Ronald Rudin

Current affiliation:
Concordia University

Professor Rudin is a renowned public historian who innovatively combines various technologies and media -- books, films, Internet, and GPS -- to tell stories about the past.

Ronald Rudin’s research touches on issues of Canadian cultural and environmental history. In terms of cultural matters, Ronald explore how the past is presented to the public through such tools as commemorative events, monuments, and artistic creations. Which stories from the past are chosen for public representation, and how are they presented? In this regard, he is currently directing the Lost Stories Project which takes little known stories about the Canadian past, transforms them into public art, and then documents the process by way of documentary film. More specifically, his work focuses on how Acadians, the French-speakers of Atlantic Canada, have presented their past, particularly in regard to specific aspects of the environment that they view as reflecting their identity.

Research projects

Professor Rudin's interest in public history is particularly evident in his book, Remembering and Forgetting in Acadie: A Historian's Journey through Public Memory and the associated website:, winner of both the 2010 book award of the National (U.S.) Council on Public History and the inaugural public history prize of the Canadian Historical Association (2011). This project-which reflects on how Acadians and their neighbours have engaged with the past-also led to Dr Rudin's production of the documentary film Life After Île Ste-Croix, made in conjunction with Leo Aristimuño and distributed by the National Film Board of Canada. He is also the producer of Remembering a Memory/Mémoire d'un souvenir, a documentary film that deals with the Celtic Cross on Grosse-Île and explores shifting memories in Quebec of the Irish potato famine of the 1840s. This project was carried out in collaboration with Robert McMahon and is available at

Rudin's continued interest in the public memory of Acadians is evident in his current research that sits at the intersection of public, cultural and environmental history by exploring both the history and memory of the establishment of Kouchibouguac National Park in New Brunswick, whose creation in 1969 led to the expropriation of over 200 (mostly Acadian) families.


Ronald Rudin, who earned both his MA and PhD from York University, is a professor of history at Concordia University. He engages in research that touches upon the economic, social, intellectual and cultural history of French Canada.

A fellow of the Royal Society of Canada since 2009, Professor Rudin has been both chair of the History Department at Concordia and a Concordia University Research Fellow. He was also the Academic Convenor for the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences held at Concordia in 2010. In 2013, he was appointed co-director of Concordia's Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling.

The author of six books and producer of two documentary films, he is a public historian who has long had an interest in how the larger population comes to understand the past.

  • May 3, 2016
    Several Foundation members will take part in two major annual gatherings of Canadian academics: the 84thCongress of l'Association francophone pour le savoir (ACFAS) will take place from 9 to 13 May at Université du Québec à Montréal on the theme of “Meeting points,” and the 85thCongress of the Humanities and Social Sciences will take place at University of Calgary, from 28 May to 3 June on the theme of “Energizing communities.”
  • July 10, 2015
    Trudeau fellow Ronald Rudin has launched the website for the Lost Stories Project, supported by his Trudeau fellowship. The project seeks out little-known stories about the Canadian past, transforms them into inexpensive works of public art, and documents the process in short films. The website features the project's pilot film, which tells the lost story of Thomas Widd, a deaf man who founded Montreal's Mackay School for the Deaf in the late nineteenth century.
  • June 13, 2014
    2011 Trudeau Fellow Ronald Rudin won the 2014 prize with the Canadian Committee on Public History, affiliated with the Canadian Historical Association. Ronald and his team created a website that repatriates the voices of residents from seven New Brunswick communities who were removed from their lands in the 1970s to create Kouchibouguac National Park.
  • April 15, 2014
    2011 Trudeau fellow Ronald Rudin will premier his documentary film Thomas Widd’s Lost Story on May 7th in Montreal. The film is the first in Professor Rudin’s Lost Stories series, which seeks out little-known stories about Canadian history, turns them into public art, and documents the process by way of short documentary films.
  • February 18, 2014
    L'Acadie : entre le souvenir et l'oubli
    The Éditions du Boréal has published ‘‘L’Acadie : entre le souvenir et l’oubli,’’ the French translation of ‘‘Remembering and Forgetting in Acadie,’’ written by 2011 Trudeau fellow Ronald Rudin.
  • June 4, 2013
    2011 Trudeau Fellow Ronald Rudin has developed, in collaboration with the multimedia producer Philip Lichti, a website, Returning the Voices to Kouchibouguac National Park, to tell a wide range of stories inspired by the experiences of the residents who have been expropriated for the creation of the Kouchibouguac National Park. In a virtual way, the residents can now return to their lands…