Department of History and Politics (UNBSJ)

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This entry is currently under development. Please do not consider the entry authoritative until it has been completed.

Previous names: History; Politics; Political Science; Division of Social Science

Established: 1993



Though the History and Politics Department was not officially formed until 1993, both first year History and Politics courses were offered at UNBSJ beginning in 1964. Courses were taught by Stephen Patterson (History) and Eleanor Wylie (Politics). In the following year, second year History and Politics courses were also offered. All classes were offered at Beaverbrook House until 1969 when the entire Faculty of Arts, under which History and Politics courses fell, moved to Sir Douglas Hazen Hall on the brand-new Tucker Park campus.

In subsequent years, History and Politics at UNBSJ grew separately as disciplines within the Arts faculty, whose administrative headquarters were at UNB Fredericton. By 1975, eight courses were offered in Political Science and eleven courses were offered in History. Beginning in 1974, the two subjects were taught alongside one another in the two interdisciplinary Arts majors: the General Social Sciences major, which involved the study of urban history and urban politics, and 20th Century Studies in the Humanities, comprised of a combination of history, philosophy and literature of modern man. Two years later, seven disciplines including Political Science were categorized within the Faculty of Arts’ Division of Social Science. History was considered part of the Humanities and Languages Division. Alongside this divisional structure, the UNBSJ disciplines also remained within their respective UNB Fredericton departments. While part of the Division of Social Science, a Major in History became available to students in 1978, followed by Honours in 1991. At this time Dr. Neil Ridler was serving as the last chair of the Social Science Division. In 1993, the UNBSJ Faculty of Arts was created, and with it the UNBSJ Department of History and Politics was officially established. Dr. Donald Desserud first chaired the department, where he remained for two years. In 1995, a four-year Major in Politics was offered. By this time the number of combined course offerings in History and Politics had grown from nineteen in 1975 to sixty. 

Physical location: Sir Douglas Hazen Hall

Faculty: Faculty of Arts

Notes: Established date is based on the date that the separate UNBSJ department was officially stated in the calendar, and in the commencement year of the UNBSJ Faculty of Science, Applied Science and Engineering.


  • Undergraduate Calendar (UA RG 86) 1965-2014
  • McGahan, Peter. The Quiet Campus : A History of the University of New Brunswick in Saint John, 1959-1969. Fredericton: New Ireland Press, 1998

--Alloyd (talk) 09:42, 28 July 2015 (ADT)
© UNB Archives & Special Collections, 2014