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Professor Emeritus William James Callahan (1937-) graduated from Boston College with a Bachelor of Arts in 1958. He followed that up with a Master of Arts from Harvard University in 1959 and a Doctor of Philosophy from Harvard in 1964. During the final two years of his PhD studies, Callahan acted as a Teaching Fellow for Harvard. Upon graduation he moved to Toronto (where he continues to live) to accept the position of Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto’s Department of History in 1965, becoming Associate Professor in 1971 and Professor in 1975. Callahan was appointed a fellow for Victoria College in 1985 and acted as President of the college from 1991-2000.
While at the University of Toronto, Professor Callahan taught courses in European history, with a primary focus on Spain. His main areas of research centered on religion in Spain, starting in the early modern period and extending into the 20th century. He taught classes on colonial Latin America as well as Early Modern Europe (HIS 244), France and Spain in the age of the Enlightenment (HIS 347), Spain and France in the Americas, 1500-1800 (HIS 385), and Franco’s Spain, 1936-1975 (HIS 304), among others.
Professor Callahan took part in various professional associations over his career. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in 1993 and was a member of the Canadian Historical Association, the American Historical Association, the Society for Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies (serving here as a member of the Executive Committee from 1993-1995), and the American Catholic Historical Society (serving as President for 1996). In addition to his role of Professor at the University of Toronto, Callahan acted as chair of the Department of History from 1978-1982, the Department of Religious Studies from 1985-1990, and as President of Victoria College from 1991-2000.
Professor Callahan also took part in several committees and working-groups during his time at U of T, including the Curriculum and Standards Subcommittee (1984-1986), the Provost’s Working-Group on Five-Year Plan for School of Graduate Studies (1983-1984), the Faculty of Arts and Science Undergraduate Education Committee (1993-1994). Professor Callahan was also a member of the Humanities and Social Sciences Committee, Research Board (1977-1982), the editorial board for the Hannah Institute for the History of Medicine (1983-1990), and an external assessor for the Departments of History at St. Francis Xavier University (1992) and the University of Montreal (1989).