipwrecks in the area, conduct underwater survey at the ancient fishing port of Vendicari, and document the material culture and traditions of tuna fishing and contemporary voyages, considering how best to preserve and engage the public with this diverse maritime past. Students earn one full credit at the 3rd-year level in tandem with scuba certification. For information and application contact Dr. Elizabeth Greene, Department of Classics,

    CLAS 3F75: Khavania/Gournia Archaeological Projects in Crete, Greece, 4 weeks in June / July 2022. The Khavania Archaeological Project is investigating a Bronze Age Minoan harbour site on the western coast of the Mirabello Bay in eastern Crete, Greece. Participants will have the opportunity either to participate in excavations of the site or will aid in the processing and analysis of artifactual materials from Khavania as well as the nearby Minoan site of Gournia ( Students earn one full credit at the 3rd-year level. For information and application contact Dr. Angus Smith, Department of Classics,

    Please join us to learn more!


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  • Canadians across the country are invited to share their Canada Games story as part of a new crowd-sourced digital history project.

    Brock researchers looking for Canada Games stories

  • History professor harvests leeks in historical garden

    History professor harvests leeks in historical garden