By Yeow Tong Chia
Professor Timothy A. Stanley recently published his new book Contesting White Supremacy: School Segregation, Anti-Racism, and the Making of Chinese Canadians (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2011). The launch of this book is timely, as it comes in the wake of Maclean’s Magazine TOO ASIAN article, which stereotypes Asians as nerdy and hardworking and “whites” as fun and party going people. In the light of that, I had an email interview with Professor Stanley on his views on racism, Chinese Canadian history, Asian Heritage Month and his book. Continue reading
Canada's first prime minister a tweeter?
Since starting up in 2006, Twitter has quickly become one of the most popular forms of social media. Twitter is a website used to broadcast text messages – known as “tweets” – in 140 characters or less. It has over 200 million accounts, and its users write more than 65 million tweets a day. Twitter provides an opportunity for organizations, companies, individuals, and websites (like ActiveHistory.ca) to get their message out to wider publics.
But living Canadians aren’t the only ones taking advantage of Twitter. Dead Canadians of historical prominence are too. Continue reading
This week we have two exciting events to announce: the Parler Fort Speaker Series at Fort York and a book launch for Sunnybrook Hospital: Our Veterans’ Legacy of Care, a Photographic Journey Through the Decades.
Fort York National Historic Site is hosting the talk “Dying to Vote in Canada in the Middle East” by award-winning essayist and novelist John Ralston Saul and Professor Thabit Abdullah (Professor of History, York University). They will they engage each other and the audience in a discussion of the current state of democracy in Canada, and our nation’s role in encouraging democratic movements in other countries. The talk will be held on Monday May 30th, 2011 at 7:00 pm. Admission Price: $10 ($8.85 + HST). Please R.S.V.P. to 416-392-6907 x 221 or email@example.com for more information.
Also at Fort York on Monday June 20th is the launch of the new book Reshaping Toronto’s Waterfront (UTP Press, June 2011.) ActiveHistory.ca will have more details about this event closer to the date.
ActiveHistory.ca is also pleased to announce the launch of the new book Sunnybrook Hospital: Our Veterans’ Legacy of Care, a Photographic Journey Through the Decades. The book published by Dundurn Group Press captures the history of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. Edited by a team led by Dr. Peeter Poldre, the book, Sunnybrook Hospital Our Veteran’s Legacy of Care, a Photographic Journey Through the Decades, chronicles the contributions of the dedicated health care professionals, staff, volunteers and veterans whose tireless efforts have made the hospital what it has become today. Together they have established internationally recognized standards of excellence in patient care, teaching and research. This legacy honours in perpetuity those service men and women, past and present, who put heir lives on the line to protect our freedom.
Sunnybrook: Our Veteran’s Legacy of Care is available for purchase in the gift shops at Sunnybrook, Chapters/Indigo book stores, Amazon.ca and online through Dundurn Press. For more information Please contact: Phil Gold, Archivist Sunnybrook Archives, Room KB117 Sunnybrook Health Science Centre, 2075 Bayview Avenue Toronto, Ontario M4N 3M5, 416-480-6100 ext 2571 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the 1970s a new genre of film featuring all black casts raged through urban American movie theaters. It was named “Blaxploitation,” combining “exploitation,” which were films that presented overtly violent and sexual narratives, and “black” to denote not only the racial make-up of the cast, but the centrality of “blackness” to the story lines. Melvyn Van Peebles’s 1971 Sweet Sweetback’s Baadassss Song is often considered the first of this genre, but later crowd-pleasers such as Shaft (1971), Superfly (1972) and Cleopatra Jones (1973) more overtly capture the essence of Blaxploitation. They tell the story of African American men and women living in urban settings celebrating their blackness in defiance of a white supremacist America. While fighting crime or running drug enterprises, the main protagonists use the language most recognized in black urban environments and dress in the soul/funk style popularized in the 1970s. Filling a need for films that celebrate the black experience, as well as filling the seats in the urban movie theaters that were rapidly beginning to pale in the boom of suburban multiplexes, Blaxploitation quickly became lucrative for several major studios and iconographic for young black men and women. While they may appear frivolous to viewers in the 21st century, they astutely combined fun narrative with the growing Black Power politics of the 1970s. To their target audience, they were anything but frivolous. Continue reading
Unigram comparisons for 'nationalize' and 'privatize'
Tracking the rise and fall of ideas throughout fifteen million books would have been impossible. Until now, thanks to the Google Books Ngram Viewer. Much like my previous post on Wordle tried to illustrate, we need to make sense of large quantities of information in order to do ‘big history’ and provide a context into which we can write our smaller studies. They’re also awesome for teaching or just playing around with and having (shock) fun with history.
