Professor Emeritus
BA (Honours), University of Alberta
MA and PhD, University of Toronto

Ken Dewar grew up in Edmonton and taught at the University of Victoria, Wilfrid Laurier, and Carleton before coming to the Mount in 1982. He also owned a bookstore for a number of years in Elora, Ontario. He retired in June 2011 and was awarded Professor Emeritus status in the Department of History.

His research interests lie in the fields of historiography and Canadian intellectual history. His most recent book, Frank Underhill and the Politics of Ideas (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2015), traces the evolution of Underhill’s thought and examines his pioneering role as an intellectual and his social democratic vision of politics. In 2009, Prof. Dewar delivered the W.C. Desmond Pacey Memorial Lecture at the University of New Brunswick on “F.H. Underhill and the Making of ‘The Intellectual,’” later published in History of Intellectual Culture, Vol. 8 (2008/09) (

Prof. Dewar received the Alumnae Award for Teaching in 2002, the Senate Award for Service in University Governance in 2009, and the Canadian Association of University Teachers Dedicated Service Award in 2010. He served on the Council of the Canadian Historical Association from 1992 to 1995.

Select Publications:

“Liberalism, Social Democracy and Tom Kent,” Journal of Canadian Studies, 53, 1 (Winter 2019): 178-96

“Varieties of Historical Representation,” Journal of the Canadian Historical Association, 26, 2 (2016): 3-10 (Panel on Mark Phillips, On Historical Distance)

“The Social Democracy Question,” Active History, 10 June 2015 (

Frank Underhill and the Politics of Ideas (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2015).

“Introduction” to Frank H. Underhill, In Search of Canadian Liberalism (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2013 [1960]).

“Frank Underhill: The Historian as Essayist,” The Underhill Review, Fall 2007 (

“Hilda Neatby’s 1950s and My 1950s,” Journal of Canadian Studies, Vol. 40, No.1 (Winter 2006), 210‑31.

Charles Clarke, Pen and Ink Warrior (Montreal and Kingston: McGill‑Queen’s University Press, 2002).

“Intellectual History,” Encyclopaedia of Literature in Canada, ed. W. H. New (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2002).

“Geoffrey Barraclough: From Historicism to Historical Science,” The Historian, Vol. 56, No. 3 (Spring 1994), 449‑64.

“Where to Begin and How: Narrative Openings in Donald Creighton’s Historiography,” Canadian Historical Review, Vol. LXXII, No. 3 (September, 1991), 348‑69.