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The Art of Biography Conference

Presented by the

Dictionary of Canadian Biography

Department of History, University of Toronto


Saturday, March 22, 2014


Jackman Humanities Building, Room 100

170 St George Street (at Bloor), Toronto, Ontario



**Each talk will be 45 minutes long, followed by a 20-minute Q & A session**

9:30 | Opening remarks: DAVID A. WILSON, General Editor, Dictionary of Canadian Biography

9:40 | CECILIA MORGAN, “An (Almost) Accidental Biographer: Finding Lives in the Archives”

10:45 | Coffee break

11:05 | SUZANNE MORTON, “The Exploration of a ‘Hidden Life’ Performing ‘Unhistoric Acts’: Jane B. Wisdom and the Development of Social Work in Canada”

12:10 | Lunch (make own arrangements)

1:45 | JOHN ENGLISH, “Writing the Biography of Pierre Elliott Trudeau”

2:50 | Coffee break

3:10 | CHARLIE FORAN, “Richler Was Funny, Why Can’t You Be? On Writing the Biography of Mordecai Richler”

4:15 | Closing remarks: NICK TERPSTRA, Chair, Department of History, University of Toronto


Please RSVP to confirm attendance:

E-mail: michael.wilcox@mail.utoronto.ca

Or call (416) 946-8593




Dr. Cecilia MorganCecilia Morgan is a professor in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning, University of Toronto. Her publications include Heroines and History: Representation of Madeleine de Verchères and Laura Secord (with Colin M. Coates, University of Toronto Press, 2002) and “A Happy Holiday”: English-Canadians and Transatlantic Tourism, 18701930 (UTP, 2008). Her forthcoming books are Creating Colonial Pasts: History, Memory, and Commemoration in Southern Ontario, 18601980 and Crafting Canada’s Histories, 1750-2000 (both UTP). She is currently finishing a book on the travels of Indigenous men, women, and children from British North America to Britain and beyond, 1800–1914, and her new SSHRC-funded project explores the lives of English-Canadian actresses and their transnational careers, 1860s–1940s. Morgan also has written a number of biographical entries for the Dictionary of Canadian Biography

Suzanne Morton is a professor of history in the Department of History and Classical Studies at McGill University. She is presently the acting director of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada and co-editor of the Canadian Historical Review. Morton is a specialist in twentieth-century Canadian history, with a particular interest in gender, social values, and religion. Her book Wisdom, Justice and Charity: Canadian Social Welfare through the Life of Jane B. Wisdom18841975 is forthcoming with University of Toronto Press.

John EnglishJohn English is the director of the Bill Graham Centre for Contemporary International History at the Munk School of Global Affairs, Trinity College, University of Toronto. He is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Waterloo. He served as the general editor of the Dictionary of Canadian Biography from 2006 to 2013 and has written several political biographies.

Charlie ForanCharlie Foran is the author of eleven books, including the biographies Mordecai and Maurice Richard. In 2011, his biography of Mordecai Richler won the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction, the Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction, and the Hilary Weston Writer’s Trust for Literary Non-Fiction. His new novel, Planet Lolita, is being published in spring 2014. Charlie Foran is a senior fellow at Massey College, University of Toronto.