While the American presidential election has most of us thinking politics, professor Dr. Allen Mills does that year-round. Mills teaches in the political science department at the University of Winnipeg (U of W), where he has worked since 1971.
Mills received his undergrad in Dublin, Ireland, before completing a masters and PhD in Ontario. When faced with the decision to teach in either Winnipeg or Halifax, Mills says he picked the more politically interesting one.
“At that time, Ed Schreyer’s NDP government was in power, and I was not wrong. I think it was a much more interesting place,” Mills says.
While working at the U of W, Mills has had the chance to teach intro to political science, a course he says he always enjoys. As much as possible, Mills tries to bring in examples from outside the classroom for students to look at.
“I want to pull in pressing, immediate issues like Indigenous issues, what’s going on in Syria, climate change,” Mills says.
Area of research: Canadian political ideas and theory. Canadians don’t realize they have a handful of major political thinkers in their midst … I’ve developed courses around the ideas of George Grant, Charles Taylor.
Number of peer-reviewed articles published: Roughly 20, and (I) authored two books: Citizen Trudeau and Fool for Christ: The Political Thought of J. S. Woodsworth, as well as co-edited The Encyclopedia of Manitoba and The Return of Mitteleuropa.
Lowest grade in university: A pass in economics (we didn’t have the same grades in Ireland), it was an outlier course that I had to take.
What’s your superpower: I’m deeply curious about ideas and human creativity, and I think they’re the distinguishing features of human beings and what make us more than animals.
What’s the best thing about your work: It is to try and make what I think are often very complicated ideas accessible to students … that’s both a task but also a joy when it’s achieved.
What’s the latest book you read: Albert Camus: A Life by Olivier Todd.
What has been the most shocking thing about the American presidential election: That Donald Trump is still standing on his feet … if any other individual told us blatant lies, he would have been exposed and rejected long ago.