Category Archives: Doing History

Death was the Point: Interrupting our shock at colonial practices. Thoughts on the Kamloops discovery.

By Samantha Cutrara Trigger Warning: This article discusses the residential school system. The National Residential School Crisis Line is 1-866-925-4419. When the news came out about the mass grave at Kamloops Indian Residential School located on the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation – or the news from this past weekend which identified 104 ‘potential graves’ as part of the Brandon… Read more »

The Perils of Digital Humanities for Academics

Dominique Clément Why does historical training at universities place so little emphasis on research methods? The rise of digital humanities presents a fundamental challenge to how we train historians. But for anyone pondering a career in academia, it’s a perilous journey where the risks might not be worth the rewards. We are in the digital age yet historical research remains… Read more »

Being a Professor is Just a Job

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David Calverley I don’t want my comments to come across as insensitive or uncaring towards people struggling to get a university position. I attended the first CHA panel about precarity in the historical profession. I felt a lot of sympathy for those who outlined their anger and disappointment with either not obtaining a full-time academic position or the stress they… Read more »

Bringing Black studies to Canadian universities is still an uphill battle

Afua Cooper Since my time as a graduate student to my present appointment as professor at Dalhousie University, I have been involved with championing and developing Black studies in universities and beyond. Previously, within Canadian universities, not many scholars who work in creating knowledge about Black people called it Black studies. For many, “Black studies” was something that happened in… Read more »

Taking the ‘discipline’ out of history: moving beyond the limits of scholarly writing through a research creation assignment

In this three-part series, Dr. Donica Belisle of the University of Regina suggests that by expanding the ways students’ work is assessed, it is possible to expand the practice of History itself. By way of example, she explores the results of a recent experiment in which she assigned undergraduate students a “research creation” option. She concludes that despite the difficulties… Read more »

Levelling the Playing Field: Humour in the Zoom University

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The students of HIST 5210, Carleton University In just three days, this tweet was liked over 90,000 times. Responses varied from triumphant vindication (take that, students! So many more than 10 likes!) to moral panic (society is crumbling thanks to Twitter). Surprisingly few people recognized it for what it was: playful teasing between students and their professor as they wrapped… Read more »

Historia Nostra: Jamestown Miniseries

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By Erin Isaac Jamestown looms large in North American collective historical imagination, in pop culture as well as in the classroom. As North America’s first permanent English settlement, the site is celebrated as the “birthplace” of modern Anglo-American society but (as is true of all historical sites) the history of Jamestown is complicated; there are aspects to its story to… Read more »

Listening to the Voices from the Past: An invitation for a private, nuanced, remote Remembrance Day

By Samantha Cutrara What do we mark for remembrance and how do we understand service to this country? These questions may seem straightforward on a day like Remembrance Day, but this day can also invite us to critically examine the concepts of commemoration and service, and provide nuance to the stories of military glory and heroics often featured on this… Read more »

Advice for Planning and Conducting Archival Research

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(This post by Katrin Kleemann is published as part of a collaboration with Environmental History Now) Do you remember when the only thing keeping you from conducting research in an archive in a different city or country was simply a lack of money? It turns out, those were the good old days! In memory of the pre-pandemic world, when historians… Read more »

If you’re not doing history to make change, what the f— are you doing it for?

By Samantha Cutrara How to you teach racism in your Canadian history classroom? Do you teach racism in your Canadian history classroom? Do you mention racist actions or events and then move on to the next part of the chronology? Do you acknowledge that there were ethnically and culturally diverse peoples in the Canadian past but fail to introduce any… Read more »