Category Archives: History in the News

Let’s talk about race, Canada

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Talking about race in Canada is a lot like talking about sex in the old days. There is so much imposed silence on the subject. We skip around it, pretend that it is not there, and pray that it will go away.

Does a History Education Matter?

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In late September the Pope traveled to England and beatified Cardinal Newman. One month later the British government’s 40% funding cuts demonstrated the limited influence of sainthood in the politics of higher education.

The Return of the Narrative?

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The history curriculum in UK schools is to be overhauled with the help of Simon Schama, an announcement made five months after the controversy sparked by the alleged invitation extended to Niall Ferguson.  The concerns remain the same: that history is disappearing through falling demand, at least in state schools; that where it is taught, the topic-based approach of the… Read more »

“Come On Over”: Call-In Collaborative History in Northeastern Ontario

When up in the Sudbury and Manitoulin areas for a quick research trip in mid-September, driving several hundred kilometres, I became well-acquainted with CBC Sudbury. On Morning North, there was a regular program by two Laurentian University professors conducting research for their upcoming book Come on Over: Northeastern Ontario A-Z. In what sounds like a cross between an encyclopedia and… Read more »

Is Wikipedia Worth the Trouble?

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Formally launched by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger in 2001, Wikipedia — the “free encyclopedia that anyone can edit” — has become the first (and often only) stop in Internet fact-finding. With well over ten million articles to date, Wikipedia has evaded overt corporate influence through a non-profit structure and currently ranks among the top ten most visited sites on… Read more »

Reflection: 9/11

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Today I write this on 12 September 2010, one day after 11 September 2010, and 9 years after 11 September 2001. In the midst of my first year of living in New York City, this date has caused me special occasion to pause and to take note of the nine year anniversary as I get to know the neighbourhoods and… Read more »

2010 is Year of the British Home Child in Canada but Some Descendants Want More from Ottawa

The Government of Canada has declared 2010 to be the Year of the British Home Child.  Earlier this month, Canada Post released a commemorative stamp to honour this recognition. The stamp, designed by Debbie Adams of Adams+Associates Design Consultants, contains three images: the SS Sardinian, on which home children migrated from Britain to Canada; a photograph of a home child… Read more »

Can We Redeem File-Sharing After the Download Decade?

The term “download decade” is an effective description of the first ten years of this infant century and the first rising chapter of the so-called Information Age. It accurately distills the blind conspiracy between the exponential availability of high-speed Internet, the gradual decrease in the cost of personal computers, the rise of peer-to-peer file-sharing networks and websites like Napster and… Read more »

In Search of the Franklin Expedition

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In 1845 the Franklin Expedition disembarked from coastal England in search of the Northwest Passage, but instead of achieving this goal, the voyage became the source of one of history’s most enduring stories that would continue to spark interest over 150 years later. This summer Parks Canada has announced its intention to continue its search for the wrecks of the… Read more »