Category Archives: History and Everyday Life

Climate Change on the Ground

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By Elizabeth Vibert The people of Jomela village in eastern Limpopo Province, South Africa, feel like canaries in a coal mine. The local metaphor features a snail collecting ashes. When I last visited Jomela in April and May, sixty-five-year-old vegetable farmer Daina Mahlaule told me that home food gardens in the village produced “nothing, nothing at all” in the recent… Read more »

Community Engaged History

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Active history is proud to present a video each week from New Directions in Active History. The conference took place at Huron University College on October 2-4, 2015 and brought together scholars, students, professionals and community members to discuss a wide range of topics pertaining to active history. Completing the opening presentations is Keith Carlson, professor of History and Research Chair in… Read more »

What about the People? Place, Memory, and Industrial Pollution in Sudbury

By Stacey Zembrzycki Much of the industrial ruins resulting from nearly 130 years of nickel mining in Sudbury, Ontario, are now hidden from plain sight, camouflaged under a successful re-greening program that has led to the planting of over nine million trees, and the clean-up of many area lakes and thousands of hectares of soil. And yet, despite this invisibility,… Read more »

Vicarious Trauma: Collecting the Herd

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By Jesse Thistle Author’s Preface “Vicarious Trauma: Collecting the Herd” is written in a first-person narrative style in line with Indigenous ways of knowing and disseminating knowledge, as seen in the works of Campbell (1974), Koebel (2007), and Devine (2010), among other Métis scholars, writers, and activists. This piece opens with oral testimony from a Cree-Métis Elder Rose (pseudonym) recording during… Read more »

Everything Moves Real Slow: Where is the Left?

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By David Frank For some years I taught an undergraduate seminar on the history of the Canadian left, and one of the things students did at the first meeting was to try to name people who represented the contemporary “left” in Canada. Last year, the answers included Jack Layton, Olivia Chow and Thomas Mulcair, an indication that at least in… Read more »

Everybody Can Play: Avoiding Soft Constructionism when Teaching History

By Mark Abraham Accepting her Video of the Year award at the 2015 VMAs, pop singer Taylor Swift, surrounded by the women who appear as weapon-toting warriors in her victorious video “Bad Blood,” said she was grateful that “we live in a world where boys can play princesses and girls can play soldiers.” That same night, writer Adam Fleischer posted… Read more »

On Guard for Canadian Parochialism, Part Two

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By Gilberto Fernandes Who killed spawned Canadian citizenship? Like Gillian Frank and Jamie Duong, who challenged the Elections Act rule limiting the external voting rights of Canadian expats to five years living abroad, I too am an emigrant. I moved to Canada from Portugal over ten years ago through spousal sponsorship. I became a Canadian citizen as soon as I… Read more »

Canada’s Complicated History of Refugee Reception

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“Ever since the war, efforts have been made by groups and individuals to get refugees into Canada but we have fought all along to protect ourselves against the admission of such stateless persons without passports, for the reason that coming out of the maelstrom of war, some of them are liable to go on the rocks and when they become… Read more »

History for Children? Watching “Once Upon a Time… Man” as an Adult in the 21st Century

By Alban Bargain-Villéger On a hot July night, while in the throes of insomnia, I found myself waxing nostalgic and decided to revisit my favourite childhood animated series. After watching a few episodes of Cobra and The Mysterious Cities of Gold (also fascinating animation series in their own right) I realized that Once Upon a Time… Man (Il était une… Read more »

Our Bodies and Inescapable Ecologies: A Look at the Mining Community of Sudbury, Ontario

By Kaleigh Bradley “Where does the body end and ‘non-human nature’ begin? When we recognize that human bodies are directly affected by their environments, we are forced to acknowledge that humans are not simply agents of environmental change, but objects of that change” – Linda Nash, Inescpable Ecologies Last week I was surprised to hear about the toxic leak of… Read more »