MemberHamish Cameron

In keeping with his research and teaching interests, Hamish Cameron is an itinerant historian hailing from a far-flung colony of a former empire. Thematically, he studies movement, borderlands, networks, geography and imperialism. Geographically, he explores the Eastern Mediterranean, Southwest Asia/the Near East and Rome. Chronologically, he investigates the Hellenistic and Roman periods. Philologically, he enjoys cultural allusions and tricola. No, tetracola… Wait, I’ll come in again… Hamish received his PhD in Classics from the University of Southern California in 2014 where he wrote a dissertation examining the representation of “Mesopotamia” as a borderland in Imperial Roman geographic writing of the first four centuries CE. His monograph on the subject has now been published: Making Mesopotamia: Geography and Empire in a Romano-Iranian Borderland (Brill 2019). He received his MA from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand in 2006 with a thesis on the arrival of Roman power in Cilicia. He also holds a Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Science and Technology (2011) from the USC Spatial Sciences Institute. He has participated in two survey seasons in Greece and in specialist conferences on digital geography, borderlands, networks, religion, and Cilicia. Hamish has taught classes in History and Classical Languages dealing with topics from the Bronze Age to the Information Age. He is interested in the applied methodologies of digital humanities, especially digital geography, the digital dissemination of academic information, and the pedagogy of tabletop games. He also designs boardgames and roleplaying games.

MemberMaximilian Stewart-Hawley Cronkite

I am in the final year of my Bachelor of Arts with honours at Carleton University. My major is in history and I have a minor in Medieval and Early Modern Studies as well as Greek and Roman Studies. My main area of interest, as well as the subject of my undergraduate honours thesis, is Early Medieval Europe. More specifically, the social, political, and religious relationships during the 6th century in Frankish Gaul – mainly through the writings of Gregor of Tours. I am currently studying the language of Old Norse/Icelandic and the associated literature, particularly the writings of Snorri Sturluson. I particularly enjoy conversion history and the comparison of pre-Christian Scandinavia to western Christian culture.

MemberErik Malcolm Champion

UNESCO Chair of Cultural Heritage and Visualisation, and Professor at Media, Creative Arts and Social Inquiry, in the Humanities Faculty of Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia. The purpose of the Chair is to promote an integrated system of research, training, information and documentation on virtual heritage sites and facilitate collaboration between high-level, internationally-recognized researchers and teaching staff of Curtin University and other institutions throughout the world.   My recent books are Critical Gaming: Interactive History and Virtual Heritage for Routledge’s Digital Research in the Arts and Humanities Series, Playing with the Past (Springer, 2011), editor of Game Mods: Design, Theory and Criticism (ETC Press, 2012) and co-editor of  Cultural Heritage Infrastructures in Digital Humanities (Routledge, 2017).

MemberIan Kerr

 Greetings, my name is Ian Kerr and I am a history major with third year standing, and I am currently in the process of earning my BA Honors degree. I’ve always been extremely interested in Ancient history and ancient societies such as Ancient Greece, Rome and Ancient Egypt to name a few. However, one of my main passions ever since I was a little kid was my fascination with the middle Ages, particularly the culture and the imagery associated with the era Knights, Kings, Queens, Bishops and so forth, and as such I’ve always wanted to learn more about the era in general. I chose this course because it seems like one of the best opportunities I will ever get to learn about this culture and actually interact with pieces of mediaeval history first hand, as well as being able to analyze and discuss them, so I am very excited to be taking this course. Some random things about me are that I have a Siamese cat named Benkei (named after the Japanese warrior monk folk hero, who according to legend held a bridge against 20-40 enemy soldiers in one of the most memorable epic last stands in history. Another random thing is that I really enjoy video games, particularly any strategy or fantasy games, such as World of Warcraft and StarCraft 2 or the total war strategy game series. Overall, I am really looking forward to taking this course throughout the year, meeting all of you, and of course learning some really neat stuff about the middle ages.

MemberDennis Lloyd

I’ve worked at six different university presses: Illinois, Kentucky, Pittsburgh, Alabama, Florida, and Wisconsin. I began my career as an acquisitions assistant, then shifted to marketing and sales, before becoming director. Even if I had correctly answered “What is Amazon?” during my Jeopardy! appearance, I’d still have lost the game (I came in third).

