Category Archives: History and Everyday Life

Remembering and Commemorating a Complicated Past

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In this post, I look at controversies surrounding a statue of Nellie McClung, due to her early-20th century support of eugenics.

Jane’s Walks: community history tours

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Since 2007 people have come together once a year to celebrate and remember the life of Jane Jacobs by leading or participating in walking tours of their local communities.  As Jacobs argued, walkability is essential for urban communities.  These tours seem to be a truly fitting monument to Jacob’s legacy.  The walks began in Toronto, but have since spread well… Read more »

Street History

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Often the public face of history is seen in museums or government issued historical plaques; but important historical narratives also exist outside of these structures, and they often tell stories that otherwise remain obscure or hidden by more official ways of historical story telling. I call this way of sharing the past street history.

A Century of Neglect: Epidemic Tuberculosis in Native Communities

by Jane Whalen The 2010 Quality of Life Index boasted that Canada’s “health care and living standards are among the highest in the world.”  Ask your average Canadian and they would probably agree.  Ask an Aboriginal person and you would be in for quite a shock. Third world conditions exist in Canada – what an outrageous claim to make about… Read more »

Space and Historical Imagery: Making History Accessible

This post quickly looks at some neat new internet-based websites that attempt to make historical imagery accessible to the general public.

Walking Tours: Brooklyn and Beyond

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By Teresa Iacobelli Relocating to a new city can be exciting, but it can also be overwhelming. Recently I have made the move from Ottawa, Ontario to Brooklyn, New York, and in the short time that I have been here I have felt a slew of emotions ranging from awe to frustration. Living in a city of this size can… Read more »

CAW Retirees Seek Social Justice for Seniors

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I had the pleasure of attending a public forum on pensions in Oshawa a few weeks ago.  Organized by the retirees’ chapter of the Canadian Auto Workers’ (CAW) Local 222, over 200 bodies were in attendance. While the theme of the evening was universal public pensions, speakers had experienced a number of social ills: a single mother who lost her home… Read more »

Colborne Street Breakdown: Public Protest, a University, and Academic Activism

This is a story about heritage buildings, those trying to save them, a city council, a university, and academics caught in the middle. It’s a story that raises questions about academics’ responsibilities in the community, academic freedom and activism, and the universities they work for.

History and the Problem of Auto-referentiality

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by Jeremy Nathan Marks Historical writing has long suffered from the problem of auto-referentiality. Auto-referentiality, as I define it, simply means historians are writing only in reference to human subjects and human problems. I don’t mean to say that historiography is populated only by human beings but we do not currently possess an extensive literature where humans are not the… Read more »