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Meet the Wilson Institute

In the next month, we will introduce you to the 2016-2017 cast of the Wilson Institute for Canadian History. Today, we start with our dear and beloved leader, Ian McKay.


Ian McKay was appointed the L.R. Wilson Chair in Canadian History at McMaster on 1 January 2016. He received his M.A. from the University of Warwick in 1976 and his Ph.D. from Dalhousie University in 1983. He taught at Queen’s University from 1988 to 2016 and to date has supervised or co-supervised 94 graduate theses and cognate essays, 44 of them at the doctoral level. Two of his recent books, both co-authored with Jamie Swift, have focused on peace and war in twentieth-century Canada: Warrior Nation:  Rebranding Canada in an Age of Anxiety (Toronto: Between the Lines Press, 2012) and The Vimy Trap: Or, How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Great War (Toronto: Between the Lines Press, 2016). Two others have been about history, tourism and culture in Atlantic Canada: The Quest of the Folk: Antimodernism and CMcKay-02ultural Selection in Twentieth-Century Nova Scotia   (Toronto: Carleton Library, 2009; Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1994) and [with Robin Bates] In The Province of History: Tourism and the Romance of the Past in Twentieth-Century Nova Scotia (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s, 2010).  And three have focused on the history of the Canadian left: ed., For a Working-Class Culture in Canada: A Selection of Colin McKay’s Writings in Political Economy and Sociology, 1897-1939  (St. John’s: Canadian Committee on Labour History, 1996); Rebels, Reds, Radicals: Rethinking Canada’s Left History  (Toronto: Between the Lines Press, 2005), and Reasoning Otherwise: Leftists and the People’s Enlightenment in Canada, 1890-1920  (Toronto: Between the Lines, 2008), which won the  John A. Macdonald Prize from the Canadian Historical Association. His present project is a co-authored study of political theorist C.B.Macpherson, a renowned authority on liberal ideology and practice.