Kenneth Leyton-Brown

Associate Professor
Ph.D (Queen's University); MA (University of Regina); BA Honours (University of Saskatchewan)

Office: AH 337
Phone: 306-585-4211

Current classes
Fall 2023: HIST 261-001 Introduction to Ancient Greece; HIST 314-001 The Legal History of Canada

Research interests

  • Canadian Legal History
  • Saskatchewan Legal History
  • Ancient History
  • Archaeology


Short Bio

Ken Leyton-Brown is Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of Regina.  He came to Regina from Queen’s University, in Kingston, where he completed a Law degree and a doctorate in History.  He specializes in Canadian legal history and also teaches courses in the history of the ancient and classical worlds.  He has a particular interest in social institutions, which are both a product of people’s lives and a powerful force in shaping those lives.


Current research is centred on the legal history of the Chinese in early Saskatchewan.  Legal historical work is focussed, at its most basic, on law: its origins, which may be found in places ranging from legislatures and courts to custom and behaviour; its precise intention and meaning; its application, through courts, for example; and its enforcement, through bodies such as prisons and police.  However, beyond this comparatively technical focus – what has sometimes been termed “internal” legal history – there is the much broader and, it may be argued, richer scope of “external” legal historical studies.  Here, law is seen as intimately related to culture: an expression of culture and expressed by culture.  A tool of the powerful, used in an attempt to give the world a shape they find pleasing, law becomes inextricably a part of the lives of everyone in society, but not always in the ways intended by dominant groups: when it attempts to impose order it also provokes resistance, when it attempts to define society it makes social change inevitable.  These ideas inform work on the Chinese in early Saskatchewan, showing how they were targeted by the law and how their lives were affected, but also how the Chinese used the law to define lives for themselves within an evolving prairie society.

Courses Taught

HIST 150:  Today’s World:  Historical Perspectives
HIST 260:  Earliest Civilizations
HIST 261:  Introduction to Ancient Greece
HIST 262:  Introduction to Ancient Rome
HIST 314:  The Legal History of Canada
HIST 414:  The Legal History of the Prairie West
HIST 460:  Ancient History: Theory and Practice
HIST 464:  Roman Social History

Recent Publications

The Practice of Execution in Canada, Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2010.

(Jointly, with Dr. Dongyan Blachford), The University of Regina and China: The First 30 Years, Regina: University of Regina, 2011.

Awards and Distinctions

Named Associate Fellow of the Institute of Great Plains Research at the University of Nebraska (Lincoln).
The Practice of Execution in Canada ranked second in the book awards of the Canadian Law and Society Association for 2011.