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2015 W Stewart MacNutt Memorial Lecture

Author: Communications

Posted on Oct 28, 2015

Category: UNB Fredericton , myUNB , In the Media

Parks Canada archaeologist, Rebecca Dunham, will give the 2015 W. Stewart MacNutt Memorial Lecture on November 3 at 5:30 p.m. in the Alfred G. Bailey Auditorium, Tilley Hall room 102 on University of New Brunswick’s (UNB) Fredericton campus. 

Dunham’s lecture, “Words are Wanting to Represent the Severity…” will discuss the unexpected discovery of an eroding 18th-century mass grave at the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site. 

A senior archaeologist at Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site, Dunham has over 20 years of experience in archaeological field investigation, research, interpretation and promotion of heritage sites in eastern Canada. She has written conference papers and completed speaking engagements internationally. 

Drs. Melanie Wiber and Susan Blair, professors in the department of anthropology at UNB, nominated Dunham as this year’s lecturer.

“Not only have I been repeatedly impressed by Ms. Dunham’s work over many years, but many of our students have been influenced by and collaborated with her,” said Dr. Blair. “She has played a key role in mentoring and training many young archaeologists now working in Atlantic Canada.”

Dunham’s many career achievements include the discovery and full rescue excavation of an eroding c. 1745 to 1746 mass grave at the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site and the development of a coastal heritage conservation plan for the same site, addressing the impacts of climate change on Louisbourg heritage, which was based on multidisciplinary research and investigation. 

“All archaeologists who work in coastal areas are deeply concerned with the ongoing, and in some places, increasing effects of coastal erosion,” said Dr. Blair. “Ms. Dunham’s thoughtful, pragmatic approach to this has added a great deal to our efforts.”

Dunham’s research and planning for the effects of coastal erosion on sites, such as Louisbourg, has increased awareness of the vulnerability of these invaluable parts of our shared past, said Dr. Blair. 

The annual W. Stewart MacNutt Memorial Lecture honours the late historian, professor and humanitarian for his many contributions to University of New Brunswick and to the development of Atlantic Canadian history as a field of study. 

For more information about the lecture, contact Carolyn Williston-Aubie, faculty of arts, at cwillist@unb.ca.