Stuart Parker is an historian, political activist and lecturer in History and International Studies at Simon Fraser University and in Liberal Studies at the BC Institute of Technology. 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 municipal politics, sport history, landscape phenomenology and historiography. His most recent publication, “Quesos y gusanos,” a study applying Carlo Ginzburg’s theory of a “folk substratum” to Mexican Mormon thought, appears in Just South of Zion: Mormons in Mexico and its Borderlands.
Most recently, he has delivered papers at the annual meetings of the BC Studies Association, Canadian Historical Association, and Mormon History Association. 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.
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. LAI is currently running a number of local reading groups, looking at important texts in the fields of urban studies and speculative fiction.
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 the first of now dozens of 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. Today, he is an enthusiastic supporter of the party under Thomas Mulcair’s leadership.
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 partner’s daughters. 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. He is currently working with a team of researchers at the University of Alberta to design a tabletop RPG-based intervention for children with developmental disabilities. 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.
Formerly, a Unitarian and and Anglican, Stuart has teturned to the faith of his young adulthood, Bokononism. During his period as a Christian in Toronto, he was active in his faith community. Following his leadership in organizing a two conferences in support of Anglican same-sex blessings in 2007 in Toronto, he served as a regular panelist for CTS Christian TV’s public affairs program, On the Line until relocating to the US in 2010.
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.
His professional CV is available here.