Sean R Kheraj

Department of History

Associate Professor

Office: Vari Hall, 2124
Phone: (416)736-2100 Ext: 30421
Emailkherajs@yorku.ca
Primary websitewww.seankheraj.com

I am an associate professor of Canadian and environmental history in the Department of History at York University.

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I am an associate professor of Canadian and environmental history in the Department of History at York University in Toronto, Ontario. I am also the director and a editor-in-chief of the Network in Canadian History and Environment where I host and produce Nature’s Past: Canadian Environmental History Podcast. For information about all my work, visit my website here

My current research looks at the history of oil pipelines in Canada. I have started some preliminary work on a history of oil pipeline spills in Canada. This project will provide a quantitative history of the transportation of liquid hydrocarbons via pipeline since 1949. It will also explore the historical social, economic, and environmental consequences of on-shore oil spills in Canada.

I am also currently working on a study of the interrelationship between humans, non-human animals, and urbanization in Canada. Canadians built their major cities in the nineteenth century with animals in mind. They were places intended to facilitate symbiosis between people and their domestic animals and exclude wild animals. During the twentieth century, Canadians worked to extirpate most of their domestic animals from the urban environment (except for those used for pleasure or companionship). My research aims to understand how these historical changes in urban human-animal relations transformed cities and changed human ideas about their relationship with non-human nature.

I am beginning work on a new research project that will examine the social and ecological consequences of the transfer of biota from the Old World to North America and the history of European colonization and biological expansion in Western Canada through a case study of the Red River colony. European colonization of Western Canada was dependent upon the transfer and propagation of plants, animals, and microbes from the eastern hemisphere. These invasive species were vital partners in European expansion in North America and facilitated substantial ecological transformations. This project has the potential to expand our knowledge of how human societies have responded and adapted to swift, fundamental ecological changes related to the introduction of invasive species.

My other major area of research interest is the study of historical conservation and parks policy to understand the role that people have played in creating protected natural spaces in Canada. In particular, my work on parks focuses on the interactions between human expectations of idealized wilderness and the volatile and unpredictable condition of complex ecosystems.

I am the author of the book, Inventing Stanley Park: An Environmental History. This book explores the changing relationship between humans and a relatively small peninsula on the Northwest Coast of North America that became a world-renowned urban park in the late nineteenth century. The book covers the long history of Vancouver’s Stanley Park from its deep geological past to the present, from its original occupancy by Coast Salish First Nations to its resettlement by European and Asian colonists to its transformation into an urban park.

Degrees

PhD, York University

Professional Leadership

Director/Editor-in-Chief, Network in Canadian History and Environment website (2014-present)

Chair of Academic Policy and Planning Committee, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies, York University (2015-present)

Co-Chair of Race Equity Caucus, York University Faculty Association (2016-present)

Award to Scholarly Publications Program Adjudication Committee, Canadian Federation of the Humanities and Social Sciences (2012-present)


Research Interests

History , Environment , Energy, Cities, Animals

All Publications

Books

Kheraj, Sean. Inventing Stanley Park: An Environmental History. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2013.

Book Chapters

Kheraj, Sean. “Animals and Urban Environments: Managing Domestic Animals in Nineteenth-Century Winnipeg” in Eco-Cultural Networks and the British Empire: New Views on Environmental History. Eds. James Beattie, Edward Melillo, and Emily O’Gorman. London: Bloomsbury, 2015. Pgs. 263-288.

Kheraj, Sean. “Living and Working with Domestic Animals in Nineteenth-Century Toronto” in Urban Explorations: Environmental Histories of the Toronto Region, edited by L. Anders Sandberg, Stephen Bocking, Colin Coates, and Ken Cruikshank, 120-140. Hamilton: L.R. Wilson Institute for Canadian History, 2013.

Journal Articles

Kheraj, Sean. “Borders and Ideas of Nature: Intersections in the Environmental Histories of Canada and the United States” Canadian Historical Review 95, no. 4 (2014): 604-609.

Kheraj, Sean. “Demonstration Wildlife: Negotiating the Animal Landscape of Vancouver’s Stanley Park, 1888-1996” Environment and History, 18 (4) 2012: 497-527.  Reprinted in Themes in Environmental History: Animals. Ed. Sarah Johnson. Cambridge, UK: White Horse Press, 2014. Pgs. 293-322.

Kheraj, Sean. “Improving Nature: Remaking Stanley Park’s Forest, 1888-1931” BC Studies (158) 2008: 63-90.

Kheraj, Sean. “Restoring Nature: Ecology, Memory, and the Storm History of Vancouver’s Stanley Park” Canadian Historical Review 88 (4) 2007: 577-612.

Kheraj, Sean. “Plaque Build-up: Commemorating the Buxton Settlement, 1950-2000” Problématique: Journal of Political Studies (9) 2003: 5-21.

Research Reports

“Historical Background Report: Trans Mountain Pipeline, 1947-2013” prepared for the City of Vancouver as evidence for National Energy Board hearings on proposed Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion, May 2015.

“Historical Overview of Stanley Park” in State of the Park Report for the Ecological Integrity of Stanley Park. Vancouver: Stanley Park Ecology Society, 2010.

Other

Kheraj, Sean. “Scholarship and Environmentalism: The Influence of Environmental Advocacy on Canadian Environmental History” Acadiensis 43.1 (Winter/Spring 2014): 195-206.

