Category Archives: Global History

Will Sanctions Against Russia Work?

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Russian-owned Sovcomflot oil tanker

Lorenz M. Lüthi Europe and North America have reacted to Russia’s outright aggression against Ukraine with an unprecedented slate of economic and political sanctions. Municipal governments, private companies, sports associations, cultural institutions, and other entities are taking matters into their own hands, too, by reviewing or even terminating links with Russian counterparts. States usually impose sanctions against an aggressor for… Read more »

Rescuing Historical Data for Climate Science

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Emily Manson [T]hose log books give the wind and weather every hour… spread over a great extent of ocean. What better data could a patient meteorological philosopher desire? – Francis Beaufort to Richard Lovell Edgeworth, 1809[1] Captains of nautical vessels have been keeping logbooks for centuries, for a variety of purposes. In the early modern period, captains described their travels… Read more »

What’s in Putin’s Head?

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Lorenz M. Lüthi As we are slowly coming to terms with a new reality in international relations, we try to make sense of it using the anecdotal and fragmentary information available to us. Few outside of Russia can claim to understand what is going on in Vladimir Putin’s head. Most of us are guessing about the rationale behind the war,… Read more »

A Structural Pandemic: On Statues, Colonial Violence, and the Importance of History (Part III)

Kristine Alexander and Mary Jane Logan McCallum While – as shown in our previous post – Guiding and Scouting were inextricably linked to British imperialism and settler colonialism, some Indigenous students in Canadian Indian residential schools also found that these organizations provided a refuge in an alien environment and a short break from labour and strict routine. It was an… Read more »

A Structural Pandemic: On Statues, Colonial Violence, and the Importance of History (Part II)

Kristine Alexander and Mary Jane Logan McCallum As we documented in our previous post, looking more closely at the history of Scouting and Guiding reveals that the divide between colonialist violence, fascist discipline, and peaceful pedagogy was not quite as stark as Baden-Powell and his supporters would have us believe. Instead of insisting on the ideological opposition between Scouting and… Read more »

A Structural Pandemic: On Statues, Colonial Violence, and the Importance of History (Part I)

Kristine Alexander and Mary Jane Logan McCallum 2020 has been intense. Living in lockdown, uncertain about the future, watching the body count from Covid-19 and police violence continue to rise. Time, shaped by anger, grief, and fear, moves differently, as the pandemic – like other disease outbreaks before it – exposes and deepens socio-economic divisions and inequalities. Despite the best… Read more »

Snapshots of Canada-Timor solidarity

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David Webster Pictures are powerful. They can tell strong stories. This post accompanies a new e-dossier that tells the history of a Canadian campaign for international human rights through images (http://historybeyondborders.ca/?p=220). While the full photo history looks at a range of groups that worked for human rights in Timor-Leste (East Timor) when it was under Indonesian military rule in 1975-99,… Read more »

Annual Year in Review (100 Years Later): Physical Distancing/Bored At Home Edition

By Aaron Boyes and Sean Graham Remember December? It was only 4 months ago, despite how long ago it feels. When we convened for our Annual(?) Year in Review (100 Years Later)™ we wrote that 2019 had been “a slog” and that “consuming news this year has rarely left us with an overwhelming feeling of optimism.” Then 2020 came along… Read more »

REJECTED: Border Crossing Records and Histories of Exclusion

By Edward Dunsworth Mollee West’s weekend was a total disaster. On a Saturday afternoon late in the summer of 1929, the 25-year old New Yorker put the finishing touches on preparations for the trip she and her two young sons were about to embark on. Kids dressed, bags packed, and train tickets tripled-checked, Mollee, her husband Jack, and the boys… Read more »

Yuval Harari: A commentary on the world’s bestselling historian

Alvin Finkel Yuval Noah Harari’s book, Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind is a publishing miracle. Published initially in Hebrew in 2011, it was translated into English in 2014 and has since been translated into about 50 other languages. By the end of 2018, it reportedly had sold over 11.5 million copies and today in Amazon Canada’s listing for all… Read more »