Forward Into the Past

FITP XXVII Speakers Biographies

Rooms and times are still subject to repeated changes

Bernie Roehl has been organizing events in the local kinky community for the past twenty years. He has taught dozens of workshops on various aspects of BDSM, ranging from general introductions to more advanced topics. Based at the University of Waterloo, he has diverse interests including improvisational theatre.
Session: 50 Shades of History - a look at non-traditional sexual practices in history

Cassandra Brooks' bio will follow shortly.

Catherine Ollerhead DeSantis Historian, and Former Vice Chair of the Richard III Society of Canada. Past member of the Board of Directors for the Dufferin County Museum and Archives.
Session: Divorced, Beheaded, Died, Divorced, Beheaded, Survived

Darrell Markewitz is a professional artisan blacksmith with over 30 years experience, who specializes in objects from the Viking Age. He designed, created and implemented both the 'Norse Encampment' interpretive program for Parks Canada and the 'World of the Norse' exhibit for the Cranbrook Institute of Science. He consulted on the Smithsonian's 'Vikings - North Atlantic Saga', and the Newfoundland Museum's 'Full Circle - First Contact' exhibits, as well as assisting a number of the institutions hosting both exhibits. His interest in iron smelting goes back to 2001. To date he has participated in over 45 experimental firings, in Canada, the USA and in Denmark. He has documented this work in formal academic papers, a CD-ROM, and extensively on the internet.
Session: Blow Me Down - Further Investigations of Human Powered Air

Dylan McCorquodale's bio will be along shortly
Session: Why Ancient Greece Was Really Kind of Terrible

Eeva the Restless. . . .what can i say about Eeva other than she does a lot. (that is why I, as her Teacher, am writing this bio for her.) Eeva's symbol is a candle burning at both ends, which means her coordinating of multiple events per year, learning to sew, embroider, make glass beads, cook, etc is really reflected in her choice of heraldry. When pressed for a description of her persona the answer is "Norse, 10th century, NOT BARBARIAN" which makes me wonder why I can often find her in the company of Barbarians. .. . but I digress. In real life Jenn is a redhead who strikes fear into the hearts of the people she meets as she continues to embroider her goose project everywhere she goes. Her SCA symbol is only matched by her real life insomnia which allows her to do everything at all times of the night or day. She is much more talented than she thinks and I admire her willingness to go along with all the craziness her adopted family gets into. She is owned by several animals as well as a dog the size of a small horse who listens to her as well as the barbarians she hangs around with do.
Session: Introduction to Embroidery

Fred Blonder is a Longship Captain in the Longship Company, Ltd. Most of his hobbies involve experimenting with ancient technologies.
Session: Viking Submarine Navigation as a possible explanation for the Loch Ness Monster

Janet Lloyd works in food retail. She has cooked professionally and catered, as well as volunteering to cook for several Richard the Third society events and 36 years within the Society for Creative Anachronism. The kitchen is one of her favourite places to be. Reading books is one of the few things that is right up there with it. So cooking history combines both loves.
Session: Food and ambiance, translating the medieval feast to the modern table

Jerry Penner is The Chain Mail Guy; he has been selling finished chain mail, knitting rings, and offering chain mail workshops since 1996. He published Chain Mail Basics in 1996 when he realized there was no formal lanuguage to describe knitting patterns to other people, similar to crochet or yarn knitting. His work can be found at various fairs in Southwestern Ontario including the Fergus Highland Games and the Royal Medieval Faire in Waterloo, and on his website at
Sessions: Chainmail - Beyond the Basics
                 Chainmail for Beginners

Jo Duke started medieval recreation about 20 years ago, and unleashed a passion for creating historical garments, dyeing using natural and traditional dyes and all kinds of weaving. Known variously as Jorunn, Jhone of Wodecott, or Joan Woodcote, a weaver or tailleur, tradeswoman, goodwife and mother, she loves to relax with a beer and a game of chance and strategy.
Sessions: Braiding and Cords
                 Diagonal Braiding

John Wignall has trained as a 14th century swordsman, rowed as a 9th century viking, and partied like a 16th century pirate. He has no formal academic qualifications, and doesn't see why that should dissuade him. Please disregard the flask, it's purely medicinal.
Session: Behind the Black Sails

Larisa's bio will be along shortly
Sessions: Introduction to Embroidery
                 Advanced Embroidery

Marcus Burnham is an analytical chemist for the Ontario provincial government, specializing in the analysis of geological samples. Prior to moving to Canada 21 years ago, he participated in 14th, 15th, and 16th century recreations in the UK, but has since developed a second interest in the culture and artefacts of the Viking Era. He has been tinkering with leather for a few years, after discovering its versatility and ability to survive the rigours of life. Marcus is a member of the Dark Ages Recreation Company, who are again pressuring him to help them shoe themselves for a forthcoming trip to L'Anse aux Meadows.
Session: Feet firmly in the past - Shoes from the Viking Age 800 - 1050

