Category Archives: Canadian history

Who speaks? Who tells? Who listens? – Part 1

By Victoria Freeman In 1960, my twenty-month-old sister Martha was admitted to the Rideau Regional Centre, an institution for people with developmental disabilities located on the outskirts of Smiths Falls, Ontario. For the next thirteen years she would live in this isolated and overcrowded complex of 50 buildings that at its peak housed 2,600 inmates. I use the word ‘inmate’… Read more »

Making the Best of It, Then and Now

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Sarah Glassford and Amy Shaw A week or two into our respective COVID-19 isolations at home in Alberta and Ontario, we (colleagues Amy and Sarah) each received, by mail, fresh from the printer, our copies of our new edited collection about female Canadians’ and Newfoundlanders’ experiences of the Second World War. The title – a last minute substitution at the… Read more »

Why am I teaching about this? Historical significance in Canadian history

By Lindsay Gibson and Catherine Duquette Historical significance raises one of the most fundamental and unavoidable questions for understanding history; which events, people, and developments from the past should be studied and remembered?[i] The past is everything that ever happened to everyone everywhere, but it is impossible to study or remember everything that occurred. History is comprised of narratives about… Read more »

Revisiting “Was Laurier Canada’s Obama?”

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Of course, the real interest in the piece, as in the book manuscript I had just completed, wasn’t what happened in 1911 but what happened at the next election in 1917, namely, the most racially polarizing campaign in Canadian history.

Congress 2020, Interrupted: A Brief History of University Codes of Conduct

Will Langford Congress 2020 is cancelled. But before the conference is forgotten, let’s ponder the anti-racism Congress that never was. At last year’s gathering, in a brazen act of racial profiling, a participant harassed political scientist Shelby McPhee and falsely accused the Black graduate student of theft. Following an investigation, the perpetrator was issued a ban for violating the Congress… Read more »

Deep listening and remote interviews with military families

Isabel Campbell In the midst of the Covid 19 pandemic, blogs, webinars, and posts with expert advice about remote interviewing in oral history have blossomed. For example, three experts at Baylor University in the United States put together a webinar which is available on YouTube.[i] It is particularly aimed at Americans; Canadians will quickly realize that our legal environment is… Read more »

In memory of Jarrett Rudy (1970-2020), friend and colleague

(This week, historians across Canada are mourning the loss of an exceptional person and colleague, Jarrett Rudy (McGill), who passed away at his home in Montréal on 4 April 2020). Magda Fahrni Jarrett and I were the same age, both born in the fall of 1970. Over the 20 years that we knew each other and worked together on various… Read more »

Covid-19: An Unprecedented Militarization of the Canada-US Border or a Return to the Old?

By Benjamin Hoy On March 26, 2020, news reports circulated across Canada and the United States that President Donald Trump was considering deploying more than a thousand military personnel near the Canada-US border. The decision seemed baffling to many. Who President Trump hoped to protect Americans from was not altogether clear. Within a few days of the proposal going public,… Read more »

Listening During a Pandemic, and beyond

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Laura Madokoro In 2005, historical geographer Julie Cruikshank published her widely-acclaimed work, Do Glaciers Listen? : Local Knowledge, Colonial Encounters, and Social Imagination (UBC Press) in which she explored the history of environmental change in the Pacific Northwest. She looked specifically at Athapaskan and Tlingit oral traditions to understand glaciers as actors, as sentient beings that “take action and respond… Read more »

The Toronto Church Memorials to Soldiers of the Great War Project

Ross Fair Each Remembrance Day, Torontonians assemble for services of remembrance at public cenotaphs such as the civic cenotaph at the front steps of Old City Hall, the University of Toronto’s Soldiers’ Tower and at the Cross of Sacrifice in Prospect Cemetery, where hundreds of Great War soldiers are buried. Yet, these public sites of remembrance represent but a small… Read more »