Category Archives: Academic Culture

History: Contemporary Poland’s Battlefield

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By Marie-Dominique Asselin Translated from HistoireEngagée.ca by Thomas Peace Last April, when speaking about the war in Syria, White House Communications Director Sean Spicer made a poorly framed comparison between the Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad and Adolf Hitler. For Spicer, Assad’s use of chemical weapons was far worse than that conducted by the German leader because – according to the White… Read more »

“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 »

What Does Canadian History Look Like? The Story of Us

By Thomas Peace It is that time of the year again when historians from across the country are preparing to gather together at the Canadian Historical Association’s annual meeting to talk about our work. The theme of meetings, being held in two weeks time, is “From Far and Wide: The Next 150.” As Canada enters the sesquicentennial’s summer season, hallway conversations will… 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 »

January Reflections on the Historical Problem of Women and Sexual Misconduct in Academia

By Beth A. Robertson January is typically the month for reflecting on the year that has passed, and it is perhaps without a doubt that 2016 will be remembered for many, even unsavoury things, from the Zika virus, to Brexit, to the US presidential election. This is not to say that 2016 did not have some brighter notes. In September,… Read more »

Canadian Historical Association: Open Letter to the Polish Prime Minister

Yesterday, Joan Sangster, the President of the Canadian Historical Association sent the following letter to Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo regarding recent legislation criminalizing historical interpretation. For broader context of this issue see Jim Clifford’s post The Polish Government, the Holocaust and Jan Grabowski and Thomas Peace’s Fake News, Global History Wars, and the Importance of Historical Thinking. Ottawa, December… Read more »

Fake News, Global History Wars, and the Importance of Historical Thinking

By Thomas Peace In the last week we’ve seen a strong desire to put an end to “Fake News”. With the rise of social media and increasingly savvy revenue generating fake news sites, this is an important intervention (the dangers of which Alan MacEachern addressed here last week). It is, however, misleading to assign blame for Donald Trump’s rise to… Read more »

(Re)naming and (De)colonizing the (I?)ndigenous People(s) of North America – Part II

By Kathryn Labelle, Brittany Luby, and Alison Norman Editors note: This is the second in an two part series on the politics and practices of naming Indigenous peoples. [Click here to read part 1] The term “Indigenous” is not new to Canadians. “Indigenous peoples” was used by anthropologists and ethnographers in the 19th century to describe a people united by culture,… Read more »