Unwritten Histories

The Unwritten Rules of History

Guest Post: New Canadian History Hall Review


exterior shot of the Canadian Museum of History

By sookie from Vancouver, Canada (CMC Ottawa Uploaded by Skeezix1000) CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

As many of you already know, on July 1st of this year, Prince Charles officially opened the new Canadian History Hall, at the Canadian Museum of History in Ottawa. Taking over five years to plan and execute, the Hall is the largest exhibition on Canadian history ever produced and includes 1,500 artefacts in 4,000 square metres, covering 15,000 years of history. Of course, since I live in BC and airfare is obscenely expensive, I likely won’t have the chance to visit any time soon. But thankfully, I have some absolutely amazing friends! Today’s guest post features the lovely and talented Elizabeth Della Zazzera. Elizabeth and I met back in grad school at UVic, when we were both wee little baby historians. When I found out that she had visited the Hall on a recent trip to Ottawa, I asked her to write a review for Unwritten Histories, and, of course, she was gracious enough to agree (even though she’s in the process of moving)! Enjoy!


Elizabeth at the old Canada History Hall

Elizabeth at the old Canada History Hall!

Elizabeth Della Zazzera only discovered how Canadian she was when she moved to the United States in 2009. There, she received her PhD in Modern European History from the University of Pennsylvania. She is a scholar of Revolutionary and post-Revolutionary France whose work emphasizes the intellectual history of material texts and urban environments. Her current project “Romanticism in Print: Periodicals and the Politics of Aesthetics in Restoration Paris,” examines the role played by the bataille romantique—the conflict between romanticism and classicism—in French political life in Paris between 1814 and 1830. She is excited to return to Canada this fall as the Margaret and Wallace McCain Postdoctoral Fellow at Mount Allison University


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Canadian History Roundup – Week of July 16, 2017

A group of six Inuit girls singing, one of them playing the guitar.

Group of girls singing, Richards Island, N.W.T. July 1956. Photo by Rosemary Gilliat Eaton. Library and Archives Canada 4731522


The latest in blog posts, news, and podcasts from the world of Canadian history.


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Best New Articles from June 2017

people reading while floating in the ocean


Because, let’s face it – who has time to catch up on all the journal articles published in Canadian history?

Welcome back to the Best New Articles series, where each month, I post a list of my favourite new articles! Don’t forget to also check out my favourites from previous months, which you can access by clicking here.

This month I read articles from:


Here are my favourites:


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Canadian History Roundup – Week of July 9, 2017

Canadian history roundup July 9, 2017

Family enjoying a meal at the beach, seated around a fire, British Columbia. Photo by Gar Lunney, 1969. National Film Board of Canada. Library and Archives Canada. 4301659 Copyright expired.

The latest in blog posts, news, and podcasts from the world of Canadian history.

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History in the News: Langevin Block, Sir John A. Macdonald, and Residential Schools


What’s this? An extra blog post? Surprise!

So for the past couple of weeks, there have been several debates regarding the roles that Sir Hector-Louis Langevin and Sir John A. Macdonald played  in establishing the residential school system. First, there was considerable debate about the renaming of Langevin Block, including Matthew Hayday’s post, Tabatha Southey’s column, Serge Gauthier’s op-ed, and David Tough’s Twitter essay. Then earlier this week, Sean Carleton wrote an op-ed for The Star arguing that Macdonald was the real architect of the residential school system.  A great deal of debate on both of these subjects has ensued on Twitter. So, I have compiled all of the relevant tweets together on Storify, and organized then chronologically so that everyone, including those not on “the Twitter,” would be able to follow along. Enjoy!

And just in case, please let me know if I’ve missed anything that should be included!

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Historian’s Histories: Maxime Dagenais

Welcome back to one of my favourite series, Historian’s Histories, where we learn about the historiography of historians! This week, we have a very special guest, Maxime Dagenais! As you all know, Maxime is the research coordinator for the Wilson Institute, and manages their social media accounts as well as their blog, Beyond Borders: The New Canadian History. But what you may not know is that in addition to being a fellow Montrealer, Maxime also did his Master’s degree with my husband! That pretty much makes us family in my book, so I’m super excited to feature his work this week!

