Category Archives: History and Culture

Transforming Indigenous Foodways

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[This post is part of Foodscapes of Plenty and Want – a theme week at ActiveHistoy.ca that features podcasts exploring a number of topics related to the interconnected histories of food, health, and the environment in Canada. For more information and a schedule for the week, see the introductory post here.] As Indigenous peoples and historians have long argued, food… Read more »

Rural Foodscapes and the Taste of Modernity

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[This post is part of Foodscapes of Plenty and Want – a theme week at ActiveHistoy.ca that features podcasts exploring a number of topics related to the interconnected histories of food, health, and the environment in Canada. For more information and a schedule for the week, see the introductory post here.] If Canadians were asked to describe the cuisine or foodways of… Read more »

Theme Week: Foodscapes of Plenty and Want

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Food history is, in many ways, perfectly suited to the goals of the active historian. In part, this is because food touches nearly every aspect of our lives. We need it to survive and to maintain our health. Our identities are often profoundly wrapped up in what kinds of foods we eat – or, in the case of many major… Read more »

Judging the Past

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By Andrew Nurse One of the basic rules of historical scholarship is to avoid “anachronistic judgments.” In simple terms, this means the following: the people who lived in the past, lived different lives with different values and different obligations then do we in the present. Therefore, it would be wrong to judge them by standards that are outside the context… Read more »

An Unsettling Prairie History: A Review of James Daschuk’s Clearing the Plains

By Kevin Plummer “Those Reserve Indians are in a deplorable state of destitution, they receive from the Indian Department just enough food to keep soul and body together, they are all but naked, many of them barefooted,” Lawrence Clarke wrote in 1880 of near-starvation Cree around Fort Carlton. “Should sickness break out among them in their present weakly state,” the… Read more »

“Hurry Hard!” Community Connections to Curling in Canada

By Krista McCracken The days are getting shorter and colder, areas of Canada have already had the first snowfall of the year, and curling clubs around Canada are gearing up for the season.  Curling has been part of Canadian culture for centuries and is still a sport that holds popularity amongst Canadians. The form of curling that exists today has… Read more »

Toronto’s Spadina Museum Conversations Presents “Myth Making: Zombies, War and the Art of Advertising”

Join in this series of participatory talks on topics that highlight how perspectives on movie monsters, war and product pitching in Toronto have evolved from the 1920s to today. All talks are Tuesdays from 7 to 9 pm at Spadina Museum, 285 Spadina Road, Toronto, 416-392-6910.  Tickets are $8/talk (students $5) or $20 for all three. Taxes not included.  … Read more »

All That Is Solid Melts Into Air: Deindustrialization and Structural Deficiency in Sydney, Nova Scotia

By Lachlan MacKinnon Two weeks ago, David Zylberberg wrote on ActiveHistory of the political responses to deindustrialization in Belgium, France, and the United Kingdom. In expressing the relatively divergent implementation of industrial policy in these areas, he concludes that these examples “should serve as a warning against [policies of austerity] in Europe and beyond.” Today, with a new Liberal government… Read more »

A building by any other name: The politics of renaming and commemoration

ActiveHistory.ca is on a two-week hiatus, but we’ll be back with new content in early September. During the hiatus, we’re featuring some of our favourite and most popular blog posts from this site over the past year. Thanks as always to our writers and readers!  The following post was originally featured on April 2 2013. By Kaitlin Wainwright Recently, I… Read more »

Commemorative Controversies: Edward Cornwallis, Collective Contention, and Historical Memory

By Lachlan MacKinnon On 30 May 2013, the controversial statue of Edward Cornwallis standing in downtown Halifax was once again thrust into public debate. That morning, the rear of the monument’s base was found to have been graffitotagged with the word “fake.” Similarly, the plaque bearing Cornwallis’s name was defaced with the words “self-righteous ass.” This was the latest salvo… Read more »