MemberNick Leckey

My name is Nicholas Leckey (LeH-Key), 28 years young, and I’m a ‘historical cartophile’ at heart.  Rambling follows… As far back as I can remember, I have always held a strong passion for the fabrication and use of maps (mostly in historical contexts): the subtlety of design, choice of features/labeling, omissions, narrative, etc., but especially how we see (or rather, ‘present’) ourselves within a particular landscape (either past or present).  My favourite childhood toy was a globe.  Unashamedly, as a teenager, it was Age of Empires II.  Now, Google Earth takes up even more of my time as an academic. I was born & raised in Ottawa and, even early-on as a History undergrad at Carleton University, never thought much of my own city’s past.  For lack of a better word, ‘sensationalism’ had wrestled my focus towards ancient Rome, Tokyo, London et al., and nothing seemed more plain or yawn-inducing than the study of my ‘irrelevant colonial backwater’.  I mean, with no great battles, no wondrous palaces or grand temples, why bother?!  I couldn’t have been more wrong…  My grand-papa, a great mentor in my life & self-made historian, had always rambled about his family’s origins in the valley region, with great pride: the fields that were worked, the homes built, families made…  I then never gave much thought to my own personal history (‘historical localism?’) until I studied his research, and came to really grasp just how many lives (and effort!) had gone into making my own…  He had traced our (Sabourin) family back 13 generations, to 1610’s Poitou, France…  and this, only the patrilineal side!  What adventures they must have had; hard struggles, cheers & joy, alike.  It truly humbled me, and made me regret past condemnations of what history ‘should be about’. This led me to research my father’s family (Leckey), which was a whole three centuries shorter, and very nearly extinguished in Passchendaele on the morning of October 30th 1917…  A hand grenade or mortar shell’s shrapnel tore through my great-grandfather Thomas’s leg, along with several of his most prized digits; he had been a farmhand and carpenter, no longer.  Hopefully unconscious, he lay in the rutted and swampy hillside of Passchendaele for a whole day, with his injuries, before the ANZAC medical corps would find and recover him, alive.  He would return to a pension, and later to start a family: mine.  Knowing how close I came to ‘not existing’, and to the strength of my forefather, I passionately used the skills I had developed during my undergrad to plot out the course he had taken in life & in battle.  I never met him, and his journal (if it exists) may be lost, but I found him in shipping registers, army documents, census statements, and I know almost exactly where he lay that cold October night.  He was a lowly private with no medals to his name, lost in obscurity, despite his bravour.  Do the people at 4-6 Zuidstraat, Zonnebeke, Belgium know that Thomas Leckey, and not just ‘a noble Canadian’ lay in their backyard nearly 101 years ago?  How many more might be like him, perhaps even still laying in those, or similar, fields…? While maps historically have been used in a number of dishonest ways (notoriously, for war, imperialism & despotic intent), I believe they have as much potential to undo that same harm and to allow us the chance to re-imagine the space we are surrounded by today. As a member of the fast-paced modern world, where permanence seems ever more fleeting, I now stop myself to look around:

  • How many hundreds of thousands of lives existed in this space?  What were they goals?  -Their dreams? -Their struggles?
  • How did they envision their space, and change it?  How did this in turn influence the following generations?
  • Who/what speaks for them now?  -Their legacy?

When a person’s past (usually reflected in his/her achievements) is ‘all-but-absent’ (either by design or simple obscurity), maps can sometimes help fill a void in memory: a voice for the voiceless… where evidence may have “never existed” (the way ‘oral histories’ have traditionally been regarded in the west), maps could help reconstitute a missing past, and hopefully bridge a gap in (mis)understanding.  After all, who decides what is worth preserving, or memorializing? Still at an early concept, I would like to develop a public geographic-based database (mobile-friendly) for the Ottawa-Gatineau region, that could potentially serve in a number of ways:

  • Identification of past habitations, buildings, potential archaeological sites, etc.
  • Direct links to relevant articles, blogs & papers
  • Potential for independent reporting, community review, discussion & eventual publications
  • Potential for maintaining/recovering the archaeological integrity of a site
  • Tourism potential
  • Multi-disciplinary potential (humanities, industrial, environmental science, etc.)