Category Archives: History in the News

WikiLeaks and the End of History?

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An analysis of WikiLeaks, access to information, and the public’s right to know.

The New Huck Finn

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A new edited version of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn will be published with the most offensive terms edited out. What are the merits and problems of this approach to difficult classic literature?

You Are Here: Not A Year-In-Review Post

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While many writers will be surrendering their soapboxes to reflection and summation — perhaps as the basis for trying to predict where it seems we’re headed — I’d like to offer a different sort of historically-minded meditation: a brief you are here assessment informed by two somewhat interconnected statements that recently caught my attention.

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 »