Category Archives: Global History

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 »

Ten Books to Contextualize Global Warming

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By Stacy Nation-Knapper, Andrew Watson, and Sean Kheraj Last year, Nature’s Past, the Canadian environmental history podcast, published a special series called, “Histories of Canadian Environmental Issues”. Each episode focused on a different contemporary environmental issue and featured interviews and discussions with historians whose research explains the context and background. Following up on that project, we are publishing six articles… Read more »

Understanding the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report from the Perspective of a Climate Historian

By Dagomar Degroot (this post originally appeared on Degroot’s personal website) Established in 1988 by the UN and the World Meteorological Organization, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is a scientific body that periodically summarizes the scholarly understanding of the world’s climate. In 2007, the panel’s fourth assessment report outlined in stark terms the likelihood of anthropogenic global warming. Since then,… Read more »

Chemical Weapons and Conventional Bombs

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By Jim Clifford Over the past few weeks that world has watched as the United States threatened to bomb Syria to punish the Assad Regime for using chemical weapons against his population. I, like many other people have wondered why chemical weapons are a “Red Line”, but deadly and efficient conventional weapons remain a widely used and legitimate. Conventional attacks… Read more »

Heavy Metal: The History of the Coin

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By Amanda Walters It’s something we seemingly can’t live without, and something most of us know very little about. Coins, and all forms of money for that matter, are an important part of our lives, allowing us to buy food, drinks and other products as well as to pay for parking and for services. Yet we don’t tend to stop… Read more »

The Wider World in the Peripheral Vision of Historians in Canada

Luke Clossey on the state of the historical profession in Canada: 75% of historians work on the history of the West, a nebulous place containing only 15% of the global population.

“Leveraging the Synergies” or a return to the past?: The decision to do away with CIDA

By Jill Campbell-Miller On March 21st, the Canadian government released the 2013 federal budget and in a paragraph did away with the 45-year-old Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).  The budget announced that CIDA would be amalgamated with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) to become the newly-renamed Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development.  The budget justified… Read more »

Strangely ahistoric sensibilities at the American Museum of Natural History

By Jon Weier When you visit New York City in late January you find yourself avoiding some of the activities that would characterize a spring or summer visit.  Strolls in Central Park, though beautiful, lose some of their allure on a windy and cold afternoon.  Walking from Midtown to the Lower East Side for dinner is no longer worth the… Read more »