A tale of two presidents

In a coincidence that reflects the expertise within UPEI’s Department of History, two faculty members are currently presidents of their respective national research associations. Dr. Ed MacDonald is in his second year as president of the Canadian Catholic Historical Association (CCHA), and Dr. James Moran is beginning his first year as president of the Canadian Society for the History of Medicine (CSHM).

“It’s remarkable,” joked Dr. MacDonald, “when you consider the history department here has just eight full-time faculty members. We were talking about it the other day and realized, hey—this may be a first for UPEI!”

The CCHA was founded in 1933, making it one of the oldest historical associations in Canada. It stages an annual national conference—which Dr. MacDonald, as president, will chair. It also publishes a peer-reviewed academic journal, and issues a regular newsletter to its membership.

“I have always considered myself more of a historian of Prince Edward Island than a ‘religious historian,’” said Dr. MacDonald. “However, my doctoral dissertation tackled the history of a Roman Catholic college, St. Dunstan's University, one of UPEI's predecessors, and religion has always been central to the Island's social and cultural history. It’s a privilege to work with some great people and to enlarge my own understanding of what we mean today by ‘Catholic history.’”

Learn more about the CCHA at cchahistory.ca/about.

Dr. Moran has been a member of the CSHM since the early 1990s and has presented research papers at the society’s annual conferences. Before becoming the CSHM’s president, he served as the regional representative for Ontario and Atlantic Canada, and as vice-president.
“My research as a historian fits well with the CSHM,” said Dr. Moran. “My main interest is the history of psychiatry and mental health, but I also research the history of infectious diseases. As CSHM president my job is to promote the history of health and medicine and—like with Ed and the CCHA—to keep the organization's various activities running smoothly.”

The CSHM was founded in 1950 to promote the study, research, and communication of the history of health and medicine. It holds an annual conference at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, and publishes an academic journal called the Canadian Bulletin of Medical History. It also partners with a charitable organization in Ontario called Associated Medical Services to offer funding for guest speakers and a competitive studentship program for Canadian undergraduate students pursuing research in medical history.

Learn more about the CSHM at cshm-schm.ca.

“It's a testament to the expertise within the Department of History that two current faculty members are leading their respective national research associations,” said Dr. Robert Gilmour, UPEI's vice-president research. “I want to congratulate both James and Ed, and thank them for demonstrating to their peers the hard work, creativity, and scholarship that defines the research community at UPEI.”