Oct. 20, 2004

McMaster's history department celebrates Canadian history

McMaster Image

H.V. (Viv) Nelles, L.R. Wilson Professor in Canadian History, with a poster of his latest book, A Little History of Canada. Photo credit: Deborah McIvor

Hamilton, ON - McMaster’s history department celebrated Canadian history today with a reception to mark the appointment of H.V. (Viv) Nelles as the L.R. Wilson Professor in Canadian History. Local history enthusiasts, alumni, graduate students and professorswelcomed the Canadian historian and author to the University.

“The L.R. Wilson Professor in Canadian History has a mandate to work with an interdisciplinary advisory board to develop history seminars, annual conferences, lectureships and an annual juried book competition to name the best book on Canadian history,” announced Peter George, President and Vice-Chancellor of McMaster University.

The history department is very grateful to Lynton Ronald Wilson for establishing the L.R. Wilson Professor in Canadian History which made Dr. Nelles’ appointment possible,” said Dr. Virginia Aksan, chair of the history department. “Dr. Nelles will teach undergraduates as well as graduate students and encourage the study of Canadian history at local, national and international levels.”

L. R. Wilson, a McMaster alumnus, who donated $1million to McMaster to establish the L.R. Wilson Professorship, is co-founder of the Historica Foundation of Canada. The Foundation is dedicated to providing Canadians with a deeper understanding of their history and its importance in shaping the country we have today.

Nelles’ latest book, A Little History of Canada, was released this summer and has already made the bestseller list. It covers all the major political and cultural shifts that have taken place in

Canada since the arrival of the Europeans and suggests that the enduring theme of Canadian history is one of transformation.

“Dr. Nelles brings a great deal of expertise to an already strong history department,” said Nasrin Rahimieh, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities. “He will further enhance the Faculty and we welcome his tremendous expertise.”

Before Dr. Nelles came to McMaster the award-winning scholar was York University’s Distinguished Research Professor in History. He has also taught Canadian history at Harvard University, Oxford University, Cambridge University and he was the first professor of Canadian studies in Japan.