Craig Dobbin Chair in Canadian Studies

The Craig Dobbin Chair was established in the 1990s, a legacy of Dr. Craig Dobbin of St John's, Newfoundland, whose forebears came from Co. Waterford, Ireland. The Craig Dobbin Professorship of Canadian Studies was endowed and established at UCD in 1994,  through Professor John Kelly, when he was Registrar of the College, in conjunction with the Ireland Canada University Foundation. Since then, the Professorship has been held by several Canadian scholars, as follows:


Craig Dobbin Professors


2020-21 Craig Dobbin Professor Renée Hulan

Renée Hulan’s family left Newfoundland and lived in Quebec, Ontario, and Nova Scotia while she was growing up.  She studied at Acadia University and the University of Guelph, and received her PhD from McGill University.  Before joining the faculty at Saint Mary’s University and moving to Halifax in 1997, she was a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of British Columbia.  Dr. Hulan’s research focuses on literary representations of the North, and in recent years, she has studied the influence of climate change on Arctic literature and visual culture as part of the Arctic Modernities research group at the University of Tromsø, Norway and the Laboratoire international d’étude multidisciplinaire comparée des répresentations du Nord at UQÀM.   She is the author of Climate Change and Writing the Canadian Arctic (Palgrave, 2018), Canadian Historical Writing: Reading the Remains (Palgrave, 2014) and Northern Experience and the Myths of Canadian Culture (McGill-Queens, 2002).  She has published in academic journals and reference works such as The Oxford Handbook of Canadian Literature and The Oxford Companion to Canadian Literature.  She edited Native North America: Critical and Cultural Perspectives (ECW, 1999) and, with Renate Eigenbrod, Aboriginal Oral Traditions: Theory, Practice, Ethics (Fernwood, 2008).  She has served on several editorial and advisory boards and as vice-president of Association of Canadian and Quebec Literatures/Association des littératures canadiennes et québécoises (ACQL-ALCQ) and president of the Canadian Studies Network-Réseau d’études canadiennes (CSN-RÉC).  From 2005-2008, she and Donald Wright co-edited the Journal of Canadian Studies/Revue d’études canadiennes.






2019-20 Craig Dobben Professor Raymond Blake 

Raymond B. Blake is Professor of History at the University of Regina in Regina, Saskatchewan. An award-winning author and historian, he has written and edited 20 book on various aspects of Canadian history. His work has focused on the interplay between statecraft, citizenship, and political leadership to show the complexity of policy public decisions in modern Canada. His scholarship has helped illuminate the history of federal-provincial relations, enhanced our understanding of the evolution of social welfare programs in Canada, and probed questions of citizenship and identity. By focusing on issues such as equity, inclusion and democracy, Blake has been an influential force on the discourse of the public good, and his research has been important to policy-makers.His most recent work has challenged the orthodoxy surrounding citizenship, arguing for a better appreciation of the competence of voters.

Blake grew up in rural Newfoundland and attended Memorial University, earning degrees in Arts and Education. After teaching for several years in St. Anthony in northern Newfoundland, he completed his graduate education at York University in Toronto from which he earned his PhD. He has taught at a number of Canadian universities, including the University of Alberta, St. Thomas University and Mount Allison University where he was the director of the Centre for Canadian Studies and at Phillipps-Universitat Marburg in Germany and University College Dublin in Ireland. He has lectured on Canada at universities throughout Canada and around the world, most recently at Université de Bretagne-Sud in Lorient, France.

Blake’s most recent publication, Where Once They Stood: Newfoundland’s Rocky Road to Confederation (University of Regina Press, 2019), co-authored with Dr. Melvin Baker, challenges the existing historiography on Canada’s Confederation and argues for a greater consideration of voter competence when they make decisions with which the established elites disagree. His 2016 book, Lions or Jellyfish: A History of Newfoundland-Ottawa Relations, was awarded the Clio Prize for Best Book in Atlantic Canada History by the Canadian Historical Association-Canadian Historical Association-Société historique du Canada , 2016 and the Canadian Studies Network-Réseau d'études canadiennes Prize for the Best Book in Canadian Studies, awarded annually for the outstanding scholarly book on a Canadian subject that best advances our knowledge and understanding of Canada and Canadian Studies. The book was also nominated for two Saskatchewan Book Awards.  Blake is also co-author of an introductory history of Canada, Conflict and Compromise. Post-Confederation Canada and Conflict and Compromise. Pre-Confederation Canada (University of Toronto Press, 2017) and has recently co-edited two books on commemoration, national holidays and national identity in Canada. He is currently at work on a book on prime ministers and the construction of national identity.

