Rick Helmes-Hayes

Professor

Rick Helmes-HayesPhD (Toronto)
MA (Queen's)
BA History (Queen's)

Research and teaching areas

Research

My major area of research is the history of Canadian social thought, especially the history of Canadian sociology.

  • I have published articles and book chapters dealing with key developments and major figures in the history of English-language sociology in Canada.
  • My major works in the field are:
    • Measuring the Mosaic: An Intellectual Biography of John Porter, published by the University of Toronto Press in 2010. Measuring the Mosaic won the John Porter Tradition of Excellence Award as the best book published by a Canadian sociologist in 2010;
    • “‘Building the New Jerusalem in Canada’s green and pleasant land’: The social gospel and the roots of English-language academic sociology in Canada, 1889-1921,” Canadian Journal of Sociology 41 (1) 2016: 1-52;
    • The Anthem Companion to Everett Hughes (edited with Marco Santoro, University of Bologna); in press (with a Foreword by Howie Becker)

Teaching areas

Theory (especially classical)

  • Soc. 202 : Introduction to Classical Sociological Theory
  • Soc. 405 : Honours Seminar in Classical Sociological Theory
  • Soc. 700 : Graduate Theory

History of Sociology (especially Canadian)

  • Soc. 407/707 : Canadian Sociological Thought

I have also taught Introduction to Sociology, Sociology of Work, Social Inequality, Canadian Society, Modern Theory, Sociology of Sport, Political Sociology.

Current research

I am working on two projects:

  • With Emily Milne, a recent PhD from the department, I am working on a history of the development of the symbolic interactionist specialization in Canadian sociology. The paper seeks to identify the degree to which, and the means by which, the interactionist sociological specialization spread across Canadian departments of sociology. We are paying special attention to the sociology department at McMaster University, which is the apparent intellectual and institutional centre of the approach in Canada.
  •   “John Walker Macmillan and Applied Christian Sociology at Victoria University, 1919-1932”: Macmillan was the first person in Canada appointed to a permanent chair in sociology exclusively. The paper outlines the substantial sociology program he established at Victoria University (Toronto) 1919-32. I examine Macmillan’s career – teaching, writings, community development, political advocacy – as a typical instance of an historically specific form of sociology – Christian, applied, empirical – that grew out of the Protestant social gospel and came to constitute the mainstream form of sociology in Canada’s university system during the period 1890-1930. Macmillan’s approach exemplifies the sort of sociology favoured by the mainstream Protestant churches during a period when they sought to retain social status, political power, and moral control in the face of a university system and a broader society that were becoming increasingly secular and scientific. 

Selected publications

Books

The Anthem Companion to Everett Hughes (edited with Marco Santoro, University of Bologna), Foreword by Howie Becker, 2016.

Measuring the Mosaic: An Intellectual Biography of John Porter. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2010, xix + 588 pp.

 An Intellectual Biography of John Porter" book cover.

See the following video interviews:

Video interview, part 1

Video interview, part 2

Video interview, part 3

Recent refereed journal articles

  • “‘Building the New Jerusalem in Canada’s green and pleasant land’: The social gospel and the roots of English-language academic sociology in Canada, 1889-1921,” Canadian Journal of Sociology 41 (1) 2016: 1-52;

 Recent book chapters

  • "A Veteran Warrior for Prison Reform": Coral Topping as a Public Sociologist,’ in C. Schneider and A. Hanemaayer (eds.) Public Sociology & Ethics: Knowledge, Pedagogy and Society. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2014: 175 - 202.
  • (with Jean-Phillipe Warren) "The Development of Sociology in Canada" in Kathleen Korgen (ed.). Cambridge Handbook of the History of Sociology. [in press].

Others

  • (with Wallace Clement) "Preface" to a reissuing of J. Porter, The Vertical Mosaic on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of its original publication. (2015).
  • "Building the New Jerusalem in Canada's Green and Pleasant Land": The Social Gospel and the Roots of English-Language Academic Sociology in Canada, 1889-1921 in L. Tepperman and P. Albanese. Toronto: Oxford University Press. [in press].
Affiliation: 
University of Waterloo

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