Author Archives: Contributor

“In Defense of … “: Historical Thinking and Cultural Appropriation

By Andrew Nurse This is the second essay in a three part series on historical thinking and cultural appropriation. For the first part in the series, click here. One of the key characteristics of the commentaries that defend cultural appropriation is that they come in the guise of history. A friend sent me one today that referred back to Elvis… Read more »

Active History in Solitude

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Sean Kheraj Next month, I will start my first sabbatical. To prepare, I just finished reading Michael Harris’s new book, Solitude: A Singular Life in a Crowded World. The book came out in late April just as my teaching semester wrapped up. The timing couldn’t be better. Sabbaticals are another part of the professional life of academics that are difficult… Read more »

Thanking God for … ? Historical Perspectives on Cultural Appropriation

By Andrew Nurse Recently, a friend sent me yet another of those commentaries-cum-news-stories discussing the merits and demerits (although, the piece had precious few of these) of cultural appropriation. In short, the piece decried critics of cultural appropriation, which it treated as something of a leftist fantasy. I, more-or-less, ignored it, not because the issue is unimportant but because I’d… Read more »

“Men Want to Hog Everything”: Women in Canadian Legislative Politics after Suffrage Victories

In 2017, 150 years after Confederation, only 315 women, the vast majority of British origin, had served as MPs, most in the previous three decades.

Dreams of This as Home: Chinese labourers in children’s history books

Samantha Cutrara, PhD My last two blog posts for ActiveHistoy.ca deconstructed pre- and post-Confederation Canadian history in children’s books. My findings suggested that stories that explored difficult histories or social justice topics often did not connect these stories to larger national forces and thus felt isolated from the rest of Canadian history. These findings suggest a dangerous separation. Historians, teachers,… Read more »

HExD: Changing Centennial Commemorations of the Halifax Explosion

By Claire Halstead It seems as though at every turn we are being reminded of Canada’s sesquicentennial: “Canada 150”. Not just reserved for commemorative events, the marketing of Canada’s anniversary has even been gobbled up by grocery stores. Atlantic Superstore, for instance, is cashing in by offering “Canada 150 deals” that advertise a variety of grocery goods for just $1.50…. Read more »

She’s Hot: Female Sessional Instructors, Gender Bias, and Student Evaluations

by Andrea Eidinger [1] I would like to acknowledge and thank the many female instructors who got in touch with me over the past week, not only for their bravery in sharing their experiences with me, but for their strength in continuing in their dedication to the field of history and education. I am profoundly grateful and honoured. “I think… Read more »

Bob Kinnear, the Amalgamated Transit Union, and the History of Canadian-American Labour Relations

by Christo Aivalis In recent weeks, a major controversy has enflamed the Canadian labour movement, and how it relates to the international unions centred within the United States. Last month, Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 113, which represents around 10,000 members working within the Toronto Transit Commission’s system, was placed under trusteeship by the union’s international headquarters. This decision was… Read more »

From Ignorance Towards Reconciliation

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By Jean-Pierre Morin Editor’s note: This post is an abridged version of the February 7th, 2017 Ottawa Historical Association talk “Relationships for Reconciliation: Historical Relationships in the Process of Reconciliation”. In December 2000, as a still new public servant, I was part of a group of representatives from Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) sent to discuss the historic relationship… Read more »

More than a Few Acres of Snow

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By Elizabeth Jewett and Andrew Nurse This past weekend, Mount Allison University hosted Quelques Arpents de Neige for the first time. Arpents is a conference that takes a workshop-like feel. Its goal is to bring people together to discuss different trends in Canadian environmental history. And, in so doing, it provides an opportunity to think about the development and direction… Read more »