Maxime Dagenais

Maxime Dagenais is the Research Coordinator at the Wilson Institute and was, until recently (2014-2016), a SSHRC post-doctoral fellow at the McNeil Center for Early American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. He received a PhD in French and British North American history from the University of Ottawa in 2011 and was a L.R. Wilson post-doctoral fellow at the Wilson Institute for Canadian History (2012‒14). He has published in several academic journals, including Canadian Military HistoryBulletin d’histoire politiqueQuebec Studies, and American Review of Canadian Studies, and co-authored a book entitled The Land in Between: The Upper St. John Valley, Prehistory to World War One. He has also written over a dozen articles for The Canadian Encyclopedia. Max is also presently editing a volume on the Canadian Rebellion and the United States – Revolutions Across Borders: Jacksonian America and The Canadian Rebellion – currently under consideration for publication with the Rethinking Canada in the World Series published by McGill-Queen’s University Press.


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Canadian History Roundup – Week of July 2, 2017

Canadian History Roundup July 2, 2017

Family making a shore dinner on Stony Lake. Mother, Father, and two little girls around fire in the foreground. August 1951. Photo by Chris Lund. National Film Board of Canada. Photothèque / Library and Archives Canada. 4312118 Copyright expired.

The latest in blog posts, news, and podcasts from the world of Canadian history.


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How Do We Start? Beginning a New Project; Or, lessons from my preschooler

Note from Andrea: As promised, today we have a special guest post from Claire Campbell! As many of you already know, Claire Campbell is an environmental historian who has been featured several times on the Roundup for her fantastic articles on NiCHE and Borealia. So I’m super excited to be able to present a new blog post from her — a meditation on beginning a new research project. Enjoy!


Claire Campbell headshot

Bucknell University’s Claire Campbell – Faculty Profile Shoot
Michael Kubel

Claire Campbell is an associate professor of history at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.  She is interested in the environmental history of North America and the North Atlantic world. She has taught at universities across Canada and in Denmark, in the areas of history, Canadian Studies, and Environment and Sustainability. Publications include Shaped by the West Wind: Nature & History in Georgian Bay (2004), A Century of Parks Canada, 1911-2011 (2011), and Land and Sea: Environmental History in Atlantic Canada (2013) with Robert Summerby-Murray. Her most recent work, Nature, Place, and Story: Rethinking Historic Sites in Canada (forthcoming 2017), uses environmental history to expand public history and discussions of sustainability at national historic sites.


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Canadian History Roundup – Week of June 25, 2017

Canadian History Roundup June 25th, 2017

Chris Lund. “Betty Dixon (left) and Barbara Coutts select Indian souvenirs at St. David’s, Ontario. At left is Chief Sky of the Six National Indian Reserve, Brantford, Ontario. At right is Warrior Running Deer.” 1949. Office National du Film du Canada. 4312260. Copyright expired.

The latest in blog posts, news, and podcasts from the world of Canadian history.


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(Re)learning Indigenous History in Canada

Indigenous Canada

At the beginning of 2017, I came across a note on Twitter from the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Native studies about a new course they were offering, called “Indigenous Canada.” Curious, I clicked over to their website, and discovered that the course was designed to teach a non-specialized audience about Canadian history from an Indigenous perspective. Even better, it was being offered fully online, and it was free to audit. I had been looking for opportunities to learn more about Indigenous history in Canada, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. I quickly signed up. Since I was one of the history nerds who actually looked forward to school (I really never understood the irony behind the Staples campaign, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” since I literally looked forward to returning to school all summer long), I was super excited to have the chance to be a student again. The prospect of finding some good resources that I could use in my own teaching seemed too good of an opportunity to pass up. But, to my pleasant surprize, the experience was far more enriching and transformative that I could have possibly imagined.

With the new session for the course beginning on July 10th, I thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to tell you about my experiences, and why I believe that everyone should take “Indigenous Canada.”


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