Category Archives: Public History

Acknowledging the Land and the People: A Practice for all Canadian Historians

By Thomas Peace Pour assurer notre existence, il faut nous cramponner à la terre, et léguer à nos enfants la langue de nos ancetres et la propriété du sol [1] These words captivated my attention a few months ago as I walked across Parc Montmorency, the site of the old parliament buildings in Quebec City. They are found on the footing… Read more »

The (im)possibility of raceless equality: blacks as workers and thieves in the Big Hole experience

By Rachel Hatcher [This is the third post in the Learning and unlearning history in South Africa’s public spaces series.] South Africa and its universities have been working for over two decades to eliminate racism from their midst and become metaphoric rainbows of inclusion and equality. This project faces serious challenges from various quarters, some unexpected. Briefly imagine, if you will, growing up… Read more »

Shuttering Archives: A UNESCO Recognized Collection to Close its Doors to the Public

Thomas Peace Last month I spent two weeks working in one of my favourite archives: Le Centre de référence de l’Amérique francophone. This archive – run by Quebec’s Museum of Civilization – is one of the oldest in the country, not only holding the records of the Quebec Seminary (which begin in 1623), but also many important documents related to New… Read more »

Reports from New Directions in Active History: Memory, Museums, and the Politics of the Past

By Jodi Giesbrecht One of the many important conversations held during the ‘New Directions in Active History’ conference considered the evolving ways in which historical knowledge is represented and contested in public spaces and how, as historians, we might participate in such discourses and actively engage with broader audiences. My panel, “Histories, Memories and Museums,” examined the role of museums in… Read more »

AIDS on the Wall: Reflections on the Exhibit “Positive Sex” and the AIDS Activist History Project that Made it Happen

By Beth A. Robertson   Today if you walk into MacOdrum Library at Carleton University in Ottawa, you might be forgiven for taking a double-take. Up on the wall in the main foyer is a striking display that is intended to provide a deeper understanding of what AIDS activism in Canada has looked like since the 1980s. “Positive Sex: Eroticizing Safer… Read more »

The Currency of Memory: #bankNOTEable Canadian Women

By Kaleigh Bradley Last month, on International Women’s Day, Trudeau announced that by 2018, “an iconic Canadian woman” would appear on the next issue of bank notes. Up until April 18th, 2016, the Bank of Canada issued an open call for nominations of #bankNOTEable women. In order to quality, the woman in question had to be a Canadian citizen (by birth… Read more »

Hamilton: A Belated Discussion

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By Jonathan McQuarrie It turns out rap is a perfect medium for history. Hamilton has become a touchstone musical, winning laurels from a range of audiences from musical aficionados to people (like me) who are never quite sure why everyone is singing. Its wide appeal has made it a notoriously difficult ticket to get—as of this writing, the tickets are… Read more »

The Future of Public History Programs in Canada

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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. Continuing the conversation on the future of Public History programs in Canada is Dr…. Read more »

Exploring the Clash of Official and Vernacular Memory: The Great War in Brantford, Brant Country, and Six Nations

By Dr. Peter Farrugia and Evan J. Habkirk The American historian, John Bodnar has argued that “Public memory emerges from the intersection of official and vernacular cultural expressions.” Official memory in his conception is propagated by elites who attempt to advance their vision “…by promoting interpretations of past and present reality that reduce the power of competing interests that threaten… Read more »

Bridging the Gap Between Historians and the Public

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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. This week, Christopher Moore, a member of our opening plenary round table at… Read more »