David Frank

My teaching and research interests are in Canadian History, especially labour, social and political history, the history of Atlantic Canada, and film history. I am a past editor of Acadiensis: Journal of the History of the Atlantic Region and am the former managing editor of Acadiensis Press. I have served as president of the Canadian Committee on Labour History and director of the New Brunswick Labour History Project. I hold degrees from the University of Toronto (Honours B. A.) and Dalhousie University (M.A. and Ph. D.).  Time and tide wait for none of us, however.  I have taken retirement as of July 2015 and am not currently offering courses or undertaking graduate supervisions.

Recent courses at the University of New Brunswick:

  • History 1315: Canadian History on Film
  • History 2300: An Introduction to Canadian History
  • History 3331: The Canadian Worker to 1914
  • History 3332: The Canadian Worker since 1914
  • History 5331: Film and History in Canada
  • History 5335:  A History of the Canadian Left
  • History 6301: The Making of Canadian History
  • History 6302: Atlantic Canada

Recent books:

Provincial Solidarities: A History of the New Brunswick Federation of Labour (2013). Also published in French as Solidarités provinciales : Histoire de la Fédération des travailleurs et travailleuses du Nouveau-Brunswick

Labour Landmarks in New Brunswick / Lieux historiques ouvriers au Nouveau-Brunswick (2010), with Nicole Lang, Université de Moncton

J.B. McLachlan: A Biography (1999). A prizewinning account of the life and times of the champion of the Cape Breton coal miners.

Recent articles and book chapters:

"Public Goods and Good Jobs: The Byrne Report and the Labour Question in New Brunswick, 1963-1968", Acadiensis, XLV, 1 (Winter/Spring 2016), pp. 91-101.

"An Early Workers' Assembly: Notes on a Role-Playing Exercise in Canadian History", Our Schools/Our Selves, Vol. 25, No. 1 (#121), Fall 2015, pp. 123-34.

"The Devil's Drum: Seditious Libel in Industrial Cape Breton, 1923", Canadian State Trials, vol. IV: Security, Dissent and the Limits of Toleration in War and Peace, 1914-1939, eds. Barry Wright, Susan Binnie and Eric Tucker (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2015), pp. 261-89, 499-503.

 "McLachlan, James Bryson", Dictionary of Canadian Biography, Vol. XVI (2013)

Organized Labour and the Making of Public Policy in Twentieth-Century New Brunswick”, Journal of New Brunswick Studies/Revue d’études sur le Nouveau-Brunswick, Issue 2 (2011).

“Why Us? The Campaign against Wage Controls in Saint John, New Brunswick, 1975-76”, Mobilizations, Protests and Engagements: Canadian Perspectives on Social Movements, eds. Marie Hammond-Callaghan and Matthew Hayday (Winnipeg: Fernwood Publishing, 2008), pp. 211-21.

Minto 1932: The Origins and Significance of a New Brunswick Labour Landmark”, Acadiensis, XXXVI, 2 (Spring 2007), pp. 3-27. 

“In Search of the Canadian Labour Film”, Working on Screen: Representations of the Working Class in Canadian Cinema, eds. Malek Khouri and Darrell Varga (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2006), pp. 25-45.

Website features:

“James Sugrue”, “Célime A. Melanson”, “James Tighe”, “E.R. Steeves”, “James A. Whitebone”, “Minto 1932”, “Saint John 1976”, “Hot Cargo, 1979”, “Executive Officers of the New Brunswick Federation of Labour” [database]: these and other features on New Brunswick labour history are at www.lhtnb.ca [also presented in French].

Recent reviews and commentaries:

"A giant in Maritime history: E.R. 'Ernie' Forbes", Telegraph Journal (Saint John), 18 November 2015, p. A9. Reprinted in Canadian Historical Association Bulletin, vol. 42, no. 1 (March 2016), p. 44.

"A Fish Box and a Folk Festival", www.activehistory.ca, 15 July 2015.

"Section 36: Please don't shoot the bookmobile", NB Media Co-op, 8 June 2015.  Also published in Telegraph Journal (Saint John), 1 June 2015, p. A7.

"The Young Frye in Moncton", Telegraph Journal (Saint John), 25 April 2015, p. S3.

"My Mother's Six Step Canada Post Home Delivery Exemption Story", NB Media Co-op, 25 April 2015. Also published as "How to keep mail delivered to your door in six steps", Daily Gleaner (Fredericton), 25 April 2015, p. A11.

"Tim McCarthy: A New Brunswick Citizen-Worker", NB Media Co-op, 13 April 2015.  Also published as "McCarthy described as a New Brunswick citizen-worker", Miramichi Leader, 13 April 2015, p. 5.

"Labour Day Honours Workers Past and Present", Ottawa Citizen, 30 August 2014, p. D7.

"Danger and Disaster at Work, 100 Years Later", The Daily Gleaner, 2 May 2014, p. D3.

Review of P.B. Waite, In Search of R.B. Bennett (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2012), in University of Toronto Quarterly, vol. 83, no. 2 (Spring 2014), pp. 414-16.

"From the Margins to the Centre: Women in the New Brunswick Federation of Labour", Women Suffrage and Beyond: Confronting the Democratic Deficit (28 July 2013)

Review of Esyllt Jones and Adele Perry, eds., People’s Citizenship Guide: A Response to Conservative Canada (Winnipeg: Arbeiter Ring Publishing, 2011), in Our Times, vol. 31, no. 6 (December 2012-January 2013), pp. 39-41.

Review of Sean Wilentz, Bob Dylan in America (New York: Doubleday, 2010), in Labour/Le Travail, 68 (Fall 2011), pp. 214-17.

“Don’t forget Equal Opportunity and the Constitution”, Telegraph-Journal, 22 March 2011, p. A9.

Review of Darrell Varga, ed., Rain/Drizzle/Fog: Film and Television in Atlantic Canada (Calgary: Calgary University Press, 2009), Canadian Historical Review, vol. 91, no. 1 (March 2010), pp. 178-80.  

Recent graduate supervisions:

Ryan Stairs, "The Making of a Labour Activist: James W. Orr, Saint John, New Brunswick, 1936-2009" (M.A., 2014)

Lachlan MacKinnon, “Labour Landmarks in Industrial Cape Breton, 1922-2011” (M.A., 2012)

Donald Nerbas, “The Politics of Capital: The Crisis and Transformation of Canada’s Big Bourgeoisie, 1917-1947” (Ph.D., 2010)

Patrick Marsh, “Machinists of Moncton: The Endeavours of Local 594, International Association of Machinists, 1916-1933” (M.A., 2010)

Kimberley Dunphy, “The Feminization of the Labour Movement in New Brunswick: Women in the New Brunswick Federation of Labour, 1913-1984” (M.A., 2009)

Ashley Harding, “Nathan Cohen is for Mourning: A Cape Breton Play in Toronto, 1953” (M.A. Report, 2009)


Provincial Solidarities

Frank, J.B. McLachlan David Frank's Landmarks Frank, issue of Labour History Acadiensis 3

Contact Information:

David Frank

Office: Tilley 117
Phone: (506)458-7431