Dr. Leighton is currently Associate Professor of History in Huron University College's Faculty of Arts and Social Science and an adjunct professor in its Faculty of Theology and in the University of Western Ontario's Faculty of Graduate Studies. A graduate of McMaster University in Hamilton, Onta...
Dr. Leighton is currently Associate Professor of History in Huron University College's Faculty of Arts and Social Science and an adjunct professor in its Faculty of Theology and in the University of Western Ontario's Faculty of Graduate Studies. A graduate of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario (B.A. magna cum laude, M.A.) and of the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario (Dip. Ed., Ph.D., M. Div. (Huron), with honours), he teaches Canadian history and has created courses in First Nations-settler relations and in automotive history.
Active professionally, Dr. Leighton served two consecutive terms as president of the Ontario Historical Society, including one during its centennial in 1988, is a past president of the Canadian Church Historical Society and was a member of the Council of the Champlain Society for over two decades. He was the first chair of the Canadian Historical Association's Native History Study Group. He is currently vice-president of the Society of Automotive Historians.
An ordained priest of the Anglican Church of Canada, Dr. Leighton has actively served in several parishes. He is presently the chair of the Diocese of Huron's Archives Committee and of its ad hoc committee on first nations' residential schools healing and reconciliation. He is on the staff of Bishop Cronyn Memorial Church, a historic inner-city London parish known for its compassionate community role and its liturgical excellence.
Recent honours and awards have included the Huron University College Teaching Award (2003), a SSHRCC Standard Group Research Grant (2003-2006), Canon of St. Paul's Cathedral (2005), the University of Western Ontario Alumni Association/Bank of Nova Scotia/University Students' Council Teaching Award (2007), Canon Historian of the Diocese of Huron (2009).
19th-century Indian policy in the Canadas was the subject of two articles in Ontario History, of fifteen biographies in The Dictionary of Canadian Biography, and of two monographs. More recent work has focused on frontier families and communities in the late 18th-century Great Lakes region and on the role of the churches in the social formation of Upper Canada/Canada West. Articles examining the automotive industry in southwestern Ontario (2000) and the early history of post-World War II sports-car racing in the region (2008) appeared in the Automotive History Review. The entry 'automobiles' appeared in The Oxford Companion to Canadian History in 2004. Ongoing research projects include the regional history of the automobile's impact, the history of the London Fire Department and the historical role of the Diocese of Huron within southwestern Ontario.
I firmly believe in sharing knowledge with the wider community beyond the academic one and during my career have given more than 100 research-based addresses to a wide range of groups. I am frequently interviewed by broadcast and print media on my areas of specialization.