Category Archives: Doing History

New Directions in Public History

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By Kaleigh Bradley What is public history? I remember being asked this question on my first day in the “Intro to Public History” M.A. seminar at Carleton University. I knew why I wanted to study Public History (please give me a job in history?), but I found myself struggling to define it on the spot. I quickly learned that public… Read more »

Vicarious Trauma: Collecting the Herd

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By Jesse Thistle Author’s Preface “Vicarious Trauma: Collecting the Herd” is written in a first-person narrative style in line with Indigenous ways of knowing and disseminating knowledge, as seen in the works of Campbell (1974), Koebel (2007), and Devine (2010), among other Métis scholars, writers, and activists. This piece opens with oral testimony from a Cree-Métis Elder Rose (pseudonym) recording during… Read more »

Reclaiming spaces at Canada’s History Forum and the 2015 Governor General’s History Awards

by Stacey Devlin Humanity has an incurable habit of imposing meaning onto our surroundings. We transform every place we encounter into a landscape of the imagination, tinged by interpretation and experience, and populated by locations like “hometown,” “favourite fishing spot,” “sacred site,” and “mother country.” The tourism industry has long taken advantage of this to construct narratives which inspire travel,… Read more »

Let’s Stand Up and Be Counted: Gender and the Need for a Better Understanding of the Profession

By Thomas Peace Since January I’ve developed a bad habit of becoming completely enveloped by the live concerts on the Apple TV Station Qello. I just can’t stop watching them. A couple of months ago my partner (who wisely goes to bed rather than getting sucked into hours of concert watching) decided to join me. After a few tunes she… Read more »

Kenneth Dewar, Frank Underhill and the Politics of Ideas

By Ann Walton This April, historian and professor Kenneth C. Dewar arrived at Carleton University’s History Department to launch his new book, Frank Underhill and the Politics of Ideas. The room was bustling with students and professors all chatting as we waited for the talk to begin. The subject of Dewar’s book was of particular interest here. Not only did… Read more »

Film Friday: British Columbia’s Contact Zone Classrooms, 1849–1925

Film Fridays give active historians a chance to share their work in a new format. If you would like to submit a film about history, get in touch! By Sean Carleton Canada’s sordid history of colonial education has yet again become a topic of controversy and debate. While the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is coming to an… Read more »

Who built Toronto’s St Lawrence Neighbourhood?

(adapted from an earlier post on torontoplanninghistorian.com) By Richard White Earlier this month, it was Jane’s Walk time again in Toronto, and thousands were out this past touring various urban locales under the guidance of local experts. It is a remarkable success story, this concept, and a fitting legacy for someone who conceived one of the most influential books of the twentieth century… Read more »

Preserving Canada’s Sporting Past with the Jackie MacDonald Scrapbooks

By Adrienne Coffey and Danielle Manning Jackie MacDonald is an athlete who gives Canadians good reason to be proud of their sports heritage. She has competed in a multitude of sports, first attracting attention as the star player on a Toronto city league basketball team that won two Junior National Championships. She has also participated in competitive swimming and diving,… Read more »

The Home Archivist – Making Arrangements

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By Jess Dunkin In February, I shared two posts on the subject of conservation. The first post introduced readers of the Home Archivist to institutions and individuals working to preserve Canada’s documentary heritage, and described the safety equipment and tools that paper conservators use to process historical records. The second post saw those tools being put to use in the… Read more »

“Working on the Water, Fighting for the Land”: A New Comic Book about Colonialism, Capitalism, and Indigenous Labour History

By Sean Carleton In the fall of 2013, Active History.ca featured a blog post by the Graphic History Collective announcing the start of the Graphic History Project, an online series of short, accessible, and free historical comic books. In addition to outlining the aims and aspirations of the Graphic History Project, the post publicized the release of the first comic… Read more »