Author Archives: Contributor

High Quality Marijuana Regulation

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By Jonathan McQuarrie Prepare for an onset of advertisements asserting the cleanliness and quality of Canadian marijuana. As marijuana dispensaries emerge from informal networks towards formal supply chains shaped by storefronts and licensed growers, marijuana growers and retailers will increasingly have to sell their product on the basis of quality, cleanliness, and standardization. The process of formalizing the marijuana market… Read more »

The Presence of the Past: The Possibilities of Virtual Reality for History

Sean Kheraj For the past year, I’ve been thinking a lot about virtual reality and its potential applications for historians. Can we use virtual reality to better understand the past? Can the experience of virtual reality alter historical thinking? Can we now build time machines, teleporters, and holodecks using virtual reality? These questions may be overly optimistic or idealistic. I… Read more »

The Historical is Personal: Learning and Teaching Traumatic Histories

Andrea Eidinger Learning and teaching history is hard work. The physical, mental, and emotional toll can be high, for both educators and learners. This is especially the case when it comes to traumatic histories. For educators, it is difficult to balance the desire to make an emotional impact on your students without inflicting (further) trauma. For learners, it is difficult to… Read more »

Trump, Trade, and Canada’s Special Relationship with the United States

Christo Aivalis In mere days, Donald J. Trump will conclude his improbable rise to the highest office in world’s most powerful country. What this means has been explored from numerous perspectives, but one issue growing in coverage is how Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government will relate to this new Republican administration. In fact, many political analysts have suggested that Trudeau’s recent… Read more »

DNA And The Quest For Identity

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Stacey Devlin Whether or not family history interests you, it’s hard to escape the recent surge in advertising for genealogy-driven DNA tests, particularly the service offered by genealogy giant Ancestry. Ancestry has been heavily promoting this service through both online ads and television commercials, and it represents a fascinating development for family historians who can now use genetic information to… Read more »

The Chignecto Marine Transport Railway Company or, Thoughts on Failure in History

By Andrew Nurse The creation and failure of Chignecto Marine Transport Railway Company (CMTRC) — in effect, a “ship railway” — is usually presented as a unique episode in Maritime and Canadian history. In 2012, the Nova Scotia provincial government moved to commemorate the company (and, perhaps unintendedly, its failure) by purchasing the land on which the project was to… Read more »

Unlearning history to combat racism?

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By Rachel Hatcher [This is the seventh post in the Learning and unlearning history in South Africa’s public spaces series.] South Africans must, declared South African Human Rights Commissioner Dr. Danny Titus, unlearn the names of the Dutch ships that landed in South Africa in the 17th century. He made this declaration during the Free State’s provincial launch of the Anti-Racism Network of South… Read more »

Deconstructing Children’s History Books: Residential Schools

By Samantha Cutrara Children’s historical books can serve many purposes. They can teach children about history, as well as develop emotion and empathy about figures from the past. In “Recreating the Past,” Evelyn Freeman and Linda Levstik argue that children’s historical fiction fosters ongoing process of historical interpretation in which the child is an active participant (pg. 331). From my own experience… Read more »

History and the Perils of Inevitability

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By Jonathan McQuarrie Not long after Donald Trump’s victory, Hillary Clinton sought to reassure her supporters, and perhaps herself. Echoing President Obama, who in turn drew on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., she said “the arc of history is long, but it bends towards justice.” This is a reasonable and comforting thing to assert, and it may well be right…. Read more »

After the Asylum/Après l’asile: Launching a History of Survival

By Megan Davies & Erika Dyck The shift from institutional to community mental health was among the most significant social changes of the late 20th century. Between 1965 and 1980 nearly 50,000 beds were closed in residential psychiatric facilities across Canada. De-institutionalization profoundly changed the lives of former patients and those who worked with them, impacting the larger economy, public… Read more »