ActiveHistory.ca is a website that connects the work of historians with the wider public and the importance of the past to current events.
It is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the Avie Bennett Historica Chair in Canadian History, and York University. This is an effort to facilitate and disseminate the ideas developed at the conference “Active History: History for the Future” at Glendon College in September 2008.
We define active history variously as history that listens and is responsive; history that will make a tangible difference in people’s lives; history that makes an intervention and is transformative to both practitioners and communities. We seek a practice of history that emphasizes collegiality, builds community among active historians and other members of communities, and recognizes the public responsibilities of the historian.
Please also visit our French-language sister site, HistoireEngagee.ca.
Public Outreach Editor
Please direct queries about upcoming events and partnerships to Jay Young, Public Outreach Coordinator, via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A group is currently working on editing and building ActiveHistory.ca:
- Ian Milligan is an assistant professor of Canadian, digital, and youth history with the Department of History at the University of Waterloo. His own website is at ianmilligan.ca and he can be reached at email@example.com.
- Christine McLaughlin is a course instructor at Trent University in Oshawa. She is interested in the contested meanings and experiences of community, family and work. Her dissertation explores these themes as they played out in twentieth-century Oshawa, Ontario.
- Jay Young is a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow in the History Department at McMaster University. His research explores the historical intersections of technology, environments, and cities. Jay is currently revising his dissertation on the evolution of the Toronto subway system for publication, as well as starting new research projects on a history of urban garbage issues in Canada and an environmental history of downtowns in North America.
- Jim Clifford is an assistant professor of environmental history with the Department of History at the University of Saskatchewan. His current research explores the environmental and economic histories of the global commodities that supplied industries in the Thames Estuary during the 19th century. He completed his PhD in the history department at York University in 2011. For more information, visit jimclifford.ca.
- Thomas Peace is a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow in the Native American Studies Program at Dartmouth College. He is interested in the social and cultural dynamics of community, education and literacy, and connections between geography, environment and community. Tom’s post-doctoral work focuses on Aboriginal people and education at the end of the eighteenth century. He can be reached at tspeace [at] gmail.com.
- Krista McCracken is a Researcher/Curator at Algoma University’s Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre. In the past Krista has worked as an archives technician, digitization facilitator, a historical researcher, and an assistant curator. She holds an MA in public history from the University of Western Ontario.
- Kaleigh Bradley is a PhD student at York University. She holds an M.A. in Public History from Carleton University. Her doctoral research looks at competing understandings of place and environment among Indigenous peoples, Europeans, and Euro-Canadians in the North. She’s also interested in photography and visual cultures of colonialism, place and memory, and historical representations of Indigenous peoples.
- Sean Graham is the producer and host of the History Slam podcast. He is a doctoral candidate at the University of Ottawa where he is currently working on a project that examines the early years of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. He has previously studied at Nipissing University, the University of the West Indies, and the University of Regina and like any red-blooded Canadian his ultimate dream is to be a curling champion while living on a diet of beer and poutine. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Neil Soiseth is a doctoral candidate in the Department of History at the University of Ottawa. His current research relates to the mass cultural critique in postwar America and the concurrent popularity of pulp fiction and exploitation films. He has also worked as a copy and layout editor since 2000. He is working with ActiveHistory.ca to copy edit book reviews and papers.
Approaching the Past Partnership Representative
- Brittany Luby is originally from Kenora, Ontario – 210 kilometers northeast of Winnipeg, MB. She is currently a PhD Candidate in the Department of History at York University and a Research Associate of the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies. Passionate about education, Luby also devotes her time to www.indigenousstudentlife and Approaching the Past, two organizations dedicated to enhancing the student learning experience. Her critical and creative work can be found in periodicals such as Canadian Journal of Native Studies, Native Studies Review, Native Literatures: Generations, and Red Ink Magazine. Luby’s poetry has also appeared in Walk Myself Home. New historical work is to be released in Jill Oakes’ upcoming anthology Memory and Tradition with Aboriginal Issues Press.
Regular contributors are individuals who have agreed to post for us on a regular basis. We’re always looking for new (and old), talented writers with a passion for history in all of its shapes and sizes. Drop us a line if you’re interested.
- Mike Commito is a PhD candidate in the history department at McMaster University. His dissertation focuses on the history of big-game management, notably bears, deer and wolves, in Ontario and New York state.
- Dagomar Degroot is a PhD Candidate at York University, where he explores the relationship between the climatic and human histories of the Dutch Republic. His website can be found at www.historicalclimatology.com.
- Greg Kennedy is an Assistant Professor at the Université de Moncton.
- Sean Kheraj is an assistant professor of Canadian and environmental history at York University. He blogs at http://seankheraj.com.
- Daniel Macfarlane is is a Visiting Scholar at Carleton University. He studies the transnational environmental history of border waters in North America. For more information visit: http://danielmacfarlane.wordpress.com.
- Lachlan MacKinnon is currently a Ph.D. student at Concordia University focusing on workers’ experiences of deindustrialization in Atlantic Canada.
- Merle Massie is a writer and historian, and a SSHRC postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Geography at the University of Ottawa. Find her blog at: http://merlemassie.wordpress.
- Mireille Mayrand-Fiset is a travel, music and theater enthusiast. She wrote for the stage and television, and is now working as a freelance blogger for Standard Life, a leading long-term savings and investment company, providing Canadians with advice on Quebec Pension Plan.
- Jonathan McQuarrie is a PhD Candidate at the Department of History, University of Toronto. He tweets about things historical and not at @jrmcquarrie.
- Ian Mosby is a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Guelph and studies the history of food and nutrition in Canada during the twentieth century. You can read more about his research and publications at http://www.ianmosby.ca.
- Daniel Ross is a PhD candidate in history at York University. His research focuses on the 1960s and 70s, and he is currently studying Toronto’s attempts to remake, revitalize, and re-brand downtown Yonge Street. He blogs at historiandanielross.com.
- Kaitlin Wainwright is a graduate of Carleton University’s Public History program. She’s currently the Plaques and Markers Program Coordinator at Heritage Toronto.
- Lauren Wheeler is a public historian specializing in mountain parks and environmentalism in Alberta. She is currently a project assistant at the Royal Alberta Museum for the upcoming Chop Suey on the Prairies exhibition. Follow Lauren’s blog at www.canenvirorock.com.
ActiveHistory.ca est un nouveau site Internet cherchant à rapprocher les historiens du public, des décideurs politiques et des médias. Nous ambitionnons de favoriser la diffusion des idées développées lors du colloque «L’histoire engagée: une histoire porteuse d’avenir», qui a eu lieu au Collège Glendon en septembre 2008. Vous n’avez qu’à nous contacter si vous souhaitez jouer un rôle plus actif dans ce projet: info[at]activehistory.ca.
L’histoire engagée telle que nous la définissons est essentiellement une histoire appliquée à transformer les perceptions des praticiens de l’histoire et des communautés. Elle favorise la pratique collégiale de l’histoire, l’enrichissement de la vie communautaire et la reconnaissance des responsabilités publiques de l’historien.
Nous encourageons les historiens à s’inscrire à notre base de données et à soumettre des essais.
Notre site partenaire francophone est HistoireEngagee.ca.