Stuart Parker’s Bio
Stuart Parker is an itinerant lecturer in history and geography at various universities in Southwestern BC, most recently the Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia. A former postdoctoral fellow of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Stuart is the author of the forthcoming book History Through Seer Stones: A Hundred Years of Mormon Pasts published by Kofford Books, as well as academic journal articles and conference presentations on Mormonism in the US and Latin America in addition to papers on sport history, landscape phenomenology and historiography. Most recently, he has delivered papers at the annual meetings of the BC Studies Association, Canadian Historical Association, American Historical Association and Rocky Mountain Council on Latin American Studies. Stuart has also served as chair of the Toronto Latin America Research Group and co-convenor of the American Society for Theatre Research’s landscape working group. His work will next appear in the forthcoming Just South of Zion: Mormons in Mexico and Its Borderlands from University of New Mexico Press.
In September 2012, Stuart co-founded Los Altos Institute an interdisciplinary left-oriented institute with a special focus on the dynamics of empire in the economy and politics of Southwestern BC. The Institute works to partner projects and people outside of academic institutions with scholars from a variety of disciplines. His partner, Amy Salmon, of the Institute for Health Economics and the UBC School of Population and Public Health chairs LAI’s academic board.
Stuart is a longtime electoral reform activist, having co-founded the BC Electoral Change Coalition in 1997 and the Toronto Democracy Initiative in 2007. He has also served on the boards of Fair Vote Canada, most recently as Vice President, and Fair Voting BC and on the steering committees of the “Yes” campaigns in the 1996 Vancouver civic, 2007 Ontario provincial and 2005 and 2009 BC provincial referenda on proportional representation. He is currently the founding president of MoVE: the Movement for Voter Equality, a national advocacy group for voting reform that partners with Fair Vote Canada on municipal voting reform and other issues.
Founder of the BC Green Party’s youth wing in 1988, Stuart served as the party’s leader from 1993 to 2000 but returned to the New Democratic Party shortly thereafter, having left the party over its support of the Meech Lake Accord in 1987. He remains an NDP member and supporter despite being one of only two individuals the party has prohibited from seeking a federal nomination anywhere in Canada. This prohibition has been in effect since March 2010 when he publicly criticized the NDP’s conduct of the Gustafsen Lake standoff in 1995. A strong supporter of electoral cooperation among centre-left forces for the 2015 election, Stuart supported Nathan Cullen’s bid to succeed Jack Layton as party leader.
Since being prescribed the Basic Dungeons and Dragons boxed set by a child psychiatrist at the age of nine, Stuart has been an avid player of tabletop roleplaying games and still runs a weekly game for his common law stepchildren. From 2005 to 2009, he served as either a judge or board member for the annual RPG awards at Gen Con, the hobby’s main convention. As a fan and scholar of American religion, he appeared on the Space Channel’s panel discussions of Battlestar Galactica from 2008 until the series finale.
Nephew of the late Harry Jerome, Stuart gave the keynote speech at the opening of BC’s Black History Month celebrations in 1994 and served on the board of the BC Black Historical and Cultural Society in 2001-02.