Category Archives: American History

The Real Estate State and Housing Insecurity: An Interview with Samuel Stein

Max Mishler’s interview with with Samuel Stein, author of the book Capital City: Gentrification and the Real Estate State (Verso, 2019), is part of the “(In)Security in the Time of COVID-19” series. Read the rest of the series, including a post contextualizing this interview, here. Max Mishler: Hi Sam. Thanks so much for taking the time to think with us… Read more »

“Unusual – Indeed Unprecedented”: U.S. Immigration Policies and Travel Restrictions During World War One

This post by Lauren Catterson is part of the “(In)Security in the Time of COVID-19” series. Read the rest of the series here. It’s been more than a year since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic. In March and April 2020 many countries imposed strict border controls or closed their borders to non-essential travel and non-citizens in… Read more »

(In)Security in the Time of COVID-19: New Histories of Human Vulnerability, Community Resilience, and the Struggle for Social Justice

This post introduces “(In)Security in the Time of COVID-19,” a ten-part blog series that will be featured on ActiveHistory.ca over the next six weeks. Visit the series page here. We are the (In)Security Working Group, a collective of historians based at the University of Toronto committed to developing a rigorous and critical analysis of the ways in which security regimes… Read more »

This Inauguration Day, Americans will start over again 

J.M. Opal Anniversaries make you feel old and young at the same time. An important date marks the time, reminding you of how many years you’ve already trod during your sojourn on Earth. Then again, these dates also promise renewal, a chance to clean slates and start fresh. Today’s inauguration of Joseph Biden will be the 58th anniversary of this… Read more »

Towards a History of Canadian Climate Diplomacy

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Daniel Macfarlane In 2013, Canada was bestowed the satirical “Lifetime Unachievement” Fossil award by Climate Action Network International in recognition of the country’s record of obstructing global climate change talks. This dubious distinction was well-earned by Stephen Harper’s Conservative government. But its Liberal predecessors and successors didn’t do much better when it came to actually reducing the country’s greenhouse gas… Read more »

This Isn’t Who We Are? Cold War Rhetoric and the Trump Riots

By Andrew Sopko America’s political history has been leading to the events at Capitol Hill on 6 January 2021 for a quite some time. The Cold War’s stifling impact on American politics directly shaped today’s troubling reality by slowly pushing progressive left voices from mainstream discourse. As a result, far-right critiques of the American nation-state which simultaneously avoid criticizing the… Read more »

Deconstructing Dominant Historical Narratives through Progressive Metal

Jessi Gilchrist Progressive metal is not the genre that we think of when we consider decolonization, anti-racism, or intersectionality. In fact, in 2017, The Atlantic published an article entitled “the Whitest Music Ever,” a critique of one of progressive metal’s predecessors, progressive rock.[i] Spawned in the 1970s with bands like Rush and King Crimson, progressive rock has been known as… Read more »

Teaching Canada–U.S. Relations in 2020

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Patrick Lacroix Didn’t you guys burn down the White House? – Donald J. Trump From television news programming to social media, a politically unaware visitor to Canada would easily believe that we are in the midst of a heated national election. We aren’t, of course, but we have had front-row seats—the mediatic splash zone—to unending American electioneering. Early reports suggest… Read more »

Defund the police

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Tamara Gene Myers Amidst the call to “Defund the police,” it bears thinking about removing police from our schools as well. “Defund the police” has become the rallying cry of anti-Black racism protests following the public murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. Relentless police violence has generated heated discussion about how decades of policies intended to “reform”… Read more »

Epidemics and Racism: Honolulu’s Bubonic Plague and the Big Fire, 1899-1900

Yukari Takai More than a century before the global outbreak of Covid-19, another deadly disease struck Honolulu, one that ignited the tragic unfolding of many stories about public health, urban fires and social inequalities, particularly racism. The bubonic plague, also known as the Black Death, hit Honolulu’s crowded and throbbing Chinatown in December 1899 when it took the life of… Read more »