By Merle Massie When Senator Nicole Eaton called for Canada to declare a new biopolitical symbol in the fall of 2011, she suggested replacing the ‘dentally defective rat’ –– known as beaver, or castor Canadensis –– with the perhaps more ‘stately’ polar bear. In one simple suggestion, she set off a firestorm of controversy across Canada’s social and public media… Read more »
By Jay Young The passing of Sam “the Record Man” Sniderman at the age of 92 filled the airwaves, newspaper pages, and conversations on the street in Toronto this past week. Sniderman owned the largest chain of record stores in Canada and ardently promoted the Canadian music industry. Many people expressed warm memories of the entrepreneur and his flagship shop… Read more »
By Daniel Ross How do we create art about history? Can we make it powerful, relevant, and pedagogical? What happens when the people whose lives and struggles we portray are still alive – and in the audience? Anyone making art about the past has to come to grips with questions like these. But it’s rare to find artists comfortable enough… Read more »
By Alan MacEachern Once in a while, historians come up with an idea, do some research, analyze it, write that up, and find we have something resembling a book. Or maybe it turns out to be an article. Or a blog post. In those cases, we attach our name to it and send it out into the world. But what… Read more »
On Monday afternoon Christopher Dummitt responded to my Active History post “Colonialism and the Words We Choose” on his blog Everyday History. In his critique Dummitt argues that Monday’s post is representative of how disconnected some academic historians are from everyday society. He suggests that the argument I make is fuelled by a drive to avoid talking about inequality in the past.
Is race something we wear on our faces? Does it lie our skin colour, place of origin, or ancestry? Is it tangible? Two online exhibits challenge these ideas. The White Australia Policy began in 1901. Years of xenophobia and racial tensions, caused by increasing immigration, labour disputes, and competition in the Australian goldfields, fostered the passing of the Immigration Restriction… Read more »
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 »
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 »
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.
By Dan Horner The face that glares down from the cover of the June 4th issue of Maclean’s is meant to be unsettling: A protestor scowls at us, his menace heightened by some digital tweaks that bathe the whole scene in a blood red glow. The accompanying headline plays to the dystopian gloom of the image, suggesting that the mob… Read more »