Category Archives: History and Culture

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 »

The Shafia Murders, Immigration, and Misrepresenting Canadian Violence Against Women

Public debate and media coverage of the Shafia family murder trial has obscured and misrepresented patriarchal violence against women in Canada, mistakenly implying that violence against women and misogyny are not endemic throughout all of Canadian society. Violence against women and spousal violence are not unique to the Canadian Muslim community, they are systemic throughout Canadian society. In a country with a long, brutal history of violence against women, it is absurd to suggest otherwise.

Revisiting Past Places: Google’s ‘Memories for the Future’ Project in Japan

Next month will mark one year since the people of Japan experienced a devastating series of natural disasters. The earthquake and tsunami that hit parts of Japan on March 11, 2011, resulted in tremendous loss for the Japanese people. Many Japanese lost their lives while survivors lost homes, a sense of stability, and sense of place. Personal items and familiar… Read more »

Bill C-309, Preventing Persons from Concealing Their Identity during Riots and Unlawful Assemblies Act

My Conservative MP sent the following question to his constituents this week: “Debate has now begun on [Conservative] MP Blake Richards’ Private Members’ Bill C-309.  The Bill proposes creating a new criminal offence for those that wear ‘a mask or other disguise to conceal their identity without lawful excuse’ during a riot or unlawful assembly.  This Bill was crafted in… Read more »

Museum Closures, Heritage and Cultivating a Sense of Place in Toronto

If places have the power to shape our self-perception and how we situate ourselves in the world, as Basso and others have suggested, how has the uneven distribution of historical places influenced the culture and politics of Canada’s largest city?

Issues and Artifacts at the British Museum

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Very recently I had the opportunity to visit the British Museum in London, England. It was a place that had long been on my “to do” list. From the scope of the building itself, to the individual objects and their imaginative presentations – the experience did not disappoint. The visit was awe inspiring and enlightening and fed my love of… Read more »

From Pretoria to Winnipeg? The Potential for Transnational Histories of Reconciliation

In 1999, Nelson Mandela declared “the day should not be far off, when we shall have a people’s shrine, a Freedom Park, where we shall honour with all the dignity they deserve, those who endured pain so we should experience the joy of freedom.” As you walk around the bustling streets of South Africa’s capital city, Pretoria, you would never… Read more »