Category Archives: History and Culture

The Acknowledgments Project; or, The Girl with the Chocolate-Dipped Cone

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 »

Language Use on the Historical Playground

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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.

Exhibiting Race: The Power of Portraiture

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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 »

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 »