Welcome to Unwritten Histories, a blog dedicated to unraveling the mysteries of Canadian history as a field, discipline, and profession! Unwritten Histories is designed to be an accessible platform for Canadian historians and history enthusiasts, both in terms of resources, news, and access to a diverse community. In other words, we cover all of the thing you wish you had learned in school, but didn’t.
Andrea Eidinger, Founding Editor
Andrea Eidinger currently resides in the unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples, specifically the territories of the xwməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nation, also known as Richmond, British Columbia. However, she was born and raised in the traditional and unceded territory of the Kanien’keha:ka (Mohawk), a place which has long served as a site of meeting and exchange amongst nations and is also known as Montreal, Quebec. Andrea can trace her ancestry to Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jews from the lands we now refer to as Russia, Ukraine, Austria, and Poland. Her great-grandparents came to North America between the 1890s and 1910s, fleeing harsh living conditions and pogroms, and in search of better opportunities.
Andrea holds a B.A. (Hon) in History from McGill University (2006) and a Ph.D. in History from the University of Victoria (2011). Her research examines the intersections of gender and ethnicity in postwar Canada, particularly with respect to the role that Jewish women have played in the establishment of Jewish-Canadian identity. Her work has appeared in Edible Histories, Cultural Politics: Towards a Canadian Food History, edited by Franca Iacovetta, Marlene Epp, and Valerie J. Korinek, in the scholarly journal Histoire Sociale/Social History, and on such blogs as Active History and Notches: (re)marks on the history of sexuality. She is currently a sessional instructor at the University of British Columbia, but has previously taught at Simon Fraser University, the University of Victoria, the University of the Fraser Valley, and Kwantlen Polytechnic University.
Random facts outside of the usual bio!
- When I was a little girl, I wanted to be an egyptologist, especially after taking it as an extra-curriculur activity in elementary school, and I still love all things archaeological.
- However, I quickly decided that I wasn’t so keen on the excavation part, so I decided to become a historian instead!
- I am fluently bilingual in English and French, but I can (and do!) swear in Yiddish too.
- I am an avid reader, and I go through a novel every 2 to 3 days.
- What kinds of books do I read? Believe it or not, my favourite genres are historical romance, historical mysteries (including those that are in the magical realism category) and urban/paranormal/steampunk fantasy, especially those with kick-ass female leads. My current favourite authors are Ilona Andrews, Patricia Briggs, Anne Bishop, and Sarah J. Maas. Find out about what I’m reading by following me on Goodreads.
- I went to a math and science high school, and I started my post-secondary education in applied science. Then I failed my calculus exam, and decided I hated math. 🙂
- I talked my way into transferring into the Liberal Arts program at Dawson College (a Cégep in Montreal) by talking about my knowledge of Jewish money-lenders in the 18th century, based on what I learned reading Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. I think that turned out rather well. 😉
- My favourite TV shows right now are Jane the Virgin, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and Jessica Jones.
- I likely own more crafting supplies (especially yarn) that I’ll ever be able to use over the course of my life.
- I knit all my own socks. And my husband’s too.
- With the exception of one year where I lived in Abbotsford, I have always lived on an island.
Stephanie Pettigrew, Editorial Assistant
Stephanie Pettigrew currently resides in Fredericton, which stands on unceded Mi’kmaq and Maliseet territory. An Acadian from Cheticamp (an adaptation of a Mi’kmaq word meaning “narrow harbour” or “narrow passage,”), a village on the Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia, she’s more comfortable with seventeenth-century French than modern-day Canadian Standard French; somehow it seems more familiar. A PhD candidate at UNB Fredericton, she is writing her dissertation on witchcraft and blasphemy trials in seventeenth-century Montréal, focusing on how these trials were a way to exercise different types of control for different kinds of people in a chaotic society. She also coordinates the British North America Legislative Database project, a digitization project directed by her co-advisor, Elizabeth Mancke, CRC Chair in Atlantic Canada Studies. She has also been known to work on various Acadian history projects, such as Chantal Richard’s Vocabularies of Identities project, the Jean Campagnard witchcraft trial, and some musings on the state of deportation-era archival documents over on Borealia.
After graduating with her MA from the University of Guelph in 2005, the existential dread of student loans inspired her to take a break from academia and she spent five years working for a Canadian corporation that sent her all over the country. It was fun, but she never wants to see the inside of an airplane again. Or Flin Flon MB, really. Twice is enough.
When not working on various digital projects or attempting to write her dissertation, she can be found officiating for local roller derby leagues, gardening, or tracking down cool places to hike.