Sean Cadigan

Professor, Department of History 
Phone: (709) 864 4898

Research Interests

Sean Cadigan’s research interests include the social and ecological history of fishers and fishing communities and the development of fisheries science. He studies management and development policies in cold-ocean coastal areas, and is working on the history of labour relations in the Newfoundland and Labrador offshore oil and gas industry.

Much of his research has been supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada through standard and collaborative research grants. Other awards relevant to maritime history include the William E. and Mary B. Ritter Memorial Fellowship for the study of the history of marine science, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California at San Diego (2006-07); the Canadian Historical Association Merit Award for Regional History (Atlantic) for Hope and Deception in Conception Bay: Merchant-Settler Relations in Newfoundland, 1785-1855 (1996); and the Canadian Nautical Research Society, Keith Matthews Award for the best article in Canadian maritime history (1991). His latest book, Death on Two Fronts: National Tragedies and the Fate of Democracy in Newfoundland, 1914-34, published by Allen Lane in 2013, is a study of the relationship between the seal hunt and the Great War in Newfoundland political culture.


Sean Cadigan has been a professor of history at Memorial University since 2001. From 2010 to 2013 he served as head of the History department, and from 2006 to 2010 he served as the director of the Master of Employment Relations program here. Cadigan came to Memorial from Dalhousie University, where he was an associate professor of history teaching in the areas of maritime labour history, the history of fisheries, and Canadian history. While at Dalhousie, Cadigan was a member of its Marine Affairs Program, serving as an acting director and teaching a graduate course on “Contemporary Issues in Oceans Management and Development.” He also served as acting coordinator of Dalhousie’s International Development Studies program.


  • Memorial University of Newfoundland, PhD (History), 1991.
  • Queen's University at Kingston, MA (History), 1987.
  • Memorial University of Newfoundland, BA (Hons.)(History), 1985.