Category Archives: Global History

Crowdsourcing Old Maps Online

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A little under a year ago the British Library released over a million images on Flickr Commons “for anyone to use, remix and repurpose”. This huge collection of historical images was “plucked from the pages” of digitized 17th, 18th and 19th century books automatically using the “Mechanical Curator,” created by the British Library Labs project. The library hoped that people on the internet would help… Read more »

Thinking about Thalidomide in Transnational History: Canada and South Africa

By Christine Chisholm What was the global impact of thalidomide? On September 24th, the Department of History, the Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies/Disability Studies, and the Institute of African Studies at Carleton University came together to host two speakers to Ottawa as part of a day-long meeting on the transnational history of the infamous drug thalidomide. Developed by the German company Chemie… Read more »

Graphic Environmentalism: An Interview with Comic Writer-Artist Steph Hill

Previous Active History posts (see here, here, and here) have examined the use of comics in telling – and interpreting – stories about the past. In this post, Ryan O’Connor (RO) interviews Steph Hill (SH), the writer-artist behind A Brief, Accurate Graphic History of the Environmental Movement (Mostly in Canada). RO: This is a really interesting project. What is it that… Read more »

‘1914-1918 In Memoriam’: A View from the Grandstand

ActiveHistory.ca is featuring this post as the first piece for “Canada’s First World War: A Centennial Series on ActiveHistory.ca”, a multi-year series of regular posts about the history and centennial of the First World War.  By Nathan Smith A sizeable audience turned out for a First World War commemorative event held at the University of Toronto’s Varsity Stadium this past… Read more »

Digital Approaches to 19th Century Globalization

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By Jim Clifford The map below drew a lot of attention on Twitter when I posted it a few weeks ago in advance of a presentation I gave at an environmental history conference in early July. It was retweeted, not just by friends and fellow environmental historians, but also by Shawn Donnan, a World Trade Editor at the Financial Times. I… Read more »

Call for Blog Posts – Canada’s First World War: A Centennial Series on ActiveHistory.ca

By Sarah Glassford, Christopher Schultz, Nathan Smith, and Jonathan Weier August 4th is an important day in the centennial of the First World War. It was on this day a century ago that Britain declared war on Germany, committing Canada to the “Great War” as a British Dominion, confirming its alliance with imperial France and Tsarist Russia, and making enemies… Read more »

Pessimism and Hope When Teaching Global Environmental History

By Jim Clifford This past year I taught a small but fantastic group of undergraduate students in a course focused on the global environmental history of the industrial revolution. My goal in the course was to situate the massive environmental transformations of the past two centuries in a broad historical context and to provide an opportunity to discuss the benefits… Read more »

The War to End All Wars: A Look Back at World War One – A Video Series from the Department of History at York University

When Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated by Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip on June 28, 1914, it set off a chain of events that became one of the deadliest combats in human history, known as the First World War. To mark the centennial of the start of this war, York University’s Department of History has produced a documentary series,… Read more »

“And bold and adventurous amazons they were”: Colonial encounters with LGBT Indigenous people in the Pacific Northwest fur-trade

By Eric Wright An earlier version of post originally appeared on the author’s blog Actually History.  In 1814, an Irish fur-trader in the employ of the Northwest Company by the name of Ross Cox was conducting business with Indigenous people near present day Spokane, Washington when he encountered, in his eyes, a remarkable individual.  In his journal under the titillating heading… Read more »

How Does History Help Explain Bitcoins?

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By Jonathan McQuarrie Lately, Bitcoins have received considerable attention from the media. The recent failure of the Tokyo-based Mt. Gox exchange, where users could exchange their Bitcoins for national currencies, sparked particular concern. The website managed to lose some 850,000 Bitcoins, which at the time were valued at approximately $400 million. For the last month, proponents of Bitcoins, such as… Read more »