Robert A. Wardhaugh
PhD, University of Manitoba, 1995
Telephone: 519-661-2111 ext. 84969
Office: Lawson Hall 2263
Office Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays 10:00am-12:00pm
Professor Robert Wardhaugh is a Canadian political and regional historian whose research interests include the era of Mackenzie King, federalism, World War II, political parties, political culture, the 1920s, and the Prairie West.
My pedagogical approach in a university classroom is based around very simple concepts. Ultimately, I seek to communicate and then to engage with students so that I can translate what I hope is my sufficient learning and passion for the subject.
This objective is more difficult to achieve than it appears. In order for communication (and then to go one step further for engagement) to occur, the barriers must come down. I attempt to lower these barriers through offering the students a welcoming, energetic, stimulating, and most importantly, respectful atmosphere in which to learn. If I fail to communicate with my students, I have failed to teach them.
I seek to have my students question the course content. The analytical component is critical for success. I want them to critically and creatively evaluate and analyze the information presented. My passion for history is impossible to conceal and I seek ways to share this sentiment. I strongly encourage discussion and debate; I urge students to be critical of historical issues and to analyze the past in ways in which they are not accustomed. It is essential that history be tied to the present so students will recognize the importance and usefulness of studying the subject.
If I have succeeded, students will leave my class feeling they have learned important information about Canadian history but also feeling confident in raising questions pertaining to this history. I want them to be excited by the subject, something I also believe essential for the learning process. That excitement and passion serves as the crucial building blocks required to move on to further objectives. Once students have become engaged with the subject, they have the opportunity to embrace it on a deeper, more critical and analytical level.
Major Research Projects
My present project is a history of the Rowell-Sirois Commission (The Royal Commission on Dominion-Provincial Relations). Established in 1937, this royal commission has been lauded as the most important in Canadian history. Yet, I argue, its recommendations have been misunderstood and misinterpreted by historians. This book will analyze the development of Canadian federalism emerging out of the Great Depression and Second World War.
Along with Alan MacEachern, I have just completed a new edition (8th edition) of the Canadian history textbooks, Origins and Destinies.
Behind the Scenes: The Life and Work of W.C. Clark (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2010)
Mackenzie King and the Prairie West (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2000)
The Premiers of Manitoba, co-edited with Barry Ferguson (Regina: Canadian Plains Research Centre, 2010)
Time, History, and the Writing of the Canadian Prairies, co-edited with Alison Calder (Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2005)
Towards Defining the Prairies: Region, Culture, and History (Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2001)
Awards & Distinctions
- May 2010-May 2013
SSHRC Standard Research Grant
- June 2011
Manitoba Historical Society
Margaret McWilliams Award
Best Scholarly Book on Manitoba History, 2010
- May 2008
University of Western Ontario
Award of Excellence
for Undergraduate Teaching