Category Archives: History in the News

From Trudeau to Trudeau:  A Violation of the Right to Strike and Bargain Collectively

by Christo Aivalis At the time of writing, Justin Trudeau’s federal Liberal government is quickly going through the procedural motions to legislate Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) members back to work. While the Liberals’ strong parliamentary majority—along with support from the Conservative opposition on this issue—means such legislation will likely pass, it may be delayed slightly by concerns in… Read more »

A new approach to debates over Macdonald and other monuments in Canada: Part 2

This is the second part of an essay that ran last Tuesday. Read Part 1 here. By Stéphane Lévesque I believe that every citizen of Canada, from students to adults (including political leaders), would gain from a progression towards more sophisticated forms of historical consciousness that encourage critical distance and informed opinions, and cultivate the capacity to “digest complexity” –… 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 »

A Historian’s Reflections on the 2018 CUPE 3903 Strike

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Alban Bargain-Villéger [T]here is a peculiar illusion incidental to all knowledge acquired in the way of education: the illusion of finality. —R.G. Collingwood, The Idea of History (1946). As a rule, historians do not often question their role as historical agents. While some simply do not think about it, others seem rather reluctant to imagine themselves as objects of investigation… Read more »

Historical Practice and Media Engagement

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Krista McCracken How many media interviews did I think I would do when I started working in an archive? Zero. How many media interviews have I done in the last two months? Eleven. These media interactions have included interviews for television, radio, magazines, newspapers, and online only forums. This work has centered on promoting the work of the Shingwauk Residential… Read more »

Not so Accidental: Farmworkers, Car Crashes, and Capitalist Agriculture

By Edward Dunsworth  Early last month, near the southern Italian city of Foggia, sixteen migrant farmworkers from various African countries were killed in two separate car accidents. In both cases, vans taking migrants back to camp after work collided with trucks carrying tomatoes from the very fields they had spent the day toiling in. The tragedy brought international media scrutiny… Read more »

Memory, History, Monuments, and Mennonites: Or, what Winkler, Manitoba might teach us about dealing with historical and moral complexity in public commemoration

By Matthew Neufeld I am against removing statues of controversial figures from our history.  I think removals are misguided because they amplify rather than diminish the moral charge of public commemoration. Instead of removing monuments that might provoke emotional pain among some members of historically marginalized groups or foster moral unease in the consciences of Canadians with European ancestry, I… Read more »

What’s In a Monument? Part II: The Edward Cornwallis Monument and Reconciliation

“What’s in a Monument?” is based on a public lecture delivered on March 11 in the History Matters Series organized by the University of Calgary History Department and the Calgary Public Library. We recommend that you read yesterday’s post by Jewel Spangler about the Robert E. Lee monument in Charlottesville before Part II because it provides the theoretical framework for… Read more »

What’s in a Monument? Part I: Robert E. Lee and Confederate Memory

By Jewel Spangler “What’s in a Monument?” is based on a public lecture delivered on March 11 in the History Matters Series organized by the University of Calgary History Department and the Calgary Public Library. This first post by Jewel Spangler is about the attempted removal of the Robert E. Lee monument in Charlottesville. Tomorrow’s post by Nancy Janovicek focuses… Read more »

“Government Mail Free of Postage”: Scholars’ letters to Parliament Hill

Erin Corber In the introduction to his 1993 Reith lectures, Edward Said reflects on the role and representations of the intellectual. Taking Gramsci’s inclusive vision of a broad and expansive intellectual class populated increasingly not only by producers but also by distributors of knowledge, Said argues that the intellectual’s role in society “cannot be reduced simply to being a faceless… Read more »