Dr. Carl Benn joined Ryerson in 2008 as both a faculty member and as Chair of the Department of History after working in the museum field for 34 years. His last heritage sector post was Chief Curator of the City of Toronto’s Museums and Heritage Services, where he fulfilled senior curatorial and managerial duties, restored historical properties, curated exhibits, and produced other public resources. He also has been active elsewhere in the heritage field, such as serving on boards and providing consulting services to various clients. In addition, he taught courses part-time at the University of Toronto for 17 years in Continuing Studies, Undergraduate History, and Graduate Museum Studies. Dr. Benn oversaw the department’s operations from 2008 to 2013, with one of the highlights of that period being the introduction of a new (specialist) degree in History as well as a History Minor. Since completing his five-year term as chair, he has been able to devote more time to teaching and research.
Carl Benn has published extensively in journals and other venues, and his books include Historic Fort York (1993); The Iroquois in the War of 1812 (1998); The War of 1812 (2002); Mohawks on the Nile: Natives among the Canadian Voyageurs in Egypt, 1884-85 (2009); Native Memoirs from the War of 1812: Black Hawk and William Apess (2014); and A Mohawk Memoir from the War of 1812: John Norton – Teyoninhokarawen (2019). Currently he is researching the history of the Royal Ontario Museum for his next book.
Dr. Benn’s teaching at Ryerson centres on Museum History, Curatorship, Heritage Management, Material Culture, and Archaeology. He was the recipient of the 2012 Dean’s Teaching Award and is a member of the graduate faculty.