Category Archives: Does History Matter?

Research is Getting a Bit More Open: Good News for Historical Research in Canada

By Ian Milligan When we started up ActiveHistory.ca way back in 2009 (!), we did it with a pretty simple vision in mind: historians were producing good scholarship, but it was inaccessible. It was inaccessible for a few reasons: sometimes we don’t exactly write for a general audience (we’ve been guilty of dropping jargon around this site too, I know,… Read more »

Film Friday: Tilco Striker

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Active History is pleased to present our first Film Friday. If you have created a film about history and are interested in screening it on our site, drop us a line. By Matthew Hayes In the middle of winter in 1965, women workers at a plastics factory in Peterborough, Ontario went on strike. The Tilco strikers were fighting against unacceptable… Read more »

The Anti-Terror Act: Government and Mobility in History

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By Bret Edwards Last month, the Canadian government introduced the Anti-Terror Act, following recent incidents in Ottawa and Quebec that have elevated fears about “violent jihadism” in Canada and its links to global organizations. There has been a lot of discussion about how new proposed powers of online surveillance in the Act will allow security objectives to trump freedom of… Read more »

Turmoil and Meddling at the Foundation for Canadian Studies in the UK

Since the new year began, just six-and-a-half weeks ago, considerable changes have been made to the direction of the Foundation for Canadian Studies in the UK. Earlier in the month, the High Commission, which collaborates with this UK charity, added four new members to the board, signalling that problems were afoot. Last week, another four members of the board resigned… Read more »

The Allumettières in Sites of Collective Remembering

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 By Conrad McCallum There has been a renewed interest in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century story of the female match workers at the former E.B. Eddy Match Factory in Hull, Quebec. For me, this is another good example of recent efforts to regionally situate the big themes of social history in Canada. It also illustrates the challenges of trying to… Read more »

What’s in a Place Name: Adelaide Hoodless and Mona Parsons

By Thomas Peace Over the past week, ActiveHistory.ca has run a couple of posts about the politics of naming and local commemoration. These essays reminded me of a debate that Paul Bennett and I had a couple of years ago over the merits of renaming schools as the Halifax school board decided that the name Cornwallis was no longer an… Read more »

The king in a car park: Digging up Richard III

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By Daniel Ross “Bloody thou art; bloody will be thy end.” Duchess of York, Act IV, Scene IV, Richard III Shakespeare’s Richard III is one of fiction’s classic villains, a schemer who knocks off one family member after another on his way to the crown. Even his mother the Duchess would rather he was dead, and she gets her wish… Read more »

Who/What Really Is Charlie?

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By Alban Bargain-Villéger In the wake of the January 7-9 attacks in France, millions of tweets, millions of demonstrators, thousands of heads of state, intellectuals, and celebrities of all kinds not only condemned the murders of seventeen people (including four as a result of an anti-Semitic hostage taking linked to the other shootings), but also praised Charlie Hebdo’s courage in… Read more »

Let’s talk about something other than Ebola

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Or, the perils of teaching the history of disease amid global health crises Casey Hurrell This semester, I’ve had the pleasure of teaching a senior undergrad seminar, focusing on the history of disease from the time of Hippocrates to the present. Every week, in front of twenty-two energetic and curious undergrads, I wholeheartedly attempt to steer conversations away from the ongoing… Read more »

Old Tomorrow’s Bicentennial: Don’t Think Motivation, Think Law

By James Daschuk Ok, first things first: I do not hate John A. Macdonald. At the risk of maddening some colleagues out there, I am wary of trying to contort huge historical events and consequences into how they apply to a single individual’s psychological makeup, political vision or personal ambition. As a self-professed environmental historian, I have even joked with… Read more »