Category Archives: History in the News

Does the Crowd Matter? The Moral Economy in the Twenty-First Century

By Tom Peace Over the past couple of weeks people around the world have taken to the streets in order to call politicians, business leaders, and civil servants to account. Though similar, no one event was the same. The Women’s March was carefully planned over two months between the US election and Inauguration Day; its purpose was to give voice… Read more »

Remembering the Voyage of the St. Louis

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By Laura Madokoro  The past two weeks have witnessed a bewildering amount of activity in the United States with regards to the admission, and exclusion, of migrants and refugees from seven majority-Muslim nations. On January 25 and 27, President Donald Trump issued two Executive Orders that immediately barred Syrian refugees from US resettlement, barred permanent and temporary migrants from Syria,… Read more »

Trumpism, Fascism, and the Lessons of History

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By Geoff Read, Cheryl Koos, and Samuel Kalman Many articles have appeared in the past year debating whether or not Donald Trump is a fascist.[1] Although some of these pieces are mere exercises in name calling, others offer political, social, and historical analysis. Just prior to the US presidential election, for example, Kevin Passmore, an eminent scholar of the French far right,… Read more »

How Thunder Bay Was Made

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Travis Hay Thunder Bay, Ontario is a city well-known for a particularly explicit form of anti-Indigenous racism.[1] Unlike more southern and urban locales where anti-Indigeneity is predominantly expressed as erasure, the social structures of feeling that exist in Thunder Bay are informed by a close proximity to Fort William First Nation (FWFN) – a community located adjacently to the city…. Read more »

Hyperbole, Hot Takes, and Hillary’s Qualifications

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By Sean Graham Back in 2011, I wrote an article in the Ottawa Citizen arguing that hyperbole didn’t work in Canadian political life. In the midst of the Stop Harper movement, I felt that words like ‘dictator’ were counterproductive. If you want to challenge somebody’s politics, then do so in a rationale, reasonable way that focuses on the issues at… Read more »

Queen’s Goes Viral

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Scott Rutherford Each year at Halloween my partner and I hand out candy to a couple of dozen neighbourhood kids. We live in a working/middle class neighbourhood in Kingston where most of the children are white, as are their parents. I’m always anxious before opening the door to that first trick-or-treater. Who’s going to be the first Osama Bin Laden… Read more »

There’s a Historian Born Every Minute

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Alan MacEachern A while back I noticed that Active History had published a post citing a satirical political website as fact. It was an easy mistake to make: the site looked real enough, and its article only mildly ridiculous in the current news climate. I contacted the Active History contributor and editor, and the quote was quickly removed. Case closed…. Read more »

Confronting the Secret Path and the Legacy of Residential Schools

Sean Carleton Despite growing up near St. Paul’s Indian Residential School in North Vancouver, I did not learn about residential schools as a child. I did not learn about Chanie Wenjack (misnamed “Charlie” by his teachers), a 12-year-old Anishinaabe boy who ran away from the Cecilia Jeffery Indian Residential School in Kenora, Ontario in October 1966. It was not until… Read more »

The Year of the Flood: Hurricane Matthew, Oral Narratives, and Climate History

By Lachlan MacKinnon The tail-end of Hurricane Matthew battered Nova Scotia and Newfoundland on Monday afternoon and through the evening. Although the damage does not approach the devastation wrought by the system in the Caribbean and other points south, for many in Cape Breton it will be remembered as the storm of a generation. As I drove around the streets… Read more »

The Polish Government, the Holocaust and Jan Grabowski

“‘Who controls the present, controls the past,’ wrote George Orwell, and the Polish authorities seem to have taken Orwell’s words to heart.”[1] On September 20th, University of Ottawa historian Jan Grabowski published an op-ed in Macleans highlighting the dangers of a new law working its way through Poland’s parliament that threatens historians and others with up to three years in jail if they… Read more »