Category Archives: Does History Matter?

Rock Hudson, the Reagans, and HIV/AIDS Scholarship

By Lucas Richert In recent months, a gay rights group, the Mattachine Society, have helped provide a more expansive view of Rock Hudson’s final struggle with AIDS. In documents obtained from the Reagan Presidential Library and available on BuzzFeed, it is clear that Nancy Reagan refused to help the dying Hudson receive treatment. This matters. When he died in October… Read more »

A Useless Import? European Niqab Politics in Canada

By Aitana Guia In 2012, the Canadian Government led by Conservative Stephen Harper approved a policy banning full veiling from citizenship ceremonies. Zunera Ishaq, who wears a niqab and was about to become Canadian citizen, decided to postpone her ceremony in order to ask the Federal Court whether the government policy was legal. In 2015, the Federal Court found the… Read more »

Five Simple Rules for Saving the Maritimes: The Regional Stereotype in the 21st Century

By Lachlan MacKinnon The Maritimes are on the brink of catastrophic economic and demographic failure [1]. Our lack of entrepreneurial spirit, engrained sense of entitlement, conservatism, and folksy racism are major factors preventing us from joining in the prosperity enjoyed by our more enterprising cousins in the “have” provinces of Canada. Such are the problems enumerated in John Ibbitson’s recent… Read more »

Lazy Historians, Disengaged Academics, and Over Paid Professors?

By Thomas Peace With thousands of Toronto-area teaching and research assistants out on strike as well as a very recent faculty strike at the University of Northern British Columbia, opinion-makers have begun to draw up proposed solutions for the ailments of higher education. Not surprisingly, given the frequent attention it draws, most have targeted tenured and tenure stream faculty members as… Read more »

Emotion and History: The Book of Negroes

      1 Comment on Emotion and History: The Book of Negroes

By Andrew Nurse What kinds of emotions does history call up? What purposes do emotions serve as part of historical understanding? The answer to the first question is simple: strong ones, at least to judge from the polemics that periodically polarize the work of professional historians or public discourse on the past. The second question is more difficult to address… Read more »

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

      1 Comment on Film Friday: Tilco Striker

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

      No Comments on The Anti-Terror Act: Government and Mobility in History

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

      2 Comments on The Allumettières in Sites of Collective Remembering

 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 »