"The Unnatural History of Stanley Park Exhibit, Vancouver Museum" BC Studies (161) 2009: 115-124.


I am an associate professor of Canadian and environmental history in the Department of History at York University.


I am an associate professor of Canadian and environmental history in the Department of History at York University in Toronto, Ontario. I am also the director and a editor-in-chief of the Network in Canadian History and Environment where I host and produce Nature’s Past: Canadian Environmental History Podcast. For information about all my work, visit my website here

My current research looks at the history of oil pipelines in Canada. I have started some preliminary work on a history of oil pipeline spills in Canada. This project will provide a quantitative history of the transportation of liquid hydrocarbons via pipeline since 1949. It will also explore the historical social, economic, and environmental consequences of on-shore oil spills in Canada.

I am also currently working on a study of the interrelationship between humans, non-human animals, and urbanization in Canada. Canadians built their major cities in the nineteenth century with animals in mind. They were places intended to facilitate symbiosis between people and their domestic animals and exclude wild animals. During the twentieth century, Canadians worked to extirpate most of their domestic animals from the urban environment (except for those used for pleasure or companionship). My research aims to understand how these historical changes in urban human-animal relations transformed cities and changed human ideas about their relationship with non-human nature.

I am beginning work on a new research project that will examine the social and ecological consequences of the transfer of biota from the Old World to North America and the history of European colonization and biological expansion in Western Canada through a case study of the Red River colony. European colonization of Western Canada was dependent upon the transfer and propagation of plants, animals, and microbes from the eastern hemisphere. These invasive species were vital partners in European expansion in North America and facilitated substantial ecological transformations. This project has the potential to expand our knowledge of how human societies have responded and adapted to swift, fundamental ecological changes related to the introduction of invasive species.

My other major area of research interest is the study of historical conservation and parks policy to understand the role that people have played in creating protected natural spaces in Canada. In particular, my work on parks focuses on the interactions between human expectations of idealized wilderness and the volatile and unpredictable condition of complex ecosystems.

I am the author of the book, Inventing Stanley Park: An Environmental History. This book explores the changing relationship between humans and a relatively small peninsula on the Northwest Coast of North America that became a world-renowned urban park in the late nineteenth century. The book covers the long history of Vancouver’s Stanley Park from its deep geological past to the present, from its original occupancy by Coast Salish First Nations to its resettlement by European and Asian colonists to its transformation into an urban park.

Degrees

PhD, York University

Professional Leadership

Director/Editor-in-Chief, Network in Canadian History and Environment website (2014-present)

Chair of Academic Policy and Planning Committee, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies, York University (2015-present)

Co-Chair of Race Equity Caucus, York University Faculty Association (2016-present)

Award to Scholarly Publications Program Adjudication Committee, Canadian Federation of the Humanities and Social Sciences (2012-present)

Research Interests:

History , Environment , Energy, Cities, Animals

All Publications

Books

Kheraj, Sean. Inventing Stanley Park: An Environmental History. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2013.

Book Chapters

Kheraj, Sean. “Animals and Urban Environments: Managing Domestic Animals in Nineteenth-Century Winnipeg” in Eco-Cultural Networks and the British Empire: New Views on Environmental History. Eds. James Beattie, Edward Melillo, and Emily O’Gorman. London: Bloomsbury, 2015. Pgs. 263-288.

Kheraj, Sean. “Living and Working with Domestic Animals in Nineteenth-Century Toronto” in Urban Explorations: Environmental Histories of the Toronto Region, edited by L. Anders Sandberg, Stephen Bocking, Colin Coates, and Ken Cruikshank, 120-140. Hamilton: L.R. Wilson Institute for Canadian History, 2013.

Journal Articles

Kheraj, Sean. “Borders and Ideas of Nature: Intersections in the Environmental Histories of Canada and the United States” Canadian Historical Review 95, no. 4 (2014): 604-609.

Kheraj, Sean. “Demonstration Wildlife: Negotiating the Animal Landscape of Vancouver’s Stanley Park, 1888-1996” Environment and History, 18 (4) 2012: 497-527.  Reprinted in Themes in Environmental History: Animals. Ed. Sarah Johnson. Cambridge, UK: White Horse Press, 2014. Pgs. 293-322.

Kheraj, Sean. “Improving Nature: Remaking Stanley Park’s Forest, 1888-1931” BC Studies (158) 2008: 63-90.

Kheraj, Sean. “Restoring Nature: Ecology, Memory, and the Storm History of Vancouver’s Stanley Park” Canadian Historical Review 88 (4) 2007: 577-612.

Kheraj, Sean. “Plaque Build-up: Commemorating the Buxton Settlement, 1950-2000” Problématique: Journal of Political Studies (9) 2003: 5-21.

Research Reports

“Historical Background Report: Trans Mountain Pipeline, 1947-2013” prepared for the City of Vancouver as evidence for National Energy Board hearings on proposed Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion, May 2015.

“Historical Overview of Stanley Park” in State of the Park Report for the Ecological Integrity of Stanley Park. Vancouver: Stanley Park Ecology Society, 2010.

Other

Kheraj, Sean. “Scholarship and Environmentalism: The Influence of Environmental Advocacy on Canadian Environmental History” Acadiensis 43.1 (Winter/Spring 2014): 195-206.

"The Unnatural History of Stanley Park Exhibit, Vancouver Museum" BC Studies (161) 2009: 115-124.