Forward Into the Past
Keynote
Speakers
Groups

FITP XXVII Speakers Biographies


Alicia McKenzie teaches at Wilfrid Laurier University in the History Department and the Medieval Studies Program. Her own research focuses on the social history of Merovingian Gaul.
Session: The Mongol Art of War

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

Bruce Blackistone describes himself as a "retired civil servant (National Park Service), part time blacksmith, and seasonal Viking ship captain." Active in medieval reenactment for over 43 years, he was one of the founders of the Markland Confederation and the Longship Company. He has skippered various vessels based on Viking longships for 40 years and has forged, crafted, or sewn numerous domestic, religious, and martial items from the early medieval period. In terms of literary output, he is best known as the author of Beowabbit, and is an actual footnote in the Beowulf Reader. Venues for his lectures and demonstrations have included the South Street Seaport Museum; the Mariner's Museum in Newport News, Virginia; the Smithsonian Institution for their Vikings 2000 exhibit; L'Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland, Canada for the Leif Erikson Millennial Celebration in 2000; the American Swedish Museum in Philadelphia; and the Kalamazoo International Medieval Congress.
Session: <PS> Beowabbit: new light on an ancient poetic tradition

Cassandra Brooks: This Viking at heart is taking a break from travelling to be a part-time archaeology and history student at Wilfrid Laurier University. Instead of pillaging (and when not studying), she has taken to the calmer occupations of being an archaeological lab technician during the day and slinging ale and grub as a tavern wench at night. After completing her undergrad in Spring 2019, Cassandra will be attempting to earn a Master's degree, preferably in experimental archaeology but anything studying Norse or Canadian prehistory related will do.
Session: First Experiments

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

Corey Bott lives in Kitchener Ontario and has been so long involved with medieval reenactment as Lord Tristan Galbraith that he rarely uses or recognises his birth name any longer. A true inventor at heart with an inquisitive heart; he enjoys learning, researching and sharing a variety of historical art forms of craftsmanship.
Session: Lost Wax Demonstration

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 is an early-modern English historian who specializes in religion and dramatic literature of the sixteenth century. Currently suffering through the workplace tedium of a gap-year, he will be attending the University of Guelph for graduate studies in fall 2017. In his spare time he is a writer, thespian, and ginger ale enthusiast.
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

Grant Ginson is a 4th year as a student at Wilfrid Laurier University in a double major of Archaeology and Medieval Studies. Grant has a broad interest in archaeology, but has recently become more interested in computational aspects of the discipline. Grant plans on finishing his degree at laurier in the fall of 2017, before applying for graduate studies abroad for the 2018 year.
Session: First Experiments

Heather Burger is a construction equipment coordinator by day and in her spare time she is actively involved with a medieval group called the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) When playing in the SCA she uses the name Lady Christiana de Mundegumri, who is both a warrior and artisan. Christiana loves to learn new skills in the arts and sciences and is happy to share this knowledge as she drifts through her adventure with history.
Sessions: Beginner's Egg Tempera
                 Beginner's Egg Tempera (session2)

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.
Sessions: Food and ambience, translating the medieval feast to the modern table
                 Let's talk food

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 www.chainmailguy.com.
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 Kallaur-Telford is also known as Mama Goose, having a farm where she raises poultry, among which are a number of geese who think they are humans. . .. or is it that Larisa is a goose ? . .. She drives her husband nuts by taking on too many projects, convinces her friends to follow her in those projects, and dreams about strands of pearls as well as owning some of that 24 k gold thread she drools over. In the SCA, Aurelia Gabraina is often known as Mama Goose, taking 'under her wing' people who like to learn about anything she can teach. Aurelia is mostly known for her embroidery skills and tends to try to drive her husband crazy by taking on far too many projects. Going so as as to make and dye her own materials, Aurelia has been lately obsessing over 24 k gold thread and strands of pearls.
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. Meijin Gwendyon Casgudcath is a traveller from Wales who in her travels explored the silk roads where she had the opportunity to learn Kumihimo and other braiding techniques.
Sessions: Kumihimo - The Art of Japanese Cordmaking
                 The Shosoin Repository
                 Braiding and Cords

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.
Sessions: Advanced Tablet Weaving
                 Introduction to Glass Bead Making
                 Advanced Glass Bead Making

Roy Underhill, the instructor for the Cotswold Morris segment, has been dancing Morris since 1982. Instructor (Foreman) of Cold Barn Morris since 1996, he has danced morris in many places -- in pubs, on mountain tops, and in the high Arctic and loves it when the group goes to traditional Morris gatherings, called Ales, where we dance, feast, sing and make merry.
Session: Morris Dancing

Stavros Stavroulias is a third year student studying Medieval Studies and Speech Communication at the University of Waterloo. His particular interest is in palaeography, which he pursues with professors at the university. He also really loves board games, and has a growing collection of more then 30 different collectible games.
Session: King or Queen? Who really holds the power? An analysis of medieval chess

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

Tina KacKinnon is a 3rd year student with a double major in History, Medieval and Medievalism Studies and Minors in Archaeology, Religion and Culture. Reading historical fiction as a hobby inspired me to do a degree program in disciplines that I am passionate about. Tina's most favourite period in English history is the Plantagenet dynasty. Studying chaos and family drama never loses its appeal. Upon completion of her degree at Wilfrid Laurier in the spring of 2018, she plans on spending some time in Britain exploring prior to attending a post graduate certificate program in Cultural Heritage Management.
Session: First Experiments

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

Contact us if you have any questions or suggestions