Category Archives: Uncategorized

Keeping the Peace or Keeping a Myth?

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By Dan Macfarlane The federal government’s recent initiatives in foreign policy and glorification of Canada’s military past (particularly in light of the bicentennial of the War of 1812) have given rise to plenty of complaints, including suggestions that the country needs to return to its peacekeeping roots. While I agree with many of the criticisms, I am not so sure… Read more »

Outreach and Collections. Encouraging Community Members to Play a Role in Saving History

This post discusses the need for professionals in cultural heritage fields to reach out to non-professionals so that we may gather and support the proper keeping of historical collections.

Hark! An Agent of Historical Change (and Jokes)

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by Ian Mosby Historians are not usually known as being a very funny group of people. I can’t remember laughing out loud even once during the dozen or so hours it took me to read E.P. Thomson’s Making of the English Working Class and my own attempts at humour in lectures typically lead to more glazed eyes and groans than… Read more »

Prospects for the Profession

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Recently, the American Historical Association (AHA) wrapped up its annual meeting in Chicago. While I did not attend the conference, I followed a number of the posted videos, blogs and websites covering the annual event. Among the usual fare offered, this year’s conference also focused many of the discussions on the future of the history profession. A number of talks… Read more »

Eating it up: historical perspectives, popular media, and food culture

Jamie Oliver has made a name for himself as a celebrity chef who has sought to improve the way we eat.  Whether it be his instructional cooking or his fight to reform school cafeterias, Oliver has spent over a decade teaching us how to make food, and urging us to think more about it. Some of his series have explored… Read more »

New Paper: Alan MacEachern’s “A Polyphony of Synthesizers: Why Every Historian of Canada Should Write a History of Canada”

ActiveHistory.ca is happy to announce its first paper of 2012: “A Polyphony of Synthesizers: Why Every Historian of Canada Should Write a History of Canada,” by Alan MacEachern. Here is Alan’s introductory blurb: The following was my contribution to a 2010 Canadian Historical Association roundtable, “So What IS the Story? Exploring Fragmentation and Synthesis in Current Canadian Historiography.” In it,… Read more »

Turnpikes and Toll Roads in Perspective

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by David Zylberberg Last week I presented some of my research at a conference in Boston and drove from Toronto in order to do so. I have not driven in the north-eastern United States in a few years and was quickly surprised to learn that I-90 for most of its length from Buffalo to Boston has become a toll road… Read more »

Eating Like Our Great-Grandmothers: Food Rules and the Uses of Food History

by Ian Mosby This month’s publication of a colourfully illustrated, revised edition of Michael Pollan’s 2009 bestseller, Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual, once again has me thinking about the role of historians in contemporary debates about the health and environmental impacts of our current industrial food system. As a historian of food and nutrition, I often find myself getting a… Read more »