Mark Edward Patchett is a software developer and father. He has been involved in medieval recreation with the Society for Creative Anachronism for over 20 years, and the living history group Regia Anglorum for about 10 years. Sir Edward the Red is a Norman Knight who fought at the battle of Hastings, and later settled down in northern England where he married a Saxon lady. (How their son ended up as a Viking is still a mystery.)
Sessions: Naalbinding 101
                 Flint and Steel Fire Striking

Melanie Robbins is an Accounting Clerk who lives in Kitchener, Ontario. Lady Gwendyon Casgudcath is a young Lady from Wales whose interests lie in fighting and learning...anything.
Sessions: Kumihimo - The Art of Japanese Cordmaking
                 The Shosoin Repository

Neil Peterson is a technical director and project manager in the software industry and a student of Archaeology at Wilfrid Laurier University. In his spare time he works with museums, libraries, schools, and various groups to promote an appreciation of Viking Era Scandinavia, and the application of project management to museums and historical projects such as this conference. His primary research interest over the last 20 years has been applications of experimental archaeology to the anthropological and technological processes of the Viking Era, specifically including iron smelting and bead making. He is a charter member of the local PMI chapter, a member of ExArc and the Ontario Museum Association, and a member of multiple re-enactment groups including the Dark Ages Recreation Company.
Sessions: Experiment and Experience
                 <PS> The Viking Settlement of North America according to Ragnarr Njalsson

Richard Schweitzer is a private school teacher from Orangeville, ON. A graduate from the University of Waterloo in history, art and music, he has been involved in living history and museum work since working in the 1980s at the 1914 living museum Doon Heritage Crossroads in Kitchener. Through DARC, Richard has presented Norse culture at several museums including Woodstock Museum, the Canadian Museum of Civilization, Cranbrook Museum (MI), Haffenreffer Museum (RI), Peterborough Centennial Museum and most recently L'Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland. Currently, Richard is busy reconstructing dances and music from the Gresley manuscript, and recreating tools and other artifacts from the norse period.
Sessions: Canadian History 1001: The Bloody Norse Arrive!
                 Norse Practical Jokes
                 Sword Dances

Robert Schweitzer is a high school chemistry teacher with over 20 years of weaving experience. He has been a guest lecturer and demonstrator at a number of museums, weaving conferences and guild meetings across Ontario. He is currently working at compiling a data base of known tablet-woven artifacts, and is finally nearing completion of a recreation of a 16th century Ethiopian tablet woven curtain. He has also been working as a part of the Dark Ages Recreation Company in the rediscovery of Norse glass bead making technology through experimental archaeology.
Session: Advanced Tablet Weaving

Dr. Steven Bednarski is a social historian of medieval crime, gender, and environment. He is Professor of History at St. Jerome's University in the University of Waterloo, where he also serves as Co-Director of Medieval Studies and Special Advisor to the Vice President Academic and Dean on Academic Planning. He is Director of the Herstmonceux Project, an international, interdisciplinary research collaboration that draws on a partnership between St. Jerome's University, the University of Waterloo, Queen's University, and the Bader International Study Centre at Herstmonceux Castle. Its research centres on an experiential learning model to generate knowledge about the impact of late medieval climate and weather conditions on culture. His first book, Curia: A Social History of a Provençal Criminal Court in the Fourteenth Century, looks at the evolution of late medieval criminal courts in western Europe. His second book, A Poisoned Past: The Life and Times of Margarida de Portu, an Accused Poisoner, is a pedagogical microhistory. It queries how academics write history and proposes a new learner-centered model for the study of the past and present.
Session: Climates of Change: Environmental History as Hands-On Pedagogy

V.M. Roberts enjoys dead languages, like Old Norse, and dead modes of transport, like rowing longships and driving steam locomotives. He is the Assistant Chief Engineer at the Toronto Railway Museum and a longtime student of the Viking Age. His deepest obsessions include screw threads and Apron Dresses.
Sessions: Anatomy of a steam engine through disaster and destruction
                 Symmetry and asymmetry in Viking Age Dress

Yvette Foster has had a fascination with string from a young age learning to knit, crochet, embroidery and so many other things. She has been adding to her knowledge as a student of historical craft for the past 15 years and has been selling her tablet weaving commercially for 7 years. Shortly after learning to weave both inkle and tablet weaving Yvette began teaching every chance she got starting about 6 years ago.
Session: Introduction to Tablet Weaving

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