Blake has held numerous Research Awards from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and was awarded the University of Regina Alumni Excellence Award for Research in 2016. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.


gregory2018-19 Craig Dobben Professor Gregory Betts 

‌Gregory is Professor of English at Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada.  He is a poet, scholar, and editor who has published fifteen books of experimental Canadian writing. Gregory has been a tireless advocate for literature in Canada, digging up lost gems from the past (such as Lawren Harris’ poetry, which he published in a best-selling collection called Contrasts In the Ward, a Book of Poetry and Paintings) and highlighting contemporary avant-garde work (such as his forthcoming collection, co-edited with Christian Bök, Avant Canada: Poets, Prophets, Revolutionaries, due out this Fall). As a poet, he has performed his poetry and music across Canada, the United States, and Europe, including performing at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics as part of the Cultural Olympiad. To promote literature and literacy in his hometown, Betts launched the Festival of Readers in 2016 and remains its Artistic Director.

Students can take two Modules Professor Betts, both in term two:

 ENG10190    Introduction to Canadian Studies


 ENG 31840 Conflict in Canadian Literature


Photo Credit: Nicholas Tinkl

2017-18 Craig Dobbin Professor Jane Urquhart

Jane Urquhart is the author of eight internationally acclaimed novels, among them The Whirlpool (winner, Le prix du meilleur livre étranger, France); Away (winner, Trillium Award, Canada); The Underpainter, (winner, Governor General’s Award, Canada; finalist, The Orange Prize, UK); and The Stone Carvers, (finalist, The Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Award, Canada; finalist, Booker Prize, UK). She is the author of a collection of short fiction, and four books of poetry, and she has also written a biography of Lucy Maud Montgomery, and was editor of the Penguin Book of Canadian Short Stories. Her work, which is published in many countries, has been translated into numerous foreign languages. Urquhart has received the Marian Engel Award and the Harbourfront Festival Prize. She is a Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France, and is an Officer of the Order of Canada. In 2016 she published A Number of Things; Stories of Canada told through 50 Objects, which was commissioned by publisher HarperCollins to celebrate Canada’s sesquicentennial.

English Students can take two Modules with this Booker-Prize Nominated author!

