Concordia University

Ronald Rudin

Professor, History


B.A. University of Pittsburgh, M.A., Ph.D. York University (Toronto)

Ronald Rudin, author of seven books and numerous articles and producer of seven documentary films, carries out research that touches upon Canadian cultural and environmental history, with a particular focus on Atlantic Canada and its Acadian population.

Professor Rudin's interests in cultural and environmental history are front and centre in his most recent book, Kouchibouguac: Removal, Resistance and Remembrance at a Canadian National Park (University of Toronto Press, 2016). The book explores both the history and memory of the establishment of Kouchibouguac National Park in New Brunswick, whose creation in 1969 led to the expropriation of over 200 (mostly Acadian) families. In 2017, Kouchibouguac received from the Canadian Historical Association both the Clio Prize for best book dealing with Atlantic Canada and the Canadian Oral History Association Prize. It was also a finalist for the CHA's Macdonald Prize, for best book of the year in Canadian history. In addition, it received the Prix de l'Assemblée nationale from the Institut d'histoire de l'Amérique française, and earned honorable mention for best book of the year from the National (US) Council of Public History.

The Kouchibouguac project also resulted in the creation of the website, Returning the Voices to Kouchibouguac National Park/Le retour des voix au parc national Kouchibouguac, which allows visitors to hear stories of former residents by way of 26 video portraits that are embedded in a map of the territory at the time of the expropriation. The website -- created in collaboration with Philip Lichti -- won the 2014 Public History Prize from the Canadian Historical Association.

This focus upon the cultural and environmental history of Atlantic Canada is also central to Professor Rudin's current SSHRC-supported project, Maritime Marshlands, which explores the legacy of the federal government's large-scale project after World War II to reconstruct the dykes and aboiteaux that had long protected lands in both Nova Scotia and New Brunswick from the tides of the Bay of Fundy. This federal program (the Maritime Marshland Rehabilitation Administration) led to environmental and cultural changes that are still evident in the early twenty-first century.

More broadly, Professor Rudin has long had an interest in how the public comes to understand the past, which has drawn him to study the power of commemorative events.  His book, Remembering and Forgetting in Acadie: A Historian's Journey through Public Memory (University of Toronto Press, 2009) and the associated website ( continue this interest in the connections between history and the larger public.  Winner of both the 2010 book award of the National Council of Public History and the inaugural Public History prize of the Canadian Historical Association (2011), the book focuses on a series of Acadian commemorative events that took place in 2004-05, a subject that he has also presented in the documentary film Life After Île Ste-Croix, made in conjunction with Leo Aristimuño and distributed by the National Film Board of Canada. He is also the producer of Remembering a Memory/Mémoire d'un souvenir (2010), a documentary film that deals with the Celtic Cross on Grosse-Île, exploring how memories of the past — stretching back to the Irish potato famine of the 1840s — have shifted over the past century. This project was carried out in collaboration with Robert McMahon of the Royal Ontario Museum.

Professor Rudin is also currently leading the Lost Stories Project, which takes little known stories about the Canadian past, transforms them into public art, and then documents the process by way of documentary film. The project's five films -- that Rudin produced --  are available in English, French and (in one case) ASL at

Rudin was the Academic Convenor for the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences held at Concordia in 2010. A fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, he has held a fellowship to support his research from the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation.

Teaching activities



HIST 306/2 Section A

History and the Public

HUMA 889/4 Section A
Constructing History

Selected publications


Kouchibouguac: Removal, Resistance, and Remembrance at a Canadian National Park (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2016).

Remembering and forgetting in Acadie:  A historian's Journey through Public Memory.  Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2009.[Translated as L'Acadie entre le souvenir et l'oubli: Un historien sur les chemins de la mémoire collective. Montreal: Boréal, 2014.]

Founding Fathers: Champlain and Laval in the Streets of Quebec, 1878-1908. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2003. [Translated as: Histoire dans les rues de Québec.  Québec: Presses de l'Université Laval, 2005]

Making History in Twentieth Century Quebec. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1997. [Translated as: Faire de l'histoire au Québec. Sillery QC: Septentrion, 1998]

In Whose Interest?: Quebec's Caisses Populaires,1900-1945. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1990.

Banking en français:The French Banks of Quebec,1835-1925. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1985. [Translated as: Banking en français: Histoire des banques canadiennes-françaises. Montréal: Boréal, 1988]

The Forgotten Quebecers: A History of English-Speaking Quebec, 1759-1980. Quebec: Institut québécois de recherche sur la culture, 1985. [Translated as: Histoire du Québec anglophone. Quebec: Institut québécois de recherche sur la culture, 1986].

Selected Journal Articles

"The First Acadian Film: Visibility, Modernity, and Landscape in Les aboiteaux, Canadian Historical Review, 96 (2015), 507-33.

