Roger Riendeau's Teaching and Writing Site

Roger Riendeau, former Vice Principal of Innis College, University of Toronto (2003-16), taught in the Writing and Rhetoric Program offered at Innis College until his retirement in 2019. A graduate of Glendon College, York University and the University of Toronto (Canadian history specialist), he joined the faculty of Innis College in 1976. Until 1994, he was an instructor in the Innis College Writing Laboratory (now Writing Centre) and taught INI202Y The Canadian Experience, a course that introduced students for whom English is a second language to Canadian culture and society. He also taught in the Writing Laboratory and the Pre-University History Program at Woodsworth College from 1974 to 1983, and he was the first Director of the Trinity College Writing Centre from 1977 to 2002.

In 1979, Professor Riendeau launched INI204Y (now INI204H) The Academic Writing Process. This course was included in the Innis College Minor Program in Writing and Rhetoric, which he inaugurated in 1983 and coordinated until 1993. He also taught the history section of INI235Y Introduction to Urban Studies during the early 1990s. In a further effort to enhance the critical thinking and argumentation skills of undergraduates, he devised HUM199Y Who Shot JFK? Truth, Lies, and the Illusion of Evidence, which was offered in the 2000-01 and 2001-02 academic terms and which is offered again in 2007 as HUM199H Who Shot JFK? The Illusion and Reality of Evidence. The popularity of this course inspired him in 2005 to launch INI304H The Illusion and Reality of Evidence (Critical Thinking and Inquiry in Written Communication). In 2011-12, he also taught INI410H Scholarly Editing and Publishing.

Professor Riendeau’s research and writing has focused on Canadian urban history. From the mid 1970s to the early 1990s, his main research and publication interest was the development of municipal services and infrastructure in the metropolitan Toronto area from Confederation to the beginning of World War II. He also published the first, and thus far the only, history of Mississauga, tracing its transformation from a sprawling rural township into Canada’s sixth largest city. Because of his interdisciplinary approach to Canadian urban history, he was invited to be a resident member of the Centre for Urban and Community Studies from 1989 to 2000. His most notable publication is the revised second edition of A Brief History of Canada (2007), one of the few comprehensive single-volume scholarly textbooks on the subject published in the past three decades.

In addition to his work at the University of Toronto, Professor Riendeau has been a professional editor who has served in an advisory or a production capacity on many scholarly and popular books in various disciplines. Most notably, he was the Managing Editor of the Canadian Journal of African Studies from 1986 to 2021. His editorial work has contributed to his special insights into the writing and research process and the teaching of writing and rhetoric to university students. He is currently researching and writing a history of Innis College since its founding in 1964.