Category Archives: Does History Matter?

Giving voice to history

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by Laura Madokoro Last week, the first event by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on residential schools was held in Winnipeg. In the same week, British Prime Minister David Cameron issued an apology on behalf of the British government for the “unjustified and unjustifiable” killings of thirteen people in Londonderry, Northern Ireland in 1972 – an event now famously known… Read more »

Campaigning with History: Wildlands and Woodlands

Last week we have two great posts by Tom and Alix on historians engaging with current issues and the value of “thinking with history” for policy development.  Both these post brought to mind a project in New England that I learned about at an environmental history conference a few  years ago.  The Wildland and Woodlands campaign is to protect 70%… Read more »

“Tell me the story” – Thinking with History, Policy, and the Goldberg Rule

Alix Green In my role as an adviser on policy for a university Vice-Chancellor, the UK equivalent of President, perhaps my most important job is to ask our leader to ‘tell me the story’ when he’s consulting me on some issue or another.  It seems to me that universities, along with many public sector institutions, are not always able, or inclined,… Read more »

Conversation, Contradiction and Conflict in ‘The Historical Present’

The practice of history, however, is not a zero sum game in which historians can isolate themselves from outside influences. The research, writing and teaching of academic, policy-oriented, and popular history are deeply political, social and ideological pursuits. Whether historical research is intended to ‘add value’ or ‘make an impact’ is only one component of many that shape historical perspective.

Walking History: Jane’s Walk in Toronto and Vancouver

68 cities recently took part in Jane’s Walk, an annual weekend of free walking tours honouring the vision of urbanist Jane Jacobs.  Ordinary people, Jacobs argued, can learn about and improve their surroundings by observing their daily environments at street level.  These walks also bring out the histories of place through members of the local community – walk leaders and… Read more »

Preserving Health and Maintaining Illness: Petition to Save the Wellcome Trust Center for the History of Medicine

By Jaipreet Virdi, IHPST University of Toronto On March 21, 2010, the United States Health Care Reform Bill passed in Capitol Hill, voting to provide medical coverage to millions of uninsured Americans. The New York Times article emphasized how Democrats hailed the votes as “a historic advance in social justice, comparable to the establishment of Medicare and Social Security. They… Read more »

May Day in Hamilton, Ontario

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The first of May, celebrated in many nations across the world as Labour Day or International Workers Day, has a long tradition of worker’s activism and protest.  This year was no different, as protestors around the world rallied to send various messages to governments. May Day is not officially recognized as Labour Day in northern North America, despite its North… Read more »

Endangered Places: Lansdowne Park

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In June 2010 Ottawa City Council will decide the fate of Lansdowne Park, a significant area of public space in Ottawa’s Glebe community, a portion of which is marked for proposed commercial redevelopment. Over the past year, public consultations have been a platform for concerned citizens in the Glebe, and in other areas of Ottawa, to express their concerns over… Read more »

Active History, Hunt and Stoke

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By David Zylberberg, PhD Candidate, York University The United Kingdom is in the midst of an election campaign with a May 6 poll. Despite numerous suggestions that this is the ‘most important election in a generation’, the limited media coverage on this side of the Atlantic has tended to focus on which opposition leader invoked recent Canadian developments as a… Read more »