Category Archives: Series

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 »

The Robert Harris group portrait

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This is the fourteenth post in a two week series in partnership with Canada Watch on the Confederation Debates By Ged Martin The founding, in 1880, of the Royal Canadian Academy of the Arts no doubt represented a landmark in recognition and encouragement of the visual arts in the Dominion. Unfortunately, it was not easy to advance its cultural agenda, especially the central… Read more »

Using history to justify Confederation

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This is the thirteenth post in a two week series in partnership with Canada Watch on the Confederation Debates By Marlene Shore History was frequently invoked in the Confederation debates by both pro-confederates and anti-confederates to justify their positions. All parties realized that they were at a pivotal juncture, when a new set of constitutional arrangements would alter the destinies of the new country’s… Read more »

Confederation comes at a cost: Indigenous peoples and the ongoing reality of colonialism in Canada

This is the twelfth post in a two week series in partnership with Canada Watch on the Confederation Debates By Gabrielle Slowey In 2015 Justice Murray Sinclair, chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, declared: “Reconciliation is about forging and maintaining respectful relationships.”[1] Why did he point this out? The reality remains that Canada and Canadians are not respectful of our relations with Indigenous… Read more »

Gender and the Confederation debates

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This is the eleventh post in a two week series in partnership with Canada Watch on the Confederation Debates By Kathryn McPherson The participants in the 1865 Confederation debates were divided by ethnicity, region, political opinion, and religion, but they shared class privilege, a racial identity we would now call “white,” and gender. They were all men. This latter shared identity would… Read more »