Category Archives: Doing History

The Never-ending History Wars

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Allan Greer How can we understand the past and what lessons does it hold for the present? This is an issue that has always been contested with different approaches coming to the fore.  From Plutarch in ancient times to Machiavelli in the Renaissance, the predominant idea was that stories of great men from earlier times would guide and inspire elite… Read more »

Research Diary II: A Small Island in Low Season

Alban Bargain-Villéger This is the second and final part of the diary I kept during a research trip to Groix island in December 2018. The first episode covered my journey to Paris and the train ride to Lorient. The following pages begin on the evening of my arrival, after a rough, though bearable, ferry ride across the Courreaux Strait. December… Read more »

Research Diary I: A Small Island in Low Season

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Alban Bargain-Villéger This post consists of excerpts from the research diary I kept during my research trip to Groix, France, in December 2018. Groix is a small island off the coast of Brittany, France’s westernmost region. This investigation into Groix’s understudied past is part of a long-haul project on three small northern European islands that I presented in a previous… Read more »

Practicing Theory: What’s Really Happening When You Write Exhibit Text for Museums

John Summers Ostensibly about the preservation, display and interpretation of objects, museums are also full of words. From way-finding signage (as anyone who has ever visited with a small child knows, a successful museum experience can critically depend on being able to locate the nearest washroom!) to fundraising, written text is an important part of what museums do. In the… Read more »

Sixth Annual(?) Year in Review (100 Years Later)

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By Aaron Boyes & Sean Graham Every time you open a new tab you are bombarded with “Best [TV, sports, news, etc.] Moments of 2018!” At this time of year, it’s unavoidable. While some lists are appropriate – such as the worst sports ?blunders of the year, or best dressed of the year – others require some more time to… Read more »

Difficult History, Monuments, and Pedagogy: A Response to Levesque

By Gabriel A. Reich In his two part series, posted on Active History earlier this month, Stéphane Lévesque puts forward a “new approach” to considering the role of historical monuments as an object of study in history education. That approach frames the pedagogy of historical monuments as a historiographical problem that can be best approached using the tools of historical… Read more »

Meaning Making in the Digital Age

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Sean Kheraj This week, I’ve been invited to speak on a panel about digital technologies and open access in the university. I’ll be addressing these issues as they relate to my field of Canadian history. We have been provided with a series of questions to address. Here are two of the most significant questions that we will consider on this… Read more »

A new approach to debates over Macdonald and other monuments in Canada: Part 1

By Stéphane Lévesque “One of the things we heard very clearly from the Indigenous family members” says recently re-elected Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps (2018), “is that coming to city hall… and walking past John A. Macdonald every time, feels contradictory. And if the city is serious about reconciliation, which I would say we are, then one important thing we do… Read more »

Recognizing Women Historians’ Expertise: An Interview with the Co-Founders of Women Also Know History

Interview by Marilou Tanguay[1], Florence Prévost-Grégoire[2] and Catherine Larochelle[3] with Emily Prifogle and Karin Wulf, two of the co-founders of Women Also Know History. This interview was originally published in French on HistoireEngagee.ca. Last June, the historians behind the Twitter account and the hashtag #womenalsoknowhistory launched a website aimed at increasing the dissemination and use of the expertise and publications… Read more »

Digital History in the Classroom (For Beginners!)

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Samantha Cutrara Digital History (or Digital Humanities and/or Social Sciences, more generally) has exciting possibilities for knowledge mobilization, community engagement, and access to primary documents and secondary analysis. I see Digital History (Humanities/Social Sciences) as being more public-facing than traditional engagements in the discipline(s) because of how the emphasis on the digital forces a more networked approach to both the… Read more »