Category Archives: Canadian history

“We as parliamentarians can feel the gaze of history upon us”: Historical Consciousness and Bill C-38, the Civil Marriage Act (2005)

Erin Gallagher-Cohoon In 2005, Canada became the fourth country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage. During the House of Commons’ debates on Bill C-38, an act respecting certain aspects of legal capacity for marriage for civil purposes, parliamentarians on both sides argued that what they were contemplating doing was unprecedented; whether a brave or a reckless act, it was… Read more »

Serving Indigenous Community-Oriented Scholars in the Ivory Tower

Brittany Luby The academic landscape is changing. In response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, many Canadian universities have committed to increasing the diversity of their faculty. They have also committed to improving Indigenous programming. Many universities have associated these action items with two goals: (1) combatting the perpetuation of colonial knowledges, and (2) attracting and retaining… Read more »

Subjectivity and Objectivity: Photography, Family, and the Historian

Benjamin Bryce I recently submitted an article manuscript to a scholarly journal about my great-great grandfather, Cooper Robinson, and his photography in Japan in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. As a social historian of migration, I have long been interested in family, but I had never done work on my own family. My personal, albeit distant, relationship to… Read more »

Family archives and research at Assumption College’s French Institute

Leslie Choquette As director of the French Institute at Assumption College, a research center focused on French-Canadian migration to New England, I have worked with three donors of family archival collections, not just to give their materials a good home, but to use them to shape their family stories for different audiences. This experience both convinced me of the usefulness… Read more »

Professional Historians, Personal Histories: A Roundtable on Objectivity, Subjectivity and Family History

Laura Madokoro This week, Active History features a roundtable on history called “Professional Historians, Personal Histories: A Roundtable on Objectivity, Subjectivity and Family History.” As the title suggests, the four contributions from Benjamin Bryce, Leslie Choquette, Bonnie Huskins and Michael Boudreau and Brittany Luby focus, from different perspectives, on the question of the relationship between professional historians, family histories and… Read more »

Once Were Brothers: Reflections on Rock ‘n’ Roll revisionism

By James Cullingham I first saw The Band at Massey Hall in January 1970 when I was a Toronto high school student. It was a highly anticipated comeback show just around the corner from the bars and strip clubs they had played when they were known as The Hawks. The Band’s sound drew on Appalachian music, Country & Western, Delta… Read more »

University Donations and the Legitimization of Far-Right Views

by Asa McKercher In 2016, Western University’s Department of History announced the establishment of a variety of graduate awards and scholarships named for Kenneth Hilborn, who had bequeathed $1 million to the university in his estate. A faculty member at Western from 1961 to 1997, Hilborn (PhD, Oxford) was of a generation where one could apparently secure tenure without having… Read more »

Hussar: My Grandpapa and the Polish Experience Under British Command in the Second World War

This is the ninth post in a series marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day and the end of the Second World War as part of a partnership between Active History and the Juno Beach Centre. If you would like to contribute, contact series coordinator Alex Fitzgerald-Black at alex@junobeach.org. By Sean Campbell An officer on my staff, a former student at Gdansk Polytechnic,… Read more »

Bruce W. Hodgins (1931- 2019) Historian and Master Canoeist

An appreciation by James Cullingham I first met Bruce W. Hodgins in a tipi at Camp Wanapitei on Lake Temagami some 400 kilometres north of Toronto. It was 1973. I was an undergraduate student at Trent University attending the first autumnal Canadian Studies gathering of students and professors at that camp located at Sandy Inlet. The Trent Temagami Weekend continues… Read more »

A selection of records about D-Day and the Normandy Campaign, June 6 to August 30, 1944

This is the eighth of several posts marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day and the end of the Second World War as part of a partnership between Active History and the Juno Beach Centre. If you would like to contribute, contact series coordinator Alex Fitzgerald-Black at alex@junobeach.org. Today’s post is the second part of a series published on the Library… Read more »