Brian Froese specializes in the twentieth-century North American West with particular interests in evangelical religion, conservative politics, and Mennonites in a transnational context involving Canada and the United States. A related secondary interest is that of the use, appropriation and place of eschatology and evil characters (devil, Satan, antichrist, for example) in not only religious and political contexts, but also in the broader popular cultures of film, music and print culture—primarily in the post-war decades—as forms of social criticism.
He has published articles on California Mennonites on topics of women's sewing circles, refugee work, and migrant memoirs; the 'Anabaptist Vision'; archival research and pedagogy; and, popular eschatologies from the horror of Left Behind, dystopic California in evangelical fiction, and lyrics of U2 and Black Sabbath.
Brian has published the book, California Mennonites, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015; and has begun writing his next book from his SSHRC funded research of 2008-2012 on the intersection of American-Canadian transnational evangelical networks engaged in missions and politics in Western Canadian during the 1900s.
Brian studied history at the University of Winnipeg (BA), Regent College (MCS), and the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California (Ph.D). He taught at Providence College (now Providence University College) in Otterburne, MB (2003-2005) before joining CMU in 2006. Most recently, Brian was a visiting research scholar at the Centre for Studies in Religion and Society at the University of Victoria in British Columbia (winter 2012).
In his spare time, Brian enjoys running, especially the 10k to half-marathon lengths, watching movies, and following current events/politics.
American and Canadian history, conservative politics and religion, post-1945, Mennonites
Ph.D., History, Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, CA, 2003; M.C.S., Regent College, Vancouver, BC, 1997; B.A., History, University of Winnipeg, 1994
Courses for 2016-2017
The Fifties and Sixties - North America Cold, Cool, and Radical
History of the West in a Global Context II
History of the United States from 1607
Mennonites in Canada and the United States
Theory and Methods of History I
Theory and Methods of History II
Brian Froese's primary teaching areas are in methodology, North American history (Canada and United States), with specialized courses in post-war culture and politics of the 1950s and 1960s, Evangelicalism (religion, politics, culture), and Mennonites.
Northern Errand: American Evangelicalism in Western Canada (working title).
California Mennonites, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015.
Major/Recent Research Grants
Social Sciences and Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Standard Research Grant for project titled, American Evangelical Missions in the Twentieth-Century Canadian West, $54,000. (2008-2012)
MSC Foundation Research Grant, Canadian Mennonite University, Winter 2012
Canadian Mennonite University Faculty Research Grant, Winter, 2012
Canadian Mennonite University Faculty Research Grant, Fall, 2009
Articles: Peer-Reviewed Journals and Chapters in Books
"Bodies, Souls and Visiting Hours: Mennonite Brethren Outreach in British Columbian Hospitals." Journal of Mennonite Studies 34 (2016), 177-200.
"Is It the End, My Friend? Black Sabbath's Apocalypse of Horror," Black Sabbath & Philosophy: Mastering Reality, ed. William Irwin, Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013, 20-30.
"Channeling Clio: Archives, Lecture Halls and Western Canadian Conservatism." Conrad Grebel Review, 30, no. 3 (Fall 2012), 236-256.
"Compassion and Culture: Southeast Asian Refugees and California Mennonites." Journal of Mennonite Studies 24 (2006), 129-148.
"Comic Endings: Spirit and Flesh in Bono's Apocalyptic Imagination, 1980-1983." Call Me the Seeker: Listening to Religion in Popular Music, ed. Michael J. Gilmour (New York: Continuum, 2005), 61-78.
"'The Anabaptist Vision': A Half-Century of Historical and Religious Debate in Twentieth-Century America." Fides et Historia 35:2 (Summer/Fall 2003), 105-117.
"Beyond Declension and Irony: Mennonite History as Community Studies." Conrad Grebel Review (Spring 2003), 16-23.
Articles: Other (Selected/Recent)
"Monsters in the Church: Marking the Body in Evangelical Horror." Direction, 39:2 (Fall 2010), 220-233.
"Quilts, Bandages and Efficiency: Mennonite Women's Missionary Societies and the Formation of a Modern Social-Religious Identity in California, 1930-1960." Historical Papers 2004: Canadian Society of Church History, ed. Bruce L. Guenther, 15-32.
"A Pacific Ending: Situating California in Late Twentieth-Century Popular Evangelical Endtime Literature." Didaskalia 15:2 (Winter 2004), 49-62.
"Sewing Peace: Women's Missionary Societies, Churches, and the Californian Civilian Public Service Camps, 1940-1947." California Mennonite Historical Society Bulletin. No. 40 (Spring 2004), 1-5.
"'Where the People Tell No Lies': Religious Images of California in Mennonite Memoirs." California Mennonite Historical Society Bulletin. No. 38 (April 2003), 1-3.
Recent Conference Papers
"Diabolus in Musica: Satanic Folk Cultures and Evangelical Parodies in Post-War America" Canadian Institute of the Study of Popular Culture and Religion, Providence University College, Otterburne, MB, March 23, 2013
"Albertan Oil, Vietnam Christmas: American Revivalism on the Canadian Prairies, 1962-1981," Canadian Society of Church History, University of Victoria, June 3, 2012
The Devil Wears Denim: Heavy Metal, Satanic Folk Culture and Evangelical Parody, South of Heaven: Religion and Heavy Metal Symposium, University of Victoria, June 8, 2013
"Armageddon is Approaching": Billy Graham and 1960s Revivalism in Western Canada." Southwest/Texas Popular Culture and American Culture Associations Conference, February 8-11, 2012, Albuquerque, NM.
"Road of a Thousand Terrors: Retelling the Frontier Myth in Horror Film." Canadian Association for American Studies, November 3-6, 2011, Ottawa, ON
"'A Field White Unto Harvest': American and Canadian Evangelical Missions in the Twentieth-Century Canadian West" Western History Association, October 13-16, 2010 Incline Village, Nevada (Lake Tahoe)
"Errand to the North: Canadian Mennonites and American Evangelicals in the Twentieth-Century Canadian West." Place and Replace: A joint meeting of Western Canadian Studies and the St John's College Prairies Conference, St. John's College, University of Manitoba, September 16-18, 2010, Winnipeg, MB
Book Review Co-Editor, Journal of Mennonite Studies
On the Editorial Boards of Journal of Mennonite Studies and Direction Journal
Canadian Society of Church History Executive, Member-at-Large
Public Speaking (Recent)
"'For such a time as this': Billy Graham in the Canadian West, 1961-1967," CMU Faculty Forum, November 8, 2012
"Jesus Saves: The Lure of Horror and Cultural Decay in the Post-1960s Apocalypse," University of Victoria, Centre for Studies in Religion and Society, Victoria, BC, April 5, 2012
"Apocalypse When," Presenter and panellist at St. Benedict's Table Anglican Church, Winnipeg, MB, October 26, 2011
"Preparing for 2012: A History of the End of the World". 7-part series. Star Lake Lodge, Whiteshell Provincial Park, MB, July 3-10, 2011