Category Archives: American History

The True Revenants of a Buried Past

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What are the problems and possibilities of Hollywood history? ActiveHistory is pleased to feature a four-essay forum on The Revenant, a 2015 Hollywood historical epic set against the backdrop of the early 1800s North American fur trade. As a primer, we recommend reading Stacy Nation-Knapper’s excellent review from earlier this year. Michel Bouchard The Revenant is the latest of ghostly resurrections… Read more »

Hugh Glass: The Evolution of a Legend

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What are the problems and possibilities of Hollywood history? ActiveHistory is pleased to feature a four-essay forum on The Revenant, a 2015 Hollywood historical epic set against the backdrop of the early 1800s North American fur trade. As a primer, we recommend reading Stacy Nation-Knapper’s excellent review from earlier this year. Claire Kaufman The fur trader and mountain man Hugh Glass… Read more »

“Inspired by True Events”: The Fur Trade, The Revenant, and Humanity

What are the problems and possibilities of Hollywood history? ActiveHistory is pleased to feature a four-essay forum on The Revenant, a 2015 Hollywood historical epic set against the backdrop of the early 1800s North American fur trade. As a primer, we recommend reading Stacy Nation-Knapper’s excellent review from earlier this year. Ted Binnema The Revenant’s trailer indicates that the movie is… Read more »

Enforcing Wildlife Conservation in Maine: The Lasting Legacy of the Nineteenth Century

By Ian J. Jesse Many are familiar with the show North Woods Law. The show first aired in 2012 and has been popular ever since. If you have not seen the show the premise is simple: camera crews follow Maine game wardens as they do their work. In an episode wardens could be chasing down poachers one minute and searching for… Read more »

History on TV: Political Drama in the 2010s

Alban Bargain-Villéger In recent years, serial political dramas such as House of Cards and the Danish series Borgen have enjoyed quite a bit of success in North America. Although one might argue that the genre is more of a child of the 1990s, since the original House of Cards trilogy (set in a fictional post-Thatcher Britain) came out in 1991,… Read more »

Lab Partners: Experimenting with Active Learning

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(Editor’s note: this post first appeared in the American Historical Association’s Perspectives in April 2016) By Gabriel Pizzorno and Heidi Tworek One truism about World War I is the incompetence of German propaganda in the United States. The classic stories feature German officials forgetting briefcases with secret documents on the New York subway and ham-fistedly delivering speeches about German culture. But… Read more »

Celebrating Graphic Herstory

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The Graphic History Collective Historically, the comics industry has been male dominated, with male writers and male illustrators (working for companies owned by men) depicting women in stereotypically demeaning and derogatory ways. This is especially true of Golden Age comics in the 1940s and 1950s, with the possible exception of Wonder Woman in the United States and Nelvana of the… Read more »

Violence in Early Canada

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We are crossposting this essay as part of our partnership with the new early Canadian history blog Borealia. By Elizabeth Mancke & Scott See In the months since the 19 October election, Canadians – from Justin Trudeau to church groups preparing for Syrian refugees – are reasserting one of the most recognizable tropes about Canada, that the country is an international… Read more »

Film Friday: The Revenant is Beautiful, Disappointing Art

Stacy Nation-Knapper The Revenant is not history. Yes, as the film trailers, posters, and advertisements boast, the film was “inspired by true events” and it represents an amalgam of multiple historic fur trade events during the years 1820-24, and fantasy. Most of the non-Indigenous characters in the film existed. Other writers, including Clay Landry for the Museum of the Mountain… Read more »

Real American Hero? Military experience in U.S. presidential politics

Oscar Winberg In mid-December, Senator Lindsey Graham threw in the towel and dropped his struggling campaign for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. The South Carolina senator had struggled to gain any traction in the crowded Republican field where Donald Trump continues to hog a disproportionate amount of the news coverage and a large lead in the polls. Graham’s exit… Read more »