Tag Archives: popular culture

“Inspired by True Events”: The Fur Trade, The Revenant, and Humanity

What are the problems and possibilities of Hollywood history? ActiveHistory is pleased to feature a four-essay forum on The Revenant, a 2015 Hollywood historical epic set against the backdrop of the early 1800s North American fur trade. As a primer, we recommend reading Stacy Nation-Knapper’s excellent review from earlier this year. Ted Binnema The Revenant’s trailer indicates that the movie is… Read more »

History on TV: Political Drama in the 2010s

Alban Bargain-Villéger In recent years, serial political dramas such as House of Cards and the Danish series Borgen have enjoyed quite a bit of success in North America. Although one might argue that the genre is more of a child of the 1990s, since the original House of Cards trilogy (set in a fictional post-Thatcher Britain) came out in 1991,… Read more »

Performing For War, Hoping For Peace: Canadian Actresses’ Transnational Engagements with World War I

By Cecilia Morgan It opened with a number of trumpet calls, followed by the boom of cannons. Then the curtain rose and the central attraction of the 1917 vaudeville production Liberty Aflame was revealed: Julia Arthur, dressed as the Statue of Liberty. According to theatre reviewer Alan Dale, “Miss Arthur stood, as all stars love to stand, in the absolute… Read more »

History Slam Episode Seventy-Eight: Disaster Drawn

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http://activehistory.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Hillary-Chute.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadBy Sean Graham As anyone who has ever done archival research knows, there are moments where things can get incredibly dull. To get over this, we all try to find little things that keep us going. When I was in the midst of reading every issue of the Moose Jaw Times between 1931 and… Read more »

History Slam Episode Seventy-One: Race, Gender, and Rap

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http://activehistory.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Francesca-DAmico.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadBy Sean Graham When teaching courses on the history of popular culture, one of my favourite exercises is to play a song and then ask the class what the song is about. With certain songs, students come up with answers pretty quickly, while in other cases, it takes a little more prodding. In all… Read more »

Yes, We CAN Think Historically with a Video Game Console

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By Jonathan McQuarrie #gamergate inflicted a well-deserved black eye for video game culture. Whatever the movement may have been (and there are many facets to it), one of the core consequences became a rash of threats against prominent critic Anita Sarkeesian, who rightly pointed to the many harmful and tiresome ways in which video games portrayed women in her series… Read more »

History Slam Episode Twelve: Media Review Roundup

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http://activehistory.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Media-Review.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadBy Sean Graham Like a lot of people, I used the break over the holidays to catch up on a couple of TV shows and movies that I had missed through the fall. I have to say that binge watching, while a lot of fun, can actually be difficult – it’s easy to lose… Read more »

Mad Men and Wonder Years: history, nostalgia, and life in The Sixties

By Jay Young Like many people, I anticipated the return of Mad Men (AMC, Sundays, 10 pm EST), one of television’s most acclaimed series of the past decade.  Now in its fifth season, the show looks at the life of Don Draper and other workers in the New York advertising industry during the 1960s. At the same time that I… Read more »