As an historian and religious studies scholar, I am frequently solicited to provide my opinion on matters related to my field in academic settings (such as evaluating book proposals and manuscripts for university presses, article drafts for journals, and grant applications for funding agencies, as well as weighing in on tenure and promotion cases for universities).  I also enjoy engaging frequently with journalists on issues in which I have expertise and that are important to me.  More recently, however, I have also been called upon to share my knowledge in legal forums.  Since March 2020 I have been retained as an expert witness by Justice Canada to opine on a case involving the importation of Italian reliquaries into this country.  I enjoy consulting and consider it to be (much like media work) an extension of my teaching mandate into the public realm. 

If you need an expert opinion on some matter relating to Catholic history, art and architecture, beliefs and practices, or ritual objects (or that touches upon some aspect of Canadian religious history), please feel free to get in touch, using the “Contact Me” tab.

Documentary Production

Together with my team-mate and producer, Kevin Burns, I am currently working on a documentary based on my first book, The Betrayal of Faith: The Tragic Journey of a Colonial Native Convert, to be aired on CBC Radio’s seminal Ideas program.  Using on-site sound, period music, dramatic narration, and interviews with historians and other experts, the documentary takes the listener inside the dramatic story of Pierre-Anthoine Pastedechouan, an Indigenous boy taken from early colonial Canada to Angers, France in the 1620s to receive baptism and a religious education at the hands of Recollet missionaries.  Pastedechouan bucked the odds by surviving his five-year stint overseas, only to face a tenuous, then tragic existence when he returned home so greatly changed. 

In my view, many of the ingredients that go into making a great book or article (for example, an eye for tiny but telling details, a strong narrative trajectory, and an ability to evoke the past – or present - in all of its complex and sensuous reality), are also critical in a documentary.  I enjoy collaborating with creative people on projects of mutual interest.  Please contact me if this interests you!