ActiveHistory.ca is a website that connects the work of historians with the wider public and the importance of the past to current events. It developed from the conference “Active History: History for the Future” at Glendon College in September 2008. We define active history variously as history that listens and is responsive; history that will make a tangible difference in people’s lives; history that makes an intervention and is transformative to both practitioners and communities. We seek a practice of history that emphasizes collegiality, builds community among active historians and other members of communities, and recognizes the public responsibilities of the historian.
Active History is a project open to contributions from all historians seeking to publish short essays that align with our mandate. As an entirely volunteer-run organization, we have a loose editorial structure, whereby copyright and ownership of published material remains with the author under a Creative Commons CC-BY-ND license (for more information, see the space at the very bottom of each page).
Our project has always embraced multiple definitions of active history. Authors are responsible for ensuring that their contributions are factually correct and ethically sound. Members of our editorial collective work with authors to revise pieces, where necessary, for tone, clarity and focus, and they are empowered to make decisions about publication independent of the whole, adhering to the editorial guidelines below.
We are always looking for people to contribute to the project. If you have a general inquiry about partnerships, or are interested in contributing to the blog, please contact Daniel Ross (Public Outreach Coordinator) at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any questions or comments about the History Slam podcast, please contact Sean Graham (History Slam Podcast Editor) at email@example.com.
Most of the work that goes into Active History is unpaid. Recognizing the systemic nature of precarious employment for many historians, the editorial collective is working to provide small annual honoraria for regular contributors and editors working in unstable labour conditions.
Donations to support the project can be made here through Huron University College. To do so, select “other” in the designation box and in the comments clearly indicate that the donation should go towards Active History. Your money will go to maintaining the site and its archive of more than 2,000 blog posts, and to supporting precariously employed contributors to the project.
Please also visit our French-language partner site, HistoireEngagee.ca.
Guidelines for Authors
Activehistory.ca is continuously looking for short and thoughtful blog posts that bring historical perspectives to pressing issues. In order to ensure high quality writing and a diversity of voices, we welcome .doc file posts to firstname.lastname@example.org. Anyone who is actively engaged in historical research is encouraged to submit a post. We also regularly solicit submissions from historians working in different fields at a variety of institutions, both within and beyond the academy.
We welcome submissions addressing any period or place as long as they are historical and anchored in research, engage critical issues facing Canadian society, and are written for a general audience. We also welcome posts dealing with issues related to historical teaching, research, and practice. Posts should focus on the ways historians or aspects of the past connect with the general public, the media, and policymakers.
All posts should meet the profession’s ethical standards and best practices including, where applicable, research ethics protocols such as the Tri-Council Ethics guidelines, research agreements, and opportunities for comment from living individuals or institutions named in a post.
Submissions should be clean, polished drafts that are written in an accessible style for a general audience, use hyperlinks over footnotes, and be between 700 to 1500 words. When submitting a post, be sure to include:
- a short list of accessible resources
- five key words that will help website users access your article
- at least one image that you have permission to use, with appropriate caption and credit information
- any pertinent ethical considerations
- your name, email address, Twitter handle, and institutional affiliation
- a short biography of one to two sentences
We usually only show the first couple of paragraphs of each new blog post on the website’s homepage with a “continue reading” link. Keep this in mind when you submit your draft, as the first paragraphs need to stand on their own and captivate the audience. So, too, should the post title convey a general sense of the topic and capture the attention of a general reader.
It generally takes a few weeks for a submitted post to appear on the website. During that time, you will work with an editor on the ActiveHistory.ca team to ensure that the post meets the website’s criteria.
Carly Ciufo (She/Her) is a doctoral candidate of the LR Wilson Institute for Canadian History in the Department of History at McMaster University. She worked at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 before starting her current PhD research, which investigates the capacity of human rights museums to do human rights work. As elected graduate student representative on the Canadian Historical Association’s Council, she shares responsibility for the teaching and learning portfolio.
Jim Clifford is an Associate Professor of environmental history with the Department of History at the University of Saskatchewan. His current research explores the environmental and economic histories of the global commodities that supplied industries in the Thames Estuary during the 19th century. For more information, visit jimclifford.ca. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Edward Dunsworth is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History and Classical Studies at McGill University. A historian of Canada, global migration, and labour, his current book project explores the global making of Canada’s agricultural workforce through a case study of Ontario tobacco labour. He tweets @ehewey and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Laura Madokoro is an Associate Professor in the Department of History at Carleton University. Her research explores the history of global migration, refugees, humanitarianism and the politics of race. You can see some of her current SSHRC-funded research on the history of sanctuary in Canada here. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Thomas Peace is an assistant professor in the Department of History at Huron University College. His research addresses the processes of settler colonialism in the northeast and the ways in which Indigenous peoples engaged with schooling during the eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries. For more information visit his website or send him an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Daniel Ross is public outreach coordinator for the Active History project. He is an assistant professor in the history department at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), where he teaches and researches Canadian and Quebec history. He is particularly interested in cities and the people who live in them. Read more at historiandanielross.com.
Sara Wilmshurst (she/her) is a Historian at Know History Inc. She co-authored the 2018 monograph Be Wise! Be Healthy! Morality and Citizenship in Canadian Public Health Campaigns, and has published on other fun topics like tobacco, sex ed, and cookbooks. Sara largely works for Indigenous organizations that have partnered with Know History to research, document, and share their stories. Sara can be reached at email@example.com.
Sean Carleton is an Assistant Professor at Mount Royal University, Calgary, Alberta, Treaty 7. His research looks at the history of schooling, settler colonialism, and Indigenous resistance in Western Canada in the 19th and 20th century. He is also a co-founder of the Graphic History Collective.
Samantha Cutrara is a history education strategist based in Toronto. With a PhD from York University, her writing and consulting work focuses on the “meaningful learning” of Canadian history narratives. Her first book, Imagining a New “We”: Canadian history education for the 21st century (UBC Press) will be published in early 2018 and she is currently engaged in a research project focused on the trans/national identifications of Canadian youth. To learn more about her work visit www.SamanthaCutrara.com or contact Samantha.Cutrara@gmail.com.
Andrea Eidinger (She/Her) is currently a sessional instructor in the Department of History at the University of British Columbia. She holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in History from the University of Victoria (2011). Her research examines the intersections of gender and ethnicity in postwar Canada, particularly with respect to the role that Jewish women have played in the establishment of Jewish-Canadian identity. She is the brains behind the popular blog, Unwritten Histories. You can find her on twitter at @andreaeidinger. She is the co-editor of the Beyond the Lecture series on Active History.
Sean Graham is the producer and host of the History Slam podcast. He is a historian of North American broadcasting with a PhD from the University of Ottawa. He is an Adjunct Professor at Carleton University and the Education Coordinator for the Vimy Foundation’s immersive programs. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Andrew Nurse is Associate Professor of Canadian Studies at Mount Allison University where he teaches courses on Canadian political-economy, diversity, and regionalism. His published work includes the edited collections Beyond National Dreams: Essays on Canadian Citizenship and Nationalism (with Raymond Blake) and Dynamics and Trajectories: Canada and North America (with Mike Fox). He is currently working on a study of the Movement for Citizens Voice and Action, a 1970s Halifax-based democratization movement.
- Krista McCracken, 2012-2023
- Jon Weir, 2019-2021
- Samantha Cutrara, 2018-2021
- Christo Aivalis, 2017-2020
- Beth A. Robertson, 2015-2017
- Kaleigh Bradley, 2012-2016
- Ian Milligan, 2009-2015
- Jason Young, 2009-2014
- Christine McLaughlin, 2009-2014
- Karen Dearlove 2010-2012