Michelle A. Hamilton

- Associate Professor

image of Michelle A. Hamilton
PhD, University of Western Ontario, 2004
Telephone: 519-661-2111 ext. 84973
Email: mhamilt3@uwo.ca
Office: Lawson Hall 2216
Office Hours via Zoom: Tuesdays 1:30-3:30pm

Research Interests

As a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Guelph (2005-08), I began researching the enumeration of First Nations and Métis people in Canada, particularly the links between census-taking, race, and the regulation of Aboriginal communities by the Department of Indian Affairs. This research is ongoing and forms a part of the 1871 and 1891 Census of Canada projects at the University of Guelph.

As of 2018, I am also the Director of SSHRC-funded Hear, Here London, (www.hearherelondon.org) an audio documentary project which externalizes oral histories on the street. 

Teaching Experience

Professor Hamilton teaches public history, material culture, and social memory for undergraduate and graduate students.  She welcomes inquiries from MA and PhD students interested in public history. 

Select Publications


Dr. Oronhyatekha: Security, Justice, and Equality (2016) With K. Jamieson. Dr. Oronhyatekha: Security, Justice, and Equality. Toronto: Dundurn Press.
Franz Boas as Public Intellectual: Theory, Ethnography, Activism (2015) Franz Boas as Public Intellectual:  Theory, Ethnography, Activism. Eds. R. Darnell, M. Hamilton, R. Hancock, J. Smith. Lincoln:  University of Nebraska Press.
Collections and Objections: Aboriginal Material Culture in Southern Ontario (2010) Collections and Objections: Aboriginal Material Culture in Southern Ontario. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press.

Book Chapters

(2019) With M.F. Dove. “Public Service or public service?: Public History in Canada.” What is Public History? Ed. P. Ashton, J. Lalzarliana and A. Trapeznik. Bloomsbury. 

(2015) "'An expansive archive…not a diminished one':  The Franz Boas Documentary Edition Project." Franz Boas as Public Intellectual:  Theory, Ethnography, Activism. Eds. R. Darnell, M. Hamilton, R. Hancock, J. Smith. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.

(2015) With K. Inwood. "Mixed Ancestry Aboriginal Populations in Canada, 1871-1901.” Mariage et métissage dans les sociétés coloniales, Amériques, Afrique et Iles de l'Océan Indien, XVIe-XXe siècles. ed. G. Brunet. Bern: Peter Lang, 207-24. 

Journal Articles

(2017) “Canada’s First Indigenous Physician? The Story of Dr. O (1841-1907).” Canadian Journal of Surgery 60, 1: 8-10. 

Awards and Distinctions

2018-20 SSHRC Connection Grant, Hear, Here SoHo: Making Public Oral Histories of Marginalized Peoples 

2018 Vice-Provost (Academic Programs) Award for Excellence in Collaborative Teaching (with Mike Dove)

2018 Finalist, the Speaker's (Ontario Legislature) Book Award for Dr Oronhyatekha

2017 Ontario History Society Joseph Brant Award for Dr. Oronhyatekha 

2013-20 SSHRC Partnership Grant for the Franz Boas Papers Documentary Editing Project

2013 SSHRC Connection Grant for the Annual Meeting of the National Council of Public History/International Federation for Public History

2012 Finalist, the Speaker's (Ontario Legislature) Book Award for Collections and Objections

2012 Community Service Learning Grant, UWO

2011 Clio (Ontario) Prize Winner for Collections and Objections from the Canadian Historical Association

2011 Chalmers Award Winner for Collections and Objections from the Champlain Society

2011-16 SSHRC Standard Research Grant, for Aboriginal Peoples and the Canadian Census research project

Public History Experience

Since 1993 I have worked at various museums across Canada, including the Museum of Ontario Archaeology (London), the Aylmer and District Museum, the Woodland Cultural Centre (Six Nations of the Grand River) and the Glenbow Museum (Calgary), in curatorial, interpretative, and collections management capacities. Locally,  I have sat on the Material Culture Committee of Museum London, the Board and Planning Committee of Fanshawe Pioneer Village, the Board of the London Heritage Council, and the Academic Sub-Committee of the Museum of Ontario Archaeology.  Between 2010-13, I sat on the Board of Directors of the National Council on Public History, co-chaired its 2013 Annual Conference Program Committee, and chaired its Professional Development Committee (2010-15). I have also acted as a consultant or contract researcher for organizations such as the JP Metras Museum at Western, the Ontario Heritage Trust, the C.A.V. Barker Museum of Canadian Veterinary History at the University of Guelph, and Know History Historical Services. I am currently a member of the Ontario Museum Association's Indigenous Collections Working Group, the Ontario Heritage Trust board and, with Prof. Shelley McKellar, I manage the Medical Artifact Collection at Western.