Category Archives: History and Culture

History’s Reputation Problem: The Sequel, History isn’t Humourless, is it?!?

By Thomas Peace We’ve all heard it: History is boring. Historians may rebut: We’re not boring! We’re serious! A quick Google Image search suggests that both perspectives may be correct! Not only does history look boring and serious, it also looks White, Wealthy, Masculine, and Antiquated (okay: White, Male, and Stale). No wonder history has a reputation problem! Good news… Read more »

Talking History Podcasts, Vol. 2; or, The Podcast Lover’s Quarantine Survival Kit

Edward Dunsworth For my post this month, I’ve decided to revisit a piece I wrote last year in which I shared some of my favourite history podcasts. As many of us hunker down for extended periods of “social distancing” with the spread of COVID-19, we will be looking for ways to pass the time while at home. And what better… Read more »

Stand! Show and Tell (and Sing)

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David Frank The catalogue of labour history films in Canada is a small one. There is a very good body of work in the documentary tradition, but you will not need a long weekend to screen all of the dramatic films related to this country’s labour and working-class history.[1] To this shelf, we can now add a new film based… Read more »

Language Remediation at the WDM: Answering TRC Calls to Action #43 and #67

Kaiti Hannah Author Note: Portions of this blog post were originally published on WDM.ca. They are reproduced with permission from the authors and the Western Development Museum (WDM). The WDM is the provincially mandated human history museum of Saskatchewan. Language is important. The words we choose to use in our historical interpretation must be inclusive, accurate, respectful, current, and meaningful…. Read more »

Stitching History: Using Embroidery to Examine the Past

Krista McCracken Sherry Farrell Racette in Looking for Stories and Unbroken Threads notes, “Through the power of colour and design, the objects in museum collections not only speak a powerful aesthetic, they also reveal critical information about the worlds and circumstances in which they were created.” Textiles have a role in telling community and personal histories and can tell stories… Read more »

Staging History

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By Craig Heron Historians have become increasingly attuned to the role of performance in history. Many of us have written about the pomp and pageantry of the powerful, the theatre of the high courts, the processions of urban respectability, the rituals of resistance among the poor and powerless. We have been much more reticent, however, about using theatre to present… Read more »

Settler Colonialism, Residential Schools, and Architectural History

On October 24, 2019, Active History commenced a series on education “after” residential schools with an article written by Clinton Debogorski, Magdalena Milosz, Martha Walls and Karen Bridget Murray. The series is open-ended. Active History welcomes additional contributions on related themes. By Magdalena Milosz I remind Until I fall. Rita Joe, “Hated Structure”[1] Throughout my undergraduate education in architecture, I… Read more »

When Historical Time Meets Real Time: Mourning Harry Tanner

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Karen Dubinsky Harry Tanner died November 7 2019 at the age of 85. I’ve only known him a couple of years. However, I’ve known him his whole life. I knew his parents, his father a Bank of Nova Scotia manager stationed in Havana in the 1940s and 1950s, where Harry grew up. I know Harry’s excitement about life in 1960s… Read more »

Leonard Sorta Dipped? Free Agency, Past and Present

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Edward Dunsworth Next Tuesday evening, when the Toronto Raptors host the New Orleans Pelicans to kick off the 2019-20 season of the National Basketball Association (NBA), it will be a night unlike any other. The Raptors, for the first time in their 25-year history, begin the campaign as defending champions. There will, of course, be a highly conspicuous absence as… Read more »

Eating History: Canada War Cake

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By Sophie Hicks This is the fourth post in a summer series exploring societal, community, and familial connections to food and food history. See the series introduction post here. An earlier version of this post appeared on The Canadian Cooking Chronicles, as part of a final project for an Archives Practicum class. As an unapologetic fan of Ian Mosby’s work… Read more »