Category Archives: History and Everyday Life

What Are You Listening To? Talking History Podcasts

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Edward Dunsworth The other night, out to dinner with my aunt, uncle, and cousins, my wife Vanessa began comparing notes with my cousins on some of their favourite podcasts. “What’s that?” my uncle interjected. Assuming the appropriate tone for a nephew explaining something technological to his uncle, I began to respond. He quickly cut me off. “Oh, podcasts. Yeah, I’m… Read more »

The Mysteries of a Hobo’s Life: Uncovering a Forgotten Revolutionary

Saku Pinta An earlier version of this post appeared on the “Increasing Access to the Finnish Language Archives” project blog. This black and white photograph appears, at first glance, to be quite ordinary. An unidentified man poses in front of a tar paper shack, possibly at a logging camp, hands clasped behind his back. His stony gaze is contemplative, confident…. Read more »

What Makes Oshawa So Special?

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Steven High Most mills and factories close with a whimper and not a bang. Few were therefore prepared for the media fire-storm sparked by General Motor’s (GM) decision to close its auto-assembly plant in Oshawa, putting 2,500 Canadians out of work. What makes this closure so special? For starters, there is the historic centrality of the auto industry in Southern… Read more »

Connecting Through Cake: The Story of My Fall Fair Mocha Cake

Kesia Kvill An earlier version of this post appeared on Potatoes, Rhubarb, and Ox. This summer I came across the information booklet for the Fergus Fall Fair. After flipping through it I decided that I would like to enter some items into the handicraft and culinary arts categories. I figured it would give me a good reason to finish some… Read more »

Caucasian Complexities: White Ethnicity and the Politics of Ultimate Fighting

Travis Hay & Angie Wong On the 6th of October, the trash-talking Irish superstar and mixed martial artist Conor McGregor was handed a very one-sided loss in his fight with Khabib ‘The Eagle’ Nurmagomedov – a white Muslim man raised in the Dagestani mountains of the Caucus region. When the match was stopped in the fourth round to save McGregor… Read more »

Memory, History, Monuments, and Mennonites: Or, what Winkler, Manitoba might teach us about dealing with historical and moral complexity in public commemoration

By Matthew Neufeld I am against removing statues of controversial figures from our history.  I think removals are misguided because they amplify rather than diminish the moral charge of public commemoration. Instead of removing monuments that might provoke emotional pain among some members of historically marginalized groups or foster moral unease in the consciences of Canadians with European ancestry, I… Read more »

Dystopia? It’s a World Without History

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Patrick Lacroix “I’ve got to catch up with the remembrance of the past!” – Montag, Fahrenheit 451 (1966) In the last two years, the rise of “fake news” and “alternative facts” as categories of public discourse has prompted fears of a drift towards authoritarianism in the United States and beyond. A casual disregard for truth and campaigns to discredit rigorous… Read more »

Decolonizing Cottage Country

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Peter A. Stevens In Canadian popular culture, few symbols are as iconic as the family cottage. The summer home appears regularly in Canadian novels and films, and it has long been used by governments and private corporations to signify what the good life looks like in this country. Cottaging thus represents escape from the cares of the world, and immersion… Read more »

Living History Installation in Vancouver: MAD CITY, Legacies of MPA

By Megan J. Davies MAD CITY: Legacies of MPA, a historical exhibit at Vancouver’s Gallery Gachet, is based on a radical idea: that people with a psychiatric diagnosis should create and run the support services they need. Using the lens of the past, MAD CITY invites visitors to imagine a mental health system conceived and directed by “experiential experts”: people… Read more »

Fifth Annual (?) Year in Review (100 Years Later)

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By Aaron Boyes and Sean Graham Four years ago, we had an idea for a post that came from our frustration with year end columns definitively declaring winners and losers for the previous twelve months while also predicting what the year’s ultimate legacy would be. As historians, though, we felt that these columns could not be written in the moment,… Read more »