Category Archives: Public History

Cuban Serenade: Exploring the History of Cuban Music in Canada

Karen Dubinsky & Freddy Monasterio “Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.” Origin debatable. In the face of this indisputable cliché, we created a documentary podcast series. The first episode of Cuban Serenade premieres today (July 2), the birthdate of our first protagonist, Chicho Valle (1924-1984). Chicho was, we believe, the first professional Cuban musician in Canada. He arrived… Read more »

Stronger Together: The Potential Collaborative Agency of Historians and Archivists

Andrea Eidinger and Krista McCracken Over the past few years, the historical community in Canada has been rocked by a few scandals. No, we are not talking about the endless discussions around monuments. Rather, we are referring to the numerous public disputes between historians and archivists relating either to the discovery of or access to archival material. For example, you’ve… Read more »

So long Dundas: From Colonization to Decolonization Road?

These are just two stories of many. With a roadway that stretches across all of eastern Canada, an opportunity presents itself not just to commemorate one life or history, but rather to use the road – Highway Two, which started out in Ontario as Dundas Street – as a heritage tool to substantially change how our national, region, and local histories are remembered. Renaming Dundas Street presents a positive opportunity to make a change.

John E. “Jack” Hammell and the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame

By Matthew Corbeil In January 2007, Canadian mining giant Teck Cominco (since rebranded Teck Resources) donated $10 million to the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in what was “the largest corporate gift in the museum’s history.” The donation went toward the creation of three new earth science galleries, allowing the museum to double the number of minerals and gems it could… Read more »

Research stories: The Mystery of the Missing Camera

Ronald Rudin Once upon a time, I did my research in the archives, a controlled environment where weird things rarely happened. Then, I became a public historian, venturing out into the real world, and things were not always so straightforward, particularly when I was on the road with a film crew. For instance, there was the time when the director… Read more »

How do we teach history after this? Thoughts from the “Pandemic Pedagogy” series

By Samantha Cutrara I went into self-isolation about a week before many others. Because I had come into contact with family traveling abroad, I worked from home while the university and college I work for continued to prepare for what felt like an inevitability after the WHO’s declaration. Being by myself that first week exacerbated the sense of shock that… Read more »

Resuscitating Stories: Some reflections on the “Ododo Wa” exhibit and experience

Gilbert Nuwagira Growing up in south western Uganda, I would hear whispers of stories told in hushed tones; stories of what the River Kagera had brought in 1994 and of the then on-going Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) insurgency in Northern Uganda. The latter stories were relayed to us by people who had not been in northern Uganda. Going through school… Read more »

Telling my story through words and artefacts

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Grace Acan As I think back about how it all started, I find truth in the common saying “a problem shared is a problem half solved.” Sharing a story like mine is not easy. It takes time and courage. When I escaped the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) after eight years of captivity, I was unable to do so. It took… Read more »

Sharing, healing, advocating

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Evelyn Amony Much of my life is full of ups and downs, and I know it will keep moving on like that. At the age of 11, turning on 12, I was abducted by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA)—a group of rebels that fought against the Ugandan government for over 20 years. Before my abduction, I lived with my parents… Read more »

“Ododo Wa:” Researching and communicating difficult knowledge

Annie Bunting with Patricia Trudel We often think of academic research as backward-looking. It documents the past, collecting data on lived experiences. While working with the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR), our SSHRC-funded (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council) partnership—Conjugal Slavery in War: Partnerships for the study of enslavement, marriage and masculinities (CSiW)—disseminated research in creative ways. Mobilizing this… Read more »