Category Archives: Series

Do you know what the children are learning?

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By Samantha Cutrara What is the purpose of learning history? Are we doomed to repeat it? Do we lose grounding? Are we stranded without space or place? Does history provide us with the skills for understanding evidence or content for narrating experience? As adults, as educators, as historians, we answer these questions with a blend of cliché and seriousness, never… Read more »

Remember / Resist / Redraw #04: The 1837–1838 Rebellion

In January, the Graphic History Collective (GHC) launched Remember | Resist | Redraw: A Radical History Poster Project to intervene in the Canada 150 conversation. We have released five posters. Poster #00 by Kara Sievewright and the GHC introduced and explained the goals of the project. Poster #01 by Lianne Charlie, kicked off the series with a critical examination of… Read more »

Where have all the Suffragists gone? Deconstructing Children’s History Books

Samantha Cutrara As a scholar interested in teaching and learning Canadian history, I am embarking on a series of blog posts for Active History about the representation of the post-confederation period (1867-1920) in picture books for children ages 4 to 10. In my last post, I looked at the history of residential schools and used a list published by the… Read more »

Will Mandela Fall, Too?

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By Rachel Hatcher [This is the eight and final post in the Learning and unlearning history in South Africa’s public spaces series.] Widespread student protests in 2015 and 2016 pushed the past into discussions about the South African present. #RhodesMustFall asked why a rapacious and racist mining magnate was still honored in the so-called Rainbow Nation. Why did his statue… Read more »

Unlearning history to combat racism?

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By Rachel Hatcher [This is the seventh post in the Learning and unlearning history in South Africa’s public spaces series.] South Africans must, declared South African Human Rights Commissioner Dr. Danny Titus, unlearn the names of the Dutch ships that landed in South Africa in the 17th century. He made this declaration during the Free State’s provincial launch of the Anti-Racism Network of South… Read more »

A luta continua: past, present, and future in South Africa’s Constitutional Court  

By Rachel Hatcher [This is the sixth post in the Learning and unlearning history in South Africa’s public spaces series.] Located in the heart of the larger Johannesburg metropolitan area, South Africa’s Constitutional Court is the ingenious and deeply moving physical manifestation of what post-apartheid South Africa was supposed to be like. As renewed student protests demanding that #FeesMustFall and the militarized response to… Read more »

The building of which nation? Conflicting Narratives at the National Women’s Memorial and Anglo-Boer War Museum

By Rachel Hatcher [Editors note: This post was revised on March 1, 2017. This is the fifth post in the Learning and unlearning history in South Africa’s public spaces series.] The Garden of Remembrance, renamed the Garden of Misremembrance in the previous post, was explicitly oriented toward “reconciliation and nation building through shared suffering.”  For this reason, the Garden also commemorated the thousands of… Read more »

Memorial Dissonance in the Garden of Remembrance

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By Rachel Hatcher [Editors note: this post was revised on March 1, 2017. This is the fourth post in the Learning and unlearning history in South Africa’s public spaces series.] The Garden of Remembrance at the National Women’s Memorial and Anglo-Boer War Museum in Bloemfontein was inaugurated at the end of November 2015.  It is located in the the Free State (former independent Boer,… Read more »

Join the Confederation Debate Today!

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This is the second of two posts responding to “Debating the Confederation Debates of 1865” a two-week series we ran in partnership with Canada Watch. By Daniel Heidt As the countdown to our country’s 150th  anniversary begins, Canadians are hungry for information about their country’s past and contemplating its future. The Confederation Debates – an online and largely crowd sourced initiative –… Read more »