Welcome! I am Associate Professor in the Department of History and the graduate program in Environmental Sciences/Studies at Nipissing University.

I am an executive member of NiCHE (Network in Canadian History of the Environment) and a member of the editorial board of NiCHE’s blog The Otter and an Associate of the Wilson Institute for Canadian History at McMaster University. I am also, with R.W. Sandwell and Colin Duncan, academic editor of the McGill-Queen’s Rural, Wildland and Resource Studies Series.


My research is in the agricultural and environmental history of Canada, particularly the history of subsistence production and its relationship to capitalist and global markets for food. I am also interested in understanding Canadian environmental history as a field of study; this interest is explored in a forthcoming book in the field with Oxford University Press.

Major Publications

Canadians and their Natural Environments: Survival from 20,000 Years Ago to the Present. Forthcoming from Oxford University Press.

Cover of Subsistence Under Capitalism by James Murton, Dean Bavington and Carly Dokis (McGill-Queen's University Press)

Subsistence Under Capitalism: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives (edited with Dean Bavington and Carly Dokis). Montréal & Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2016.

Cover Creating a Modern Countryside by James Murton (UBC Press)

Creating a Modern Countryside: Liberalism and Land Resettlement in British Columbia. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2007. Winner of the K.D. Srivastava Prize for excellence in scholarly publishing.

“John Bull and Sons: The Empire Marketing Board and the Creation of an Imperial Food System,” in Franca Iacovetta, Valerie Korinek, and Marlene Epp, eds., Edible Histories: Towards a Canadian Food History (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2012).

I write for The Otter and tweet @jamiemurton.


In all of my teaching I seek to engage students with history through experiential and active learning. This often focuses on getting outside in northern Ontario.

Courses Taught

Hist 1106 Food: A North American History

Hist 2166 Survival: Canada in Global Environmental History

Hist 2167 Bodies and Nature in the Environmental Era

Hist 3267 Food, Land and Subsistence in Canadian History

Hist 3297: Place and People in Rural Canada

Hist 4485 The Nature of Capitalism in Canada

Hist 5107 Canadian Environmental History (graduate course)

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