Donald Wright



Political Science

Tilley Hall 216

1 506 458 7494

Donald Wright completed his degrees at Mount Allison University (BA), McGill University (MA) and the University of Ottawa (PhD). In 1998 he was a Fulbright Scholar in the Department of History at NYU. Prior to joining UNB, he held a joint appointment in the Department of History and Centre for Canadian Studies at Brock University (2000-2005). In 2011-2012, he was a Visiting Fellow at Clare Hall, University of Cambridge.

Dr. Wright's book, The Professionalization of History in English Canada, was shortlisted by the Canadian Historical Association for the Sir John A. Macdonald Prize for best book in Canadian history.

Donald Creighton: A Life in History was published by the University of Toronto Press in 2015. It was a finalist for the 2017 Canada Prize awarded by the Federation of Humanities and Social Sciences.

In 2018, he co-edited Symbols of Canada, a collection of short essays on popular Canadian symbols and what they reveal about changing definitions of Canada.

In July 2020 he published Canada: A Very Short Introduction as part of Oxford University Press's Very Short Introduction series.

He is currently writing a SSHRC-supported book about historian Ramsay Cook.

Don has been an active member of the larger academic community. He served on the executive of the Canadian Historical Association and co-edited the CHA Bulletin/Bulletin SHC (1994-2002); he co-edited of the Journal of Canadian Studies/Revue d'études canadiennes (2005-2008); he chaired the program committee for the 2011 annual meeting of the Canadian Historical Association; he was a member of the CHA Nominating Committee (2012-2014), of the Sir John A. Macdonald Prize Committee (2012-2014), and of the Garneau Medal Committee (2015); he co-edited Acadiensis: Journal of the History of Atlantic Region (2019-21); and he was the review editor at the Canadian Historical Review (2016-2022).

He is currently the vice-president of the Canadian Historical Association. And in January 2022, he was invited to be a regular contributor to Yale Climate Connections, a climate change multimedia service.

Finally, Dr. Wright has received a number of awards in recognition of his teaching, including the UNB Arts Faculty Teaching Award (2010), the Brock University Faculty of Humanities Award for Excellence in Teaching (2005), and the St. Thomas University Student Union Honour Roll for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching (1997).

Selected publications

Symbols of Canada. With Michael Dawson and Catherine Gidney. Toronto: BTL, 2018.

Introduction to Ramsay Cook, The Regenerators: Social Criticism in Late Victorian English Canada, University of Toronto Press, 2016

Donald Creighton: A Life in History, University of Toronto Press, 2015

Introduction to Luella Creighton, The Elegant Canadians, Oxford University Press, 2013

Introduction to Donald Creighton, The Road to Confederation, Oxford University Press, 2012

Introduction to Donald Creighton, Canada's First Century, Oxford University Press, 2012

"Creighton, Donald Grant," Dictionary of Canadian Biography,vol. 20, 2013

"The Writing of the History of Canada and of South Africa," Oxford History of Historical Writing, vol. 4, Oxford University Press, 2011. Co-authored with Chris Saunders.

The Professionalization of History in English Canada, University of Toronto Press, 2005.

Canadian Studies: An Introductory Reader, Kendall-Hunt, 2004.

The Canadian Historical Association: A History Ottawa, 2003.


POLS 1803: The Politics of Climate Change studies climate change and its global political challenges, from security to climate refugees and from mitigation to adaptation.

POLS 2202: Canadian Politics examines national and provincial politics with a specific focus on liberalism, the welfare state, and federalism; Quebec nationalism, the Charter of Rights, and gay liberation; post-Fordism, neo-liberalism, and the re-definition of the welfare state.

POLS 3105: American Politics examines the United States since the 1960s.  Specific topics include the Cold War, the expansion and contraction of the welfare state, the Civil Rights Movement, the Second Wave women's movement, the war against Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, the rise of the New Right and the New Christian Right, and the war on terror.

POLS 3251: Canadian Federalism is a senior-level course that, as its name suggests, studies Canadian federalism. It recognizes that Canadian federalism is not static but changes over time to accommodate new demographic, political and fiscal realities. Specific topics include Confederation, the French-English axis, the federal-provincial axis, and the role of the JCPC and the Supreme Court.

POLS 3247: Trudeau's Canada studies the life, times and legacy of Pierre Trudeau. Specific topics will include the changing face of Quebec nationalism, bilingualism, multiculturalism, federalism, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the failed Meech Lake Accord. Through biographies, books, movies, documentaries and letters to the editor on the occasion of his death, the course will also examine Mr. Trudeau as a cultural icon.

HIST 6301: The Making of Canadian History is a graduate-level course in the Department of History.  It surveys the writing of history in English and French Canada from the mid-nineteenth century to the present.