Category Archives: History and Culture

The Babylon of Interwar Berlin

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Alban Bargain-Villéger When I first set eyes on the Netflix ad for Babylon Berlin, I could not help but feel skeptical. I had indeed seen my fair share of mediocre, sensationalist, sloppy fictions and documentaries on Weimar Germany. Nonetheless, the trailer was enticing enough to prompt me to fall down that rabbit hole. A mix of historical fiction, political drama,… Read more »

The Critically Uncritical Remaking of Churchill

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Erin Isaac Filmmakers make bad historians. While it is well understood that historically-based movies should not be taken for fact, film continues to play a major role in forming public perceptions of the past. Historians, realizing this phenomenon, often get caught up in the details of where film goes wrong, without fully understanding why these flaws matter. The mistakes made… Read more »

The Meaning of DoFo – how Doug Ford took Ontario

James Cullingham Ontario – wake up and sniff the kitty litter. Doug Ford aka DoFo, is premier-elect of Canada’s most populous province. That will make DoFo arguably the second most powerful politician in the country after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. There can be no denying the political accomplishment and screaming yelp for CHANGE this proclaims. Doug Ford, elder brother of… Read more »

A Provoking Sort of Puzzle:  The Narrative of a Soviet Tour

By Kirk Niergarth This post is part of a series, a virtual tour of the Depression-era Soviet Union, in part through the eyes of Canadians who traveled there and, in part, through Kirk Niergarth’s eyes as he attempted to retrace some of their steps during a trip to Russia in 2014. The previous installments are available here and here.  In retrospect,… Read more »

Re-launching Remember l Resist l Redraw: RRR# 13, Anti-Colonial Lawyer Charles Roach

In January 2017, the Graphic History Collective launched Remember / Resist / Redraw: A Radical History Poster Project as a year-long artistic intervention in the Canada 150 conversation. Our goal was to create a series of accessible radical history posters that can serve as a resource for activists to lean on and learn from as they struggle to bring about… Read more »

Dystopia? It’s a World Without History

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Patrick Lacroix “I’ve got to catch up with the remembrance of the past!” – Montag, Fahrenheit 451 (1966) In the last two years, the rise of “fake news” and “alternative facts” as categories of public discourse has prompted fears of a drift towards authoritarianism in the United States and beyond. A casual disregard for truth and campaigns to discredit rigorous… Read more »

Historicizing Black Metal

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Alban Bargain-Villéger Sometime in the autumn of 2005, I decided to give black metal a chance. Until that point, I had had reservations about that type of music, which is often associated with neo-paganism, the far right, and base displays of primal machoism. A long-time classical music aficionado, it soon occurred to me that what had appeared at first as… Read more »

“Rooting for Everybody Black” and the Subversive Politics of Black History Month in Canada

Funke Aladejebi  At the 69th Annual Emmy awards held on September 17, 2017, Issa Rae, creator and star of HBO’s widely popular television show “Insecure,” responded to a red-carpet question by proclaiming she was “rooting for everybody Black!”  Rae’s comments, which went viral, articulated a sense of collective excitement about the growing recognition and achievements of African American Emmy nominees… Read more »

Decolonizing Cottage Country

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Peter A. Stevens In Canadian popular culture, few symbols are as iconic as the family cottage. The summer home appears regularly in Canadian novels and films, and it has long been used by governments and private corporations to signify what the good life looks like in this country. Cottaging thus represents escape from the cares of the world, and immersion… Read more »

Reconsidering Stephen Harper’s Historiography

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By Andrew Nurse Few Prime Ministers have been as interested in history as Stephen Harper. A wag might now say, few Prime Ministers have known so little about it. What is clear, as panels at the CHA, a special Labour/Le Travail forum, and a spate of other critical articles have demonstrated, historians had little time for Harper’s — or, more… Read more »