Ian Dyck

Associate Professor

Areas of Study: BRITAIN & IRELAND.


Following a courageous battle with a chronic form of lymphocytic leukemia, first diagnosed in 1999 and the challenge of a bone marrow transplant this past November, Ian Dyck, an Associate Professor in the department of History, passed away on Sunday 15 July 2007, eight days shy of his 53rd birthday. Proud son of Saskatchewan farmers, Ian completed BA and MA degrees from the University of Saskatchewan before taking up doctoral work at the University of Sussex under the influential supervision of John Harrison. D. Phil. in hand, Ian taught for a year at Saskatchewan and another at Lethbridge before coming to Simon Fraser in 1988. SFU suited Ian and he flourished at the university. His work on William Cobbett and Rural Popular Culture, published by Cambridge University Press in 1992, established a reputation that he enhanced with two edited collections, a dozen articles and a score of reviews. His most recent work was a fine edition of Cobbett's Rural Rides for Penguin (2001). Until the illness robbed him of his strength, he gathered material for a seminal study of what he called The Cottage Charter: Rural Song in England, 1500 - present. His work won him support from SSHRC and fellowships in Cambridge and at the Huntington Library. He will perhaps be best remembered as a superb teacher with an uncanny ability to relate to young people, winning the University's Excellence in Teaching Award in 1991. Hundreds of undergraduates delighted in his Western Civilization lectures and he was much loved as a seminar leader in a course on Popular Culture in Britain and Europe or in the required courses for History Honours students. Few colleagues made such an impression on graduate students. Instinctively collegial and sympathetic, hospitality was his second nature and he made good gossip over a pint an art form. His loss will be deeply felt by many and we send our condolences to his family who were with him in his final hours. A celebration of Ian's life was held at the Halpern Centre on 18 October 2007.

Publications (Books)

William Cobbett and Rural Popular Culture, 1790-1835 (Cambridge University Press, 1992).





  • Editor, Citizen of the World: Essays on Thomas Paine, with chapter "Debts and Liabilities: William Cobbett and Thomas Paine" (London: Christopher Helm; New York: St. Martin's Press, 1987-8)

Publications (Articles)

  • Articles on William Cobbett and Joseph Mason for Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2004
  • Encyclopedia entries for William Cobbett, History Workshop and E.P. Thompson for Making History: A Global Encyclopedia of Historical Writing, ed. D. Woolf, 1995
  • "Local Attachments, National Identity and World Citizenship in the thought of Thomas Paine" in History Workshop Journal, no. 35 (Spring 1933)
  • "William Cobbett and the Rural Radical Platform" in Social History, vol. 18, no. 2 (May 1993).
  • "Towards the 'Cottage Charter': The Expressive Culture of Farm Workers in Nineteenth-Century England," Rural History, vol. I, no 1, (April 1990)
  • "From "Rabble" to "Chopsticks": The radicalism of William Cobbett," Albion, Vol. XXI, no. I (Spring 1989)
  • "Popular Ballads, Rural Radicalism and William Cobbett," with Alun Howkins, History Workshop Journal, no. 23 (Spring 1987)
  • "A forgotten Book: William Cobbett's History of the Protestant "Reformation" in England and Ireland," Canadian Catholic review, vol. VI, no. 3 (March 1988)

Notable Major Awards

  • Simon Fraser University, Excellence in Teaching Award, 1991
  • University of Lethbridge, Departmental Nomination for Distinguished Teacher Award, 1988