Category Archives: Theme Week

Conversations with my Father’s paintings: writing my relations back into the academy

By Zoe Todd   My research engages the relationship between people, place, stories and time. This manifests in my doctoral work with examinations of human-fish relationships in the context of colonialism in the Western Arctic. But closer to home, in amiskwaciwâskahikan (Edmonton), my work examines people’s relationships to place through story and art — fish stories, land stories, stories of movement… Read more »

A Smudgier Dispossession is Still Dispossession

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By Leanne Betasamosake Simpson  The waning months of 2015 signaled a seemingly dramatic albeit likely superficial shift in Indigenous-state relations in Canada. When the fall began, the Prime Minister was steadfast in his refusal to call an inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, which surprised few, as it was beautifully consistent with the contempt, paternalism and outright hatred… Read more »

Politics and Personal Experiences: An Editor’s Introduction to Indigenous Research in Canada

By Crystal Fraser A few summers ago, I was sitting along the Nagwichoonjik (Mackenzie River) at my family’s fish camp. I had hauled nearly fifty pounds of books with me – to, arguably, one of the most remote places in Canada – to continue reading for my PhD comprehensive exams. The presence of these academic monographs at an ancient Gwich’in… Read more »

Science, Technology and Gender in Canada: An ActiveHistory.ca Exhibit in Collaboration with the Canadian Science and Technology Museum

By Beth A. Robertson and Dorotea Gucciardo   What do a glass memory tube, an electric range, a botanical painting, a player piano and two different aircrafts have in common? This first Active History exhibit dedicated to Science, Technology and Gender will provide a few answers to that question that may surprise you. This introductory post marks the launch of… Read more »

Who Was the Queen of the Hurricanes? The Story of Elsie Gregory MacGill (1905-1980)

By Dr. Crystal Sissons Who was the Queen of the Hurricanes? It sounds like a rather simple question doesn’t it? — and in a sense it is. The simple answer is: Elsie Gregory MacGill. But what does that really tell us about the title or the woman? Biographical research is the key to fleshing out the different facets of Elsie’s life…. Read more »

Trans-border Data Flow and the TPP: Haven’t we been here before?

By Scott Campbell   In the final weeks of the 2015 Canadian federal election, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) became a hot political issue. After seven years of virtually secret negotiations, the 12 Pacific Rim countries–including Canada–involved in the trade agreement announced on October 5 that a deal had been reached, but gave few details. The final document was not available… Read more »

Enlightening Technologies: Sunlamps, Medical Science and Popular Concepts of Health

By Dorotea Gucciardo   “Capture the vitality of sunny summer!” So read the headline of a 1931 General Electric (GE) ad, which encouraged Canadians to bring into their homes “the health-giving rays of the sun any hour of the day […] every day of the year.” Appearing in the November edition of Chatelaine, the advertisement enticed readers facing the start… Read more »

The People’s Telephone and the Internet Today

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By Robert MacDougall   It may be the networks I belong to and the feeds I follow, but—as a guy whose main interests are 19th-century pseudoscience, the history of the telephone, and WKRP in Cincinnati—I am often surprised by how much of the social media in my streams is devoted to tech industry news and speculation. Will consumers embrace the… Read more »

Lorsque Madame Voyage: Women and Air Travel at Trans Canada Airlines

By Blair Stein   Upon his retirement, former Air Canada President Gordon McGregor wrote that “certainly no 20 years in the history of aviation, and probably no 20 years in the future, will show such a succession of basic changes…as did the period of 1948-1968.”[1] He was not exaggerating. During this time period, airlines moved from propeller-powered aircraft to jets,… Read more »

X-Rays and the Discriminatory Science of Migration

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By Laura Madokoro The postwar era is often celebrated as a great time of liberalization in Canada, as far as immigration rules are concerned. What is often ignored is how hard people, including Chinese Canadians, fought to obtain equality of treatment, and how the federal government was incredibly reluctant to proceed with large-scale change until the 1960s. Indeed, under the… Read more »