Professor Brent McKenzie of The University of Guelph is the First Estonian Studies Centre (ESC) Academic Research Fellow

February 11, 2013

The Estonian Studies Centre (ESC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Associate Professor Brent McKenzie of the University of Guelph as its first Academic Research Fellow.

Dr. McKenzie is a faculty meindex_McKenziember in the Department of Marketing and Consumer Studies in the College of Management and Economics at the University and has carried out numerous research studies in the Baltic Republics of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. His area of expertise is in the areas of retail service quality, buying behaviour, customer loyalties and marketing strategy.

Recently Dr. McKenzie gave a lecture at the Estonian Studies Centre on Kaubamaja, a study into a Soviet era retail department store located in Tallinn, Estonia, that successfully made the transformation into the market economy of the 1990’s. Future areas of research interest for Dr. McKenzie include the history and traditions of manor house distilleries in the Baltic region.

The Estonian Studies Centre is located in the City of Toronto and operates a 7,000 sf archive and a library consisting of ca 10,000 publications. The Centre’s mandate is to collect, preserve and study the culture, language and history of Estonian-Canadians. It employs a full-time archivist and enjoys the support of a large volunteer base to manage its collection. The ESC not only collects, catalogues and preserves printed material, personal and institutional documents and memoirs, but also artifacts – photographs, audio- visual records, paintings, sculptures, posters and other artistic creations. This legacy is the largest known archival collection outside of Estonia.

To encourage research on these matters amongst students at the University of Guelph, the Estonian Studies Centre is establishing an annual bursary of $1,500 to fund research in its archives. This bursary will be overseen by Dr. McKenzie. It is the goal of this fund to increase the participation and cooperation between the
two institutions. In addition, an annual stipend of $2,500 will be made available to Dr. McKenzie to further his research on matters related to the ESC’s mandate.

This cooperative effort between the University of Guelph and the Estonian Studies Centre is a first step to widen the exposure of the ESC’s archives to a larger audience, assist students, teachers and researchers to explore the archival materials to be found at the ESC, and hopefully to stimulate further research into the Estonian-Canadian diaspora experience.

Dr. Brent McKenzie has been appointed as a Fellow at the Estonian Studies Centre effective January 1, 2013 for a term of two years.

VEMU/The Estonian Studies Centre