Robert C.H. Sweeny

Robert SweenyPosition

Emeritus Professor of History, MUN.

Professeur associé, histoire, UQAM.


SSHRC Post-doctoral fellowship, University of Edinburgh, with R.J. Morris.

Ph.D. McGill University, with Richard Rice, Stephen Randall and Louise Dechêne.

M.A. UQAM, with Alfred Dubuc.

B.A. (Hons.) Sir George Williams University with Martin Singer, John Laffey and George Rudé.


2413-3535 Papineau, Montréal, Qc H2K 4J9
Phone: (514) 563-0016

Research Interests

Digital humanities; Historical theory and method; History of capitalism, Historical Materialism

Current Research Projects

Co-director of the historical GIS project Montréal, l'avenir du passé (MAP)

Gender, Property and National Identity.

Recent Publications

N.B. Many of my publications are available from

“From Commanding Overview to Administrative Tool: Representations of Montréal, 1825-1880.” The global city - The urban condition as a permeating phenomenon. Bologna: AISU, forthcoming.

“Gender and Social Relations in the City above the Hill”. Colonial Metropole: The Making and Transformation of Montreal’s Square Mile. Elizabeth Kirkland, Don Nerbas & Dimitry Anastakis (Eds.) University of Toronto Press, forthcoming.

“Herbert Molson.” Category III biography. Dictionary of Canadian Biography, University of Toronto Press, forthcoming.

« Les inégalités de richesse et le racisme au Canada. » Centre d’histoire des régulations sociales, UQAM. Lien

“The Rock is a Hard Place: Wealth redistribution in 21st century Newfoundland.” Who Pays for Canada? E.A. Heaman & David Tough (Eds.) Montréal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2020, 337-355.

Sharing Spaces: Essays in honour of Sherry Olson. Robert Sweeny (Ed.) Les presses de l’Université d’Ottawa and the Museum of Canadian History, Mercury Series, 2020.  

-- “Sharing Space: the oeuvre of Sherry Olson.” In Sharing Spaces: Essays in honour of Sherry Olson, 1-16.
-- “Divvying up space: Housing segregation and national identity in early twentieth century Montréal.” In Sharing Spaces: Essays in honour of Sherry Olson, 111-128.

“Canada’s economic and racial inequities are more stark than ever.”

Open Letter Concerning the Anglican Cemetery (See link below).

« L’état des choses. » Revue d’histoire de l’Amérique française, 72, 2, 119-122.

« Valeur locative annuelle moyenne des habitations sur le territoire de Centre Sud en 1903. » Déjouer la fatalité : Pauvreté, familles institutions. Exposition à l’Écomusée du fier monde, 12 septembre 2019 au 9 février 2020.

Ian McKay, Bettina Bradbury, Magda Fahrni, Kathryn McPherson & Robert C.H. Sweeny.“Macdonald Prize Round Table on Why Did We Choose to Industrialize?” Journal of the Canadian Historical Association, 28, 2, 2017, (published January 2019) 90-133.

“Newfoundland’s Boom: A study in the political culture of neo-liberalism.” Bryan Evans and Carlo Fanelli (Eds.) The Public Sector in an Age of Austerity: Perspectives from Canada’s Provinces and Territories. Montréal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2018, 279-314.

“The Challenges of an Equitable Fiscal Policy.” Asking the Big Questions: Reflections on a Sustainable Post-Oil Dependent Newfoundland and Labrador. Barbara Neis, Rosemary Ommer and David Brake (Eds.) St John’s: Royal Society of Canada Atlantic, 2017, 24-43.

“Auditing Equity and the Environment.” The Democracy Cookbook: Recipes to Renew Governance in Newfoundland and Labrador. Alex Marland & Lisa Moore, (Eds.) St John’s: ISER Books, 2017, 270-73.

“Industrialization, Labour and Historians” Canadian History: Post-Confederation. Edited by John Douglas Belshaw. Vancouver:, 2017, 108-110.

“Capital Markets” Canadian History: Post-Confederation. Edited John Douglas Belshaw. Vancouver: openbccampus, 2017, 440-443.

“New ways to imagine an old city” NICHE, January 2017.

“Making sense of the historical in H-GIS in Canadian universities.” H-GIS Canadian Portal Partnership White Papers, June 2016.

“Gender, discrimination and housing in turn-of-the-century Montréal. What mapping the census returns of immigrants can tell us.” Frontiers in Digital Humanities, 3, 8 (September, 2016), 1-18.

Why did we choose to industrialize? Montreal, 1819-1849. McGill-Queen's University Press, 2015. Finalist for François-Xavier Garneau Medal 2020 of the Canadian Historical Association for the most important  contribution to history of the past five years. Winner of the 2016 Governor General's history award for scholarly research: the Sir John A. Macdonald Prize of the Canadian Historical Association.

With Valerie Burton, "Realizing the democratic potential of online sources in the class room" Digital Scholarship in the Humanities, 30, October 2015, link.

Upcoming Conferences

European Social Science History Conference, Leiden, March 2021.

Canadian Historical Association, University of Alberta, June 2021.

Institut d'histoire de l'Amérique française, Université de Sherbrooke, Octobre 2021.