On the chart at above right, we see a Google Ngram for two phrases: ‘nationalize’ in blue, ‘privatize’ in red. Does it surprise you? The idea of “privatize”ing is almost unheard of until the 1970s, and really picks up stream by the late 1980s and peaks in the 1990s. Conversely, nationalize slowly trends upwards until the 1970s, and then declines. This might not be surprising, but it’s an example. In this post, I’ll tell you what an ngram is, show some cool pictures, and hopefully drive you to have some fun with this. Continue reading
Picture by White House Photographer Pete Souza, White House Flickr Collection, 2 May 2011.
You likely saw this photograph sometime over the last few weeks.
It depicts U.S. President Barack Obama and his national security team — including, among others: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, National Security Advisor, Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State, and Vice President — in the White House Situation Room, Sunday 1 May 2011.
The subject of their fascination, as the president would go on to reveal in a televised national address only a few hours later, is “Operation Neptune Spear” — otherwise known as the covert assassination of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden by U.S. Navy SEALs.
Let’s come back to this photograph shortly. Continue reading
By Ioana Teodorescu
You may have heard of it. Or not. Its official title is Reading Artifacts Summer Institute at Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa and this is the third year when it happens. Jaipreet Virdi gave it a serious review in June last year on this very blog and I totally agree with that. I won’t repeat what Jai said, but rather take a more personal approach.
Set: the conservation division of the museum.
Time: 5 days
Basic work: figure out an object with very little external information, if any.
Process: whatever you can think of – beside actual artefact research.
(Never done artefact research before? All the better. They’re quite good at explaining it.)
Frame: the organizers carefully select some really cool things in the collection that don’t look like anything you’ve ever seen before (and believe me, Sci & Tech is just the place) – they lay them on a few tables or, if they’re way too big (which happens with technology), they place them casually round the corner of your chair. They don’t look very intimidating because the actual collections are just a few meters away anyway. Continue reading
Chiefswood from the Grand River
August is laughing across the sky,
Laughing while paddle, canoe and I,
Where the hills uplift
On either side of the current swift.
– “The Song my Paddle Sings,” E. Pauline Johnson
From Brantford’s downtown the Grand River meanders lazily, coming back on itself through a large ox-box, before reaching the tiny community of Newport. Just past Newport the south shore of the Grand River forms the boundary of the Six Nations reserve. From Newport the Grand River next flows through the town of Onondaga, and just a few kilometers past that, the river flows past a large white house on a hill. This is Chiefswood. Continue reading
May 29, 2011 5 to 7 pm
Harriet Irving Library, room 111
University of New Brunswick
Recognizing the importance of user-generated content to the Congress experience, Congress is hosting its first ever social media networking cocktail. This event is an opportunity for delegates who would normally engage only online to meet in real life. Join us for a short presentation and a chance to share your experiences and thoughts on blogging with researchers and community-members. Drinks and snacks will be provided.
To RSVP or if you have any questions, Please email me at email@example.com or call me at (613) 238 6112 ext. 356.
For our educational readers in the Greater Toronto Area, ActiveHistory.ca is proud to pass along this initiation from the Chinese Canadian National Council Toronto Chapter.
- Are you a teacher or youth worker?
- Do you work with a lot of Asian Students?
- Do your students question their Asian Canadian identity?
- Do you wish you had more resources to discuss Asian Canadian heritage?
- Have you been successful in organizing events and lessons regarding Asian Heritage?
If you answered “yes” to at least one of these questions, come and join an educational forum about teaching and learning Asian Heritage on Thursday May 26th, 2011. Continue reading