Category Archives: History and Culture

Making History Look Delicious at the Royal Alberta Museum

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By Lauren Wheeler I recently took a trip to a Calgary restaurant where the most iconic of Chinese-Canadian dishes originated.  The restaurant is on Centre Street at 27th Avenue North and you would likely miss it unless you looked for the sign reading “Silver Inn.” Two colleagues from the Royal Alberta Museum (RAM) also  made the trip from Edmonton to… Read more »

The Shrine That Vincent Built

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By Laura Madokoro Earlier this semester, I flashed a photo of rock icon Jimi Hendrix up on the screen during a class on settler colonialism. It was a bit over the top but I was trying to get my students to think of connections as well as divides, and Hendrix’s part-Cherokee heritage seemed like a good way of driving home… Read more »

Canada and the Monarchy in the 21st Century

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People tend to have an immediate, visceral response to questioning the monarchy. Whatever your initial reaction may be, I believe that a reflective, heartfelt, non-partisan and probably agonizing discussion about the monarchy’s place in our future, whatever we decide, would make us a better, happier nation moving forward.

Remembering Montreal’s Cabarets

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By Mireille Mayrand-Fiset Montreal, Quebec’s largest and most vibrant city, is known internationally for its joie de vivre, its festive ambiance and its open-mindedness. This reputation goes back a long while: from as early as New France, Montreal was known for being a joyful, pleasurable city. In 1721, François-Xavier Charlevoix, first historian of New France, wrote in his Journal of… Read more »

Bookstores and Memory: Marking the Closure of the Toronto Women’s Bookstore

Last Friday, the Toronto Women’s Bookstore opened its doors for the last time. This is an occasion for the kind of celebration and mourning that has occurred in events held in Toronto and beyond. It is also a chance to think about alternative bookstores, change, and remembrance.

The Mosaic vs. the Melting Pot? A Roundtable and Podcast

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By Benjamin Bryce Over the past century, the ‘mosaic’ and the ‘melting pot’ have emerged in North America as concepts to explain Canada and the United States’ relationship with immigration and cultural pluralism. The term mosaic traces its origins to John Murray Gibbon’s 1938 book, Canadian Mosaic, while the melting pot emerged in public consciousness as the result of Israel… Read more »

The Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives, Research, and the Public

By Donald W. McLeod Next year will be the fortieth anniversary of the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives (CLGA), which began as a single filing cabinet in the Toronto office of the newsmagazine Body Politic, and has grown into a dynamic organization. We presently have a volunteer board of nine members, a paid general manager, seventy volunteers (forty of whom… Read more »

Experimenting with Victorian anthropometrics: What can we learn from past scientific practices?

By Efram Sera-Shriar Imagine yourself as a nineteenth-century naturalist living in Britain. You are working on a project that seeks to examine differences (both cultural and physical) between the various peoples of the world. You want to collect information from distant locations scattered throughout the globe, but you are unable to travel abroad because of vocational and familial obligations at… Read more »

Chop Suey on the Prairies

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This is the first in a series of posts for the upcoming temporary exhibit about Chinese restaurants in Alberta opening at the Royal Alberta Museum in April 2013.  Over the final months of planning and mounting the exhibit this series will give a glimpse into what goes into creating a museum exhibit as well as share some of the stories… Read more »

Unfinished History

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By Tina Loo When Eric Hobsbawm died earlier this month, his passing was the occasion for a lot of thoughtful reflection about the practice of history and its connection to a larger politics. Hobsbawm, his comrade E.P. Thompson, and Natalie Davis were partly responsible for me doing what I now do. As a science undergrad, my program was fairly structured,… Read more »