Category Archives: Does History Matter?

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 »

A Century of Neglect: Epidemic Tuberculosis in Native Communities

by Jane Whalen The 2010 Quality of Life Index boasted that Canada’s “health care and living standards are among the highest in the world.”  Ask your average Canadian and they would probably agree.  Ask an Aboriginal person and you would be in for quite a shock. Third world conditions exist in Canada – what an outrageous claim to make about… Read more »

CAW Retirees Seek Social Justice for Seniors

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I had the pleasure of attending a public forum on pensions in Oshawa a few weeks ago.  Organized by the retirees’ chapter of the Canadian Auto Workers’ (CAW) Local 222, over 200 bodies were in attendance. While the theme of the evening was universal public pensions, speakers had experienced a number of social ills: a single mother who lost her home… Read more »

Colborne Street Breakdown: Public Protest, a University, and Academic Activism

This is a story about heritage buildings, those trying to save them, a city council, a university, and academics caught in the middle. It’s a story that raises questions about academics’ responsibilities in the community, academic freedom and activism, and the universities they work for.

New Active History Paper: Citizenship Literacy and National Self-identity by Larry A. Glassford

Abstract The content of history textbooks and curriculum is an important factor in the political socialization of succeeding generations of students. This study of representative classroom textbooks authorized for use in Ontario at three distinct eras of the 20th century shows how the main lines of interpretation have shifted over time. During the pre-World War II era, the persistent underlying… Read more »

Activating Foucault for Canadian History

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by Steven Maynard “What does a queer, sadomasochistic philosopher have to do with the study of Canada’s past?” This is the question I ask students at the beginning of my first-year survey course on Canadian history. Over the years, colleagues have suggested that first-year undergrads aren’t ready for Foucault. But experience tells me that not only are many of Foucault’s… Read more »