Category Archives: History and Culture

Was the Past a Happy Place?

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By Ian Milligan Was the past a happy place? Could we take a large array of information and learn whether there was an emotional content to it? I’ve been increasingly curious about how we can apply a host of tools that data miners are using on contemporary information to large repositories of historical information: could we learn something new from… Read more »

In the beginning there was… Canada?!?

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This is my favourite time of the year to be in Quebec City.  With the school year drawing to a close, a seemingly endless train of tour buses bear down on the city. Ontario’s youth are here to learn about Canada’s roots in the berceau of the nation. Our story starts here… or at least so the tale goes. Sitting… Read more »

Christianity and Active History

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By Andrew Nurse More often then not, Christianity does not enjoy a positive public image. Canadians may be willing to select Tommy Douglas as the “Greatest Canadian,” but one suspects that this had more to do with medicare than his evangelical background. Interestingly, Christianity’s PR problems have a lot to do with history.

Reclaiming History Through Photographs

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By Krista McCracken Historical photographs can be used to serve a variety of research, personal, and community interests.  Images can be used for genealogy, legal testimony, supplementing written historical accounts, and providing windows into the past. Photographs can also be used as important tools in healing, reconciliation, and in the reclamation of lost history.The use of photographs in the reclamation… Read more »

Upper Canadian War Resisters in the War of 1812

This is the second in a weekly series of posts leading up to the mini-conference The War of 1812: Whose War was it Anyway? being held at the University of Waterloo on May 30th. By Jonathan Seiling It is widely recognized that many Upper Canadians did not demonstrate utmost loyalty toward the British Crown on the eve of the war, or… Read more »

Mad Men and Wonder Years: history, nostalgia, and life in The Sixties

By Jay Young Like many people, I anticipated the return of Mad Men (AMC, Sundays, 10 pm EST), one of television’s most acclaimed series of the past decade.  Now in its fifth season, the show looks at the life of Don Draper and other workers in the New York advertising industry during the 1960s. At the same time that I… Read more »

The Popularity of Remembrance

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By: Laura Piticco The week of April 9-13 is important for marking two major events in history: the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, and the 95th anniversary of the battle at Vimy Ridge. Both events have as of late been dominating the media coverage, one in particular, the Titanic, more than the other. Underlying the coverage of… Read more »

Where’s the History? The absence of history on History Television

I love watching History Television! I’ve spent hours watching M*A*S*H with my father, and programs like Digging for the Truth are part of the reason I decided to get involved with public history and archaeology. But another part of me is sad to see History Television’s emphasis on ‘reality TV’ programming lately.

Keeping the Peace or Keeping a Myth?

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By Dan Macfarlane The federal government’s recent initiatives in foreign policy and glorification of Canada’s military past (particularly in light of the bicentennial of the War of 1812) have given rise to plenty of complaints, including suggestions that the country needs to return to its peacekeeping roots. While I agree with many of the criticisms, I am not so sure… Read more »