Category Archives: History in the News

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 »

What’s In a Monument? Part II: The Edward Cornwallis Monument and Reconciliation

“What’s in a Monument?” is based on a public lecture delivered on March 11 in the History Matters Series organized by the University of Calgary History Department and the Calgary Public Library. We recommend that you read yesterday’s post by Jewel Spangler about the Robert E. Lee monument in Charlottesville before Part II because it provides the theoretical framework for… Read more »

What’s in a Monument? Part I: Robert E. Lee and Confederate Memory

By Jewel Spangler “What’s in a Monument?” is based on a public lecture delivered on March 11 in the History Matters Series organized by the University of Calgary History Department and the Calgary Public Library. This first post by Jewel Spangler is about the attempted removal of the Robert E. Lee monument in Charlottesville. Tomorrow’s post by Nancy Janovicek focuses… Read more »

“Government Mail Free of Postage”: Scholars’ letters to Parliament Hill

Erin Corber In the introduction to his 1993 Reith lectures, Edward Said reflects on the role and representations of the intellectual. Taking Gramsci’s inclusive vision of a broad and expansive intellectual class populated increasingly not only by producers but also by distributors of knowledge, Said argues that the intellectual’s role in society “cannot be reduced simply to being a faceless… Read more »

The Meaning of DoFo – how Doug Ford took Ontario

James Cullingham Ontario – wake up and sniff the kitty litter. Doug Ford aka DoFo, is premier-elect of Canada’s most populous province. That will make DoFo arguably the second most powerful politician in the country after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. There can be no denying the political accomplishment and screaming yelp for CHANGE this proclaims. Doug Ford, elder brother of… Read more »

History on Appeal: Originalism and Evidence in the Comeau Case

This essay is being jointly posted today with Acadiensis and Borealia. By Bradley Miller The Supreme Court declined this month to radically change the way that Canada works. In R v Comeau, lawyers for a New Brunswick man ticketed for bringing too many bottles of beer into the province from Quebec urged the justices to use the history of the… 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 »

Populism Isn’t a Four Letter Word: Reasserting a Progressive Populism in 2018

by Christo Aivalis In the era of Donald Trump and Doug Ford, populism’s reputation has taken quite the tumble, associated now more than at any time in the recent past with the alt-right movement, predicated in large part on xenophobia, racism, misogyny, and a reflexive aversion to anything that may be connected, however tenuously, to the ‘Social Justice Warrior’ caricature…. Read more »

Can Prison Farms Be Saved?

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Cameron Willis On February 27, 2018, the federal Liberal government announced the gradual reopening of two prison farms in Kingston, Ontario, at the Joyceville and Collins Bay institutions. This announcement marked the successful culmination of a local grassroots campaign which began soon after the initial closure was announced in 2009, and aimed first to save, then later restore, the farms. … Read more »

Brexit Ambiguities

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By Stephen Brooke On Friday, 23 June 2016, Britain voted to leave the European Union, with 51.89% in favour of leaving and 48.11% in favour of remaining.  And thus Britain embarked on what was certainly the most important political decision of the past forty years (going back to the 1975 referendum which approved membership in what was then called the… Read more »