"The First French-Canadian National Parks: Kouchibouguac and Forillon in History and Memory," Journal of the Canadian Historical Association, 22, no 1 (2011), 160-200.

"Making Kouchibouguac: Acadians, the Creation of a National Park, and the Politics of Documentary Film during the 1970s," Acadiensis, Vol XXXIX, no. 2, Summer/Fall 2010, 3-22.

"The Champlain-De Monts Tercentenary: Voices from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Maine, June 1904," Acadiensis, 33 (Spring 2004), 3-26.

"Retour sur les vingt premières années de l'Institut: Regards sur l'IHAF et la RHAF à l'époque de Groulx," Revue d’histoire de l’Amérique française, 51 (1997), 24 pages.

"Revisionism and the Search for a Normal Society: A Critique of Recent Historical Writing in Quebec," Canadian Historical Review, 53 (1992), 31 pages.

Selected Book Chapters

"Qui est Clio, et qu'est-ce l'Acadie?" in Patrick D. Clarke, ed., Clio en Acadie (Ste-Foy: Presses de l'Université Laval, 2014), pp 243-55.

"Dugua vs Champlain: The Construction of Heroes in Atlantic Canada," in Nicole Neatby and Peter Hodgins, eds., Settling and Unsettling Memories: Essays in Canadian Public History (University of Toronto Press, 2012), pp 94-131

Kouchibouguac: Representations of a Park in Acadian Popular Culture," in Claire Campbell, ed., A Century of Parks Canada (University of Calgary Press, 2011), pp 205-33.

"Unravelling Dichotomies: Ethnic and Civic understanding of the Nation in Quebec Nationalist Discourse," in Bruno Coppieters and Richard Sakwa, Contextualizing Secession - Normative Studies in Comparative Perspective (Oxford: OUP, 2004).

"Réflexions québécoises alimentées par l'expérience irlandaise," in Stéphane Kelly, ed, Les idées mènent le Québec: Essais sur une sensibilité historique (Ste-Foy: Les Presses de l'Université Laval, 2003).

"From the Nation to the Citizen: Quebec Historical Writing and the Shaping of Identity," in Robert Adamoski, Dorothy E. Chunn and Robert Menzies, eds.,  Contesting Canadian Citizenship: Historical Readings (Peterborough ON: Broadview Press, 2002), pp. 95-111.

"Bargaining from Strength: Historical Writing and Political Autonomy in Late-Twentieth-Century Quebec," in Bruno Coppieters and Michel Huysseune,  Secession, History and the Social Sciences (Brussels: VUB Brussels University Press, 2002), pp.159-177.

"The Discovery of the Body of Mgr François de Laval and the Construction of Identity in Quebec," in Jean-Pierre Wallot, ed, Constructions identitaires et pratiques sociales (Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press, 2002), pp. 229-242.

"Contested Terrain: Commemorative Celebrations and National Identity in Ireland and Quebec," in Yvan Lamonde  and Gérard Bouchard, eds., La nation dans tous ses états : le Québec en comparaison. Montréal: Harmattan, 1997.

Multimedia Production


Lost Stories/ Histoires retrouvées: The Lost Stories Project collects stories from the Canadian public, transforms them into public art, and documents the process by way of short documentary films. The site features the project's pilot film, Thomas Widd's Lost Story, with versions in English, French, and ASL. Launched July 2015.

Returning the Voices to Kouchibouguac NationalPark/ Le retour des voix au parc national Kouchibouguac:; 26 videoportraits of residents removed from their lands to create KouchibouguacNational Park, launched April 2013.

Remembering Acadie: Multimedia website to accompany, Remembering and Forgetting in Acadie. Launched Apri 2009.

Documentary Films

Thomas Widd's Lost Story/ L'histoire retrouvée de Thomas Widd. Digital Video, 22 minute, 2014. In collaboration with Bernar Hébert and Cima Claire Obscura. Available at

Remembering a Memory/Mémoire d'un souvenir : Digital Video, 25 minutes, 2010.  In collaboration with Robert McMahon (Royal Ontario Museum).  Available at; and

Life After Île Ste. Croix : Digital Video, 60:00 min, 2006. In collaboration with Leo Aristimuño (Professor of Video Production and Media Studies, Rutgers University, Newark).  Distributed by National Film Board of Canada.


Canadian Historical Association, 2014 Public History Prize (with Philip Lichti and Archinodes) for the website Returning the Voices to Kouchibouguac National Park/ Le retour des voix au parc national Kouchibouguac.

Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Fellowship, 2011-14.

Canadian Historical Association, 2011 Public History Prize for Remembering and Forgetting in Acadie: A Historian's Journey through Public Memory.

National Council on Public History, 2010 Book Award for Remembering and Forgetting in Acadie: A Historian's Journey through Public Memory.

Fellow, Royal Society of Canada, since 2009.

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