Category Archives: Global History

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 »

Bones, Ghosts and Human Rights: How Science Can Further Justice

A public lecture by Luis Fondebrider, recorded at the University of Saskatchewan on February 10, 2014 Luis Fondebrider teaches in the Department of Legal Medicine at the University of Buenos Aires. He is President of the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team and has been involved in international tribunals on political violence and human rights, focusing on the use of forensic anthropology in… Read more »

International Women’s Day (IWD) and Human Rights 2014

By Veronica Strong-Boag Author’s note: This post was commissioned as an IWD blog by the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. It was initially approved and posted by the Museum on 4 March 2014. It was, however, almost immediately withdrawn as ‘Communications’ at the Museum deemed the one line comment on the current federal Conservative government unacceptable as written. The offer… Read more »

The Aestheticization of Politics at the Olympic Games

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By Eric Wright Disclaimer: I am an athlete and sports fan, despite what this article may lead you to believe. The 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics has been embroiled in controversy from the start.  The games will be the most corrupt in history based on dollar value, with an estimated one third of the games’ $51 billion price tag attributable to… Read more »

Lessons from History: Santayana vs. Vonnegut

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“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” George Santayana, 1905 I hear variations of this quote all the time. Often in praise of what I do for a living: “You’re a historian, well great, cause if we don’t know history, we’re doomed to repeat it!” In the face of this good will, I never take the… Read more »

For an Artist-Historian, Film-Making is a Sea-Change

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By George Tombs I recently completed The Blinding Sea, a 52-minute high-definition historical film about the most successful polar explorer of all time, Roald Amundsen (1872-1928). He was first through the Northwest Passage, first to the South Pole, second eastbound through the Northeast Passage and first confirmed to have reached the North Pole. This was no armchair exercise for me…. Read more »

Talk: Dr. Jacalyn Duffin – “Historian as Activist: Tales from the Medical Trench”

http://activehistory.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Duffin-Historian-as-Activist.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadBy Katherine Zwicker Dr. Jacalyn Duffin began her career in medicine, practicing hematology in Ontario.  A move to France, though, prompted Duffin to pursue a Ph.D. in history and, since her return to Canada more than two decades ago, she has balanced a career as a historian and practicing physician.  As the Hannah Chair… Read more »