Category Archives: Global History

The Die-In: A Short History

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By Daniel Ross On June 19th, City of Toronto officials on their way to work had to step over the bodies of hundreds of cyclists lying in front of the entrance to City Hall. A week later, the busy intersection in front of the Bank of England in central London was shut down by a similar spectacle. And in January,… Read more »

History as Rhetoric: Indochina and Contemporary Refugee Crises

By Laura Madokoro Recently, and perhaps not surprisingly for a historian, I have been thinking a lot about the relationship between the present and the past. In particular, about the use of history by advocates seeking to draw attention to the current refugee crises in the Mediterranean and Andaman Seas. In the past few weeks, there has been considerable news… Read more »

Let’s talk about something other than Ebola

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Or, the perils of teaching the history of disease amid global health crises Casey Hurrell This semester, I’ve had the pleasure of teaching a senior undergrad seminar, focusing on the history of disease from the time of Hippocrates to the present. Every week, in front of twenty-two energetic and curious undergrads, I wholeheartedly attempt to steer conversations away from the ongoing… Read more »

Yes, We CAN Think Historically with a Video Game Console

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By Jonathan McQuarrie #gamergate inflicted a well-deserved black eye for video game culture. Whatever the movement may have been (and there are many facets to it), one of the core consequences became a rash of threats against prominent critic Anita Sarkeesian, who rightly pointed to the many harmful and tiresome ways in which video games portrayed women in her series… Read more »

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 »