Dr. David Duke

OFFICE: BAC 225 (Office of the Dean of Arts)
PHONE: 902 585-1782
OFFICE HOURS: Tuesday: 12:00pm - 1:00pm & Thursday: 1:00pm - 2:00pm


I am originally from the UK, and I “came home” to Nova Scotia via 18 years in Edmonton, where I did high school and university. I came to Acadia on a nine-month contract in 1999 and am still here, teaching in the areas of Environmental History, the History of Science and Technology, Soviet History, and Global History. I also teach the introductory course for majors in History too, HIST 1003, The Practicing Historian. I love Acadia and Nova Scotia, and married a Valley Girl with whom I have two wonderful boys, Daniel and Thomas, a dog, Digby, and Nutmeg, Bilbo, Radar, and Hershey, the Degus.

My brother is a geologist and so from a very early age I’ve been fascinated by rocks and minerals. Western Nova Scotia is a treasure-trove of amazing geology, which has led to some adventures: while collecting satin spar gypsum on the northern shore of Cape Blomidon I managed to get myself trapped by the tides not once but twice. One time I chest-waded for it, the other I (more sensibly) waited for the four hours it took for the tide to turn and let me off the beach! While collecting amethyst at Amethyst Cove (also on the north shore of Cape Blomidon) I was trapped by the tide again. I waited, again for about four hours, not wanting to give up the amethyst and agates that I'd found. I can, all evidence to the contrary, read a tide clock.

I am a fanatical Liverpool supporter. YNWA.


I teach in two different programs, History and Environmental and Sustainability Studies, and even though they’re very different, there’s lots of crossover between each. I believe that students do their best work when the work has meaning, and so I try to develop community engagement projects that allow students to hone their skills and practice their research, by producing “deliverables” that are useful to local communities. Students in my history classes have produced environmental histories of Kentville and Wolfville (each 250 pages plus!), and have undertaken oral history research in partnership with the Kentville Historical Society and the Hantsport and Area Historical Society. At the senior level I have supervised honours students’ research all the way from the history and potential of Nova Scotia’s wine industry, through the work of avante-garde Soviet artists in the 1950s Khrushchev “thaw” to the impact of bottled water marketing in Sub-Saharan Africa. If you have a project related to Russian/Soviet history, Science/Tech history, or Environmental History, I would love to chat with you about it.


To access a very good stylesheet that you will need to know for the preparation of essays and term papers in my courses, together with a basic overview of citation and bibliographic protocols for print and electronic sources, click here. The stylesheet, based on Kate Turabian's Manual for Writers of Term Papers..., was created by Paul Halsall of Fordham University (whose Internet History Sourcebook series is a truly superb resource for all students -- hint hint). 

If you are planning on using the web for research -- and most of you are, I'm sure -- the best research experience on the web is not to start with Google or another search engine. Use a trusted "portal site" that links to other, trustworthy, web sources instead. For a short list of such seed sites for you research, click here.