Category Archives: Doing History

A Berks Retrospective: Feminist Mentorship and Inequality in the Ivory Tower

By Beth A. Robertson In anticipation of the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians, Adele Perry wrote of the ongoing power of women’s history to “challenge and unsettle”. Reflecting on the success of the Berks this past weekend, one cannot fault Perry for being optimistic. I had the opportunity to present at this conference, held in Canada (Toronto) for the first… Read more »

Where We Tell Their Stories: Commemorating Women’s History in Toronto through Plaques and Markers

By Kaitlin Wainwright When British Labour politician Tony Benn passed away this March, attention was drawn to his efforts in the British Houses of Parliament to install plaques that told histories of the suffrage movement in Britain. Among them was one he installed illegally in the broom closet where Emily Wilding Davison, a suffragist, hid on the night of the… Read more »

Women’s History, Active History, and the 2014 Berkshire Conference

By Adele Perry Later this month the University of Toronto’s downtown campus will host the Berkshire Conference on the History of Women. This is a big deal for a number of reasons. It is the first time that this venerable and highly visible conference has met outside of the United States. And there is also the sheer scale of the… Read more »

Feminist Mentorship @ the Berks

      3 Comments on Feminist Mentorship @ the Berks

By Jennifer Hough Evans Full disclosure I am very much invested in the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians (Berks). My supervisor at the University of Toronto is Franca Iacovetta, the first Canadian President of the Berks. I am the Administrative Assistant for the Berks, finding answers for conference participants’ questions, inputting changes to the conference program and making sure information… Read more »

I Dig the Past

      No Comments on I Dig the Past

By Jay Young  With optimistic thoughts of warm summer days soon approaching, I recently decided to tackle the backyard. We moved into a home in Toronto last year and we had anticipated some outdoor projects ahead.  This included the widening of a backyard walkway and the erection of a few vegetable planter beds there too. Much of the hard work… Read more »

Of History and Headlines: Reflections of an Accidental Public Historian

By Ian Mosby When I first heard Alvin Dixon’s voice I was driving along Dupont Avenue in Toronto with my partner, Laural, and our three-month-old son, Oscar. Dixon was talking to Rick MacInnes-Rae, who was filling in as the co-host of the CBC Radio show As It Happens. The interview was about Dixon’s experience at the Alberni Indian residential school (AIRS)… Read more »

Memory and the Built Landscape: Edmonton’s Architectural Heritage Website

By Tim O’Grady When you think of important events in your life, chances are you associate them with physical places. Whether it is your childhood home, a former school, or a family cottage or favourite vacation spot, the connection between memory and place is intangible, though very real. People are connected to the buildings in their city. They have lived… Read more »

Past Protection: Conservation at the Archives of Ontario

By Jenny Prior Meet Shannon Coles, a conservator at the Archives of Ontario. Shannon’s been stabilizing archival records and preparing them for digitization and reproduction for our on-site World War I exhibit, Dear Sadie, launching this summer. Q: Shannon, what led you to your unique and interesting occupation? A: Going to museums as a kid always frustrated me because I wanted… Read more »

From the Classroom to the Front Lines of Heritage Preservation

By Christine McLaughlin I’ve spent many years in a university classrooms studying and teaching history. In true academic fashion, I’ve published an article that critically analyzes public history production and memory in a postwar industrial city. My recent appointment to Heritage Oshawa by City Council has offered me the opportunity to translate this theoretical engagement into concrete action. This has… Read more »

Judging the Past

      2 Comments on Judging the Past

By Andrew Nurse One of the basic rules of historical scholarship is to avoid “anachronistic judgments.” In simple terms, this means the following: the people who lived in the past, lived different lives with different values and different obligations then do we in the present. Therefore, it would be wrong to judge them by standards that are outside the context… Read more »