Wade Pfaff

Wade Pfaff was born in Toronto during the Civil Rights Movement to a family of South African educators. A musician, creative artist and academic, Wade’s interests range from conducting Canadian Black history research, to studying and playing music from the trans-Atlantic diaspora on guitar and drums, to developing cultural education programs for marginalized youth. After completing a Bachelor of Community Studies degree and a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Cape Breton University, where he was greatly influenced by Dr. Graham Reynolds, he went to Halifax to obtain a Master of Arts in Social Anthropology at Dalhousie University under the supervision of Dr. Afua Cooper. Wade is a Visiting-scholar-in-residence at Cape Breton University’s Centre for Sound Communities where he continues to study the relationship between the music of trans-Atlantic Black cultures during the early 20th century (especially Jazz and Blues) and improvements in civil rights for people-of-colour that came later in the century in Canada.

Steven Schwinghamer

Steven Schwinghamer is an historian at the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21. His research explores policies, practices, and places of immigration to Canada. His most recent publication is Pier 21: A History (UOP, 2020), co-authored with Jan Raska.

Judith Fingard

Judith Fingard, a retired history professor and a former president of the RNSHS as well as a fellow of the RNSHS and of the Royal Society of Canada, published a number of papers in the 1980s and 90s relating to the emergence of the black middle class in Halifax. This presentation covers some of the same ground, but with an emphasis on the opportunities for young women to improve their life chances in the face of the significant obstacles they encountered.

Paul Fraser Armstrong

Trained as an historical sociologist, Paul has held posts in economic development in municipalities in both Nova Scotia and Ontario. More recently, he was one of the organizers of the Irish Halifax SSHRC project and did research there on the early Mechanics’ Library in Halifax. He did his doctorate at Dalhousie University with work on the intellectual genealogy of the Antigonish Movement. His research is focussed now on the theory of civil society. He has considerable experience with non-profits at both the Board and staff level, and holds offices currently as President, Maritime Institute for Civil Society, Chair, KITH Observatory, Inc., and Treasurer, Genealogical Association of Nova Scotia.

Afua Cooper

Dr. Afua Cooper is professor of Black and African Diaspora Studies at Dalhousie University. She led the scholarly panel on Dalhousie’s History on Slavery and Race. An accomplished poet, Dr. Cooper was recently awarded the Portia White Prize for artistic and cultural excellence. On April 9, 2021 Dalhousie University announced that Dr. Cooper will be leading a three-year $1M+ federally funded project entitled ‘A Black People’s History of Canada.’ See the Dalhousie University announcement for more information.   

Laurie Glenn Norris

Laurie Glenn Norris is a writer of historical fiction and non-fiction, with a particular interest in the stories of women in nineteenth-century Nova Scotia. She is the author of three books, Cumberland County Facts and Folklore (Nimbus, 2009), Haunted Girl: Esther Cox and the Great Amherst Mystery (Nimbus, 2012; finalist for the 2013 Democracy 250 Atlantic Book Award for Historical Writing, and optioned for a feature film), and Found Drowned (Vagrant Press, 2019), her first novel.

Glenn Norris is currently transcribing and editing a book of letters whose working title is Paper Remains: The Life of a Nova Scotia Family in Documents

Glenn Norris holds an M.A. in History in Art from the University of Victoria. She has worked in the heritage and cultural field for over 25 years, and is currently employed with the Joggins Fossil Institute. She lives in River Hebert, Nova Scotia, with her husband Barry Norris, a freelance editor, their cat Dinah, and lots of books.


Grace McNutt

Grace McNutt hails from Sydney, Cape Breton. In 2014, she began her post-secondary studies at Cape Breton University as a Chancellor Scholarship recipient. Grace graduated in 2018 with her Bachelor of Arts Honours in History and was awarded the CBU Silver Medal for highest aggregate in a BA program and the Angus “Gus” Morrison Scholarship for excellence in history. In the Fall of 2018, Grace began her master’s studies at Saint Mary’s University. In 2019, she received a SSHRC Canadian Graduate Scholarship to complete her master’s thesis Oppression in the Shadows: The Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia and the Department of Indian Affairs, 1760-1950. In June 2020, Grace successfully defended her thesis and graduated from SMU with her Master of Arts in Atlantic Canada Studies as Valedictorian.

Jennifer Brady and Lindsey MacCallum

Jennifer Brady is a Registered Dietitian and Assistant Professor at Mount Saint Vincent University. Her broad interdisciplinary background informs her research interests which span critical, feminist perspectives of food, nutrition, eating, bodies, and expertise. She is particularly interested in the history and professionalization of dietetics and its forbearer, home economics, as well as health professionals’ roles in advancing social justice. Her work is primarily qualitative and includes oral history, phenomenology, autoethnography, collective biography, and the use of embodied methods, particularly cooking, as a mode of inquiry.

Lindsey MacCallum is the Scholarly Publishing Librarian at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She holds a BA History from the University of New Brunswick and a MA Librarianship from the University of Sheffield, UK. Her research interests include building capacity for scholarly communications at small academic institutions, the ethics of care in academia, and exploring the history of home economics in the Maritimes.

Sawyer Carnegie

Sawyer Carnegie is a second year MA Candidate in the Atlantic Canada Studies program at Saint Mary’s University. She completed her BA at Acadia University in 2017 where she double majored in English/Gender Studies. At Acadia, working under Dr. Claudine Bonner, she became interested in African Nova Scotian newspapers. Sawyer was born and raised in London, Ontario and has ancestral ties to Buxton, one of the first free Black settlements in Canada. She currently resides in Kjipuktuk, on the unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq or L’nu people.

Colonel (Ret’d) John L. Orr C

Photo caption: Colonel (Ret’d) Orr and his wife Cheri attend the induction of one of his favourite helicopters to the collection at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum on 9 December 2019.

Colonel Orr joined the Royal Canadian Navy in September 1963 and graduated in 1967 from the Royal Military College of Canada. Selected for aircrew duties, he completed five operational tours on the Sea King helicopter. Colonel Orr attended the Canadian Forces Command and Staff College and has held a variety of command and staff appointments in Canada, NATO and the Middle East. He retired from the Canadian Armed Forces in September 2000 and since then has volunteered as a researcher at the Shearwater Aviation Museum where he has concentrated his efforts on documenting the history of the Canadian Sea King helicopter as well as the history of the air station at Shearwater, Nova Scotia.