Category Archives: Doing History

Decline of the American Empire

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The Decline of the American Empire (1986), or how historians are depressed, hedonistic and abusive scholars who lead meaningless lives and don’t write any history.  Serge Miville “There are three important things in history: First, the numbers, second, the numbers and third, the numbers. That’s why South African blacks will eventually win, and North American blacks are likely to never… Read more »

Ten Keyboard Shortcuts Every Historian Should Know

By Sean Kheraj You’re sitting uncomfortably in the audience at a conference waiting for the presenter to begin. They’ve finally loaded up their PowerPoint file from an old USB flash drive and all that’s left is to set it into presentation mode. They click around aimlessly on the screen trying button after button to no avail. Inside your head you’re… Read more »

Archivists In The Movies – Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones

Krista McCracken Anyone else remember The Librarians TV series? I’ll openly admit that I started watching it because the show was focused on library professionals, albeit librarians of a magical library. If there was a show called The Archivists, I would be championing it before it even aired. A lot of people have no idea what an archivist does, and… Read more »

Eating History: English Canada and the Yorkshire Pudding

Sophie Hicks This is the third post in a summer series exploring societal, community, and familial connections to food and food history. See the series introduction post here. An earlier version of this post appeared on The Canadian Cooking Chronicles, as part of a final project for an Archives Practicum class. Whenever I look through a cookbook, I find myself… Read more »

Grounded: Academic Flying in the Time of Climate Emergency

By Dr Jaymie Heilman “I don’t like harming others, so I don’t fly” climate scientist Peter Kalmus explained, noting that airplane emissions heat the planet, imperiling humans and non-humans alike. The IPCC warns that we have only eleven years to radically reduce carbon emissions or face ever-more devastating effects of climate change, and it is time for academic flyers to… Read more »

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 »