Eben Prevec is a third year Ph.D. candidate at Queen’s University, working under the supervision of intellectual historian Dr. Jeffrey McNairn. His dissertation is centered on an exploration of the role of Scottish history in the English-speaking public sphere of the Canadas during the first half of the nineteenth century. Specifically, it examines the emergence of a nuanced Scottish historical consciousness in Upper and Lower Canada and investigates the importance of varied and occasionally contradictory depictions of Scotland’s past on the political, religious, economic, and educational affairs of the two colonies.
In addition to his examination of a broader historical consciousness, Prevec's dissertation also focuses on the uses of Scottish history by influential figures in the Canadas, including William Lyon Mackenzie, Bishop Alexander Macdonell, William Morris, Bishop John Strachan, and Adam Thom, among others. Through his research, Prevec aims to illustrate the significant role that national and religious histories played in British North America prior to the development of a more cohesive Canadian identity.
Prevec's research interests, more generally, include historical consciousness, Canadian intellectual history, Canadian political history, Scottish history, the Scottish Enlightenment, identity entrepreneurship, and the intersections of politics and history, with a particular focus on the political uses of history. He hopes to make his research relevant and applicable to contemporary politics by emphasizing the continued importance of the past on the present.