ENG10190: Introduction to Canadian Studies

ENG31740: Canadian Literature: Narratives of Migration 


‌2016-17: Professor Linda Morra, Bishop’s University (Canadian Literature)
Linda Morra is this year’s Craig Dobbin Chair of Canadian Studies at UCD. Her book, Unarrested Archives: Case Studies in Twentieth-Century Women’s Authorship (UTP 2014), was a finalist for the Gabrielle Roy Prize. She edited Jane Rule’s autobiography, Taking My Life (Talon 2011, shortlisted for the LAMBDA Award) and co-edited Basements and Attics, Closets and Cyberspace: Explorations in Canadian Women’s Archives (WLUP 2012). Her research interests encompass Canadian women’s autobiography and biography, theories of the archive, gender, and national identity.
2015-16: Professor Jane Koustas, Brock University (French-Canadian Literature)
Jane Koustas, who has served as the Craig Dobbin Chair several times, is a Professor in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at Brock University, where she also directed Canadian Studies. Her most recent book is entitled Robert Lepage on the Toronto Stage: Language, Identity, Nation (McGill-Queen’s UP, 2016). She also published Landscapes and Landmarks of Canada: Real, Imagined, (Re)viewed with Maeve Conrick et. al, based on research presented at an Association for Canadian Studies in Ireland conference (WLUP, 2016).
2014-15: Professor Brian Foss, Carleton University (Art History)
Brian Foss is Director of the School for Studies in Art and Culture at Carleton University, and held the Craig Dobbin Chair at UCD in 2014-15. He publishes and curates extensively in historical Canadian art. Most recently he co-organized (with Jacques Des Rochers) the award-winning exhibition 1920s Modernism in Montreal: The Beaver Hall Group for the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (2015).
2013-14: Professor Robin Elliot, University of Toronto (Music)
Robin Elliott studied music at Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada and at the University of Toronto (PhD, 1990). He was appointed to the Jean A. Chalmers Chair in Canadian Music at the University of Toronto in 2002. Prior to that he was a faculty member in music at University College Dublin from 1996 to 2002. He returned to UCD as the Craig Dobbin Professor of Canadian Studies in 2013. The main focus of his scholarly work is composed Canadian music; he has produced a dozen books and editions of music (as author or editor), and 100 articles of varying length in that field.
2010-2011 Professor Jane Koustas, Brock University (French-Canadian Literature)
(See above)
2009-10 Professor Raymond Blake, University of Regina (Canadian History)
Raymond B. Blake is professor and head of the Department of History at the University of Regina. Previously, he was Director of the Centre for Canadian Studies at Mount Allison University and Director of the Saskatchewan Institute of Public Policy. He has taught at a number of universities throughout Canada, and was Visiting Professor of Canadian Studies at Philipps-Universitat Marburg in Germany. His primary field of study is Canadian political history, but he has published broadly within that research field on such topics as Confederation, federalism, citizenship and national identity, and social policy. He has published and edited 16books, numerous book chapters, and articles in Canada’s leading academic journals, including the Canadian Historical Review and Acadiensis. His current project is a study of how Canada’s prime ministers have articulated a national identity for the country which is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canda
2005-06 Professor Jane Koustas, Brock University (French-Canadian Literature)
(See above)
2003-05 Professor Linda Cardinal, University of Ottawa (Political Science)
Linda Cardinal, professor at the School of Political Studies, is the Chaire de recherche sur la francophonie et les politiques publiques of the University of Ottawa. She is also known for her work on the themes of identity and citizenship in Canada and Québec politics as well as federalism, institutions, political représentations and the history of ideas. As an international expert who contributes to the research on Canada's francophone minorities in Canadian politics, she has also published numerous articles and directed several works related to these themes. From 2001 to 2004, she directed the journal of political science “Politique et societies.” In 2013, she was elected at the Royal Society of Canada. In 2014, she was nominated Chevalière in the Ordre des Palmes Académiques of the French Republic.
1999-2000 Professor Wayne Davies, University of Calgary (Canadian Geography)
Wayne Kenneth David Davies completed his Bachelor of Science and his Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D) at the University of Wales. Following appointments at the University of Southampton and University College of Swansea, Davies joined the Department of Geography at the University of Calgary in 1974. His publications include The Conceptual Revolution in Geography, Urban Social Structure: A Multivariate Structural Analysis of Cardiff and its Region and Writing Geographical Exploration: James and the Northwest Passage, 1631-33.
1998-99 Professor John Moss, University of Ottawa (Canadian Literature)
Professor John Moss, Professor Emeritus from the University of Ottawa, became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2005. He is author of several books, including Being Fiction (2001), The Paradox of Meaning: Cultural Poetics and Critical Fictions (1999), and Invisible Among the Ruins: Field Notes of a Canadian in Ireland (2000). He editedMargaret Atwood: The Open Eye (2006) andwith another Craig Dobbin Chair, Dr. Linda Morra, co-edited At the Speed of Light There is Only Illumination (2004).
‌1995-97 Professor Dennis Duffy of Innes College, University of Toronto (Canadian Literature)
During his inaugural period as Craig Dobbin Chair (1995-97), Dennis Duffy assumed tutorial and lectorial responsibilities in various UCD courses involving Canadian and American texts and plays on both the Belfield and Black rock campuses, and at Maynooth also. Extensive and frequent meetings with scholars and administrators, departmental and University shaped his daily routines, as he sought to make the presence of Canadian studies felt both at UCD and elsewhere (Maynooth, TCD, QUB, Edinburgh), as well as on RTE. Playing an active role in the annual conferences of the Irish Association of Canadian Studies, he also organized a conference on Irish and Canadian topics (peacekeeping), held at the Embassy of Canada. The conference - as well as a number of formal and informal gatherings - embodied the extensive ties forged between the Embassy and the CD Chair's presence, both on and off-campus. The first year of the Chair witnessed a Canadian studies week on the Belfield campus, featuring both local and prominent Canadian diplomatic and political Canadian figures.