Canadian History Roundup

Give The Canadian Red Cross / Donnons La Croix Rouge Canadienne / Archibald Bruce Stapleton / Library and Archives Canada / R1300-33

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

  • Robert Englebert and the students in his Hist 410 class review a new book, Empire by Collaboration: Indians, Colonists, and Governments in Colonial Illinois Country, and talk about uneven and contradictory collaborations in the past and the importance of historians collaborating in their current work.
  • Beth A. Robertson talks about a new exhibit “Positive Sex: Eroticizing Safer Sex Practices in Canada in the 1980s and 1990s,” created by the AIDS Activist History Project and displayed at Carleton University. This exhibit looks at how grassroots activists who used honest discussions around sexuality and desire to encourage conversations about safe sex practices.
  • Mark Leier reflects on his experiences teaching a first year survey of Canadian history and the challenges of teaching students how to write. The key, he explains, is to make them feel comfortable and empowered. I’ve used similar techniques in my classes and can testify to their effectiveness! Make sure you check out the word cloud on student’s thoughts on Canadian history (hint, boring is central. 😉 )
  • High school history teacher Neil Orford talks about the challenges of using the latest Ontario Grade 10 “Canada and World Studies” curriculum when students and teachers are unfamiliar with skills-based history education, classes are taught by non-specialists, and Math and Science are prioritized ahead of history.
  • Nancy Janovicek looks at how gender complicates our understanding of loggers and environmentalists in the West Kootenays in the 1960s and 1970s. Not all loggers are male and not all environmentalists are female. Who knew? 😉
  • Make sure you check out the final bulletin from Then/Hier (The History Education Network) to get updates on initiatives and innovation in historical pedagogy.
  • Mark J. McLaughlin gives us a brief overview of papers on environmental history being presented at the ongoing Atlantic Canada Studies Conference at Mount Allison. Sounds fascinating, and I’m sad to have missed it. Did you attend the conference?
  • The “This is Blackfoot Territory” podcast releases its latest episode, which asks a number of individuals about their understanding of the meaning of Métis identity. This episode features interviews with, among others, Adam Gaudry, Rob Innes, and Zoe Todd.
  • The Virtual Historian releases its latest lesson, “Ukrainian-Canadian and the Reasons for World War 1 Interment.” You do have to be a member of the site to access this lesson, but even if you aren’t, I’d recommend checking out the public lessons page. I’ve used a number of these in Canadian history survey classes. The Battle of Queenston Heights is a particular favourite.
  • The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences has announced the winners for the 2016 Canada Prize, for the best books that have received Awards to Scholarly Publications. Congratulations to historians Brian Young, who won the Canada Prize in the Humanities for his book, Patrician Families and the Making of Quebec: The Taschereaus and McCords, and Caroline Durand, who won the Prix du Canada en sciences humaines for her book, Nourrir la machine humaine : Nutrition et alimentation au Québec, 1860-1945, for their wins!
  • In this letter to the editor, a high school history teacher, Garry Burke, from Toronto laments that Canadian history is wasted on the young. He complains that students today are more interested in Beyoncé rather than Dieppe. Do you agree? Or do history teachers and professors have an obligation to make history interesting and relevant to today’s students?
  • The Library and Archives Canada Blog has some great features this week on image collections that are available online. They include Peter Rindisbacher’s watercolours of his trip to the Red River Settlement in 1821, created when he was only fifteen years old; a look at Canadian comic book characters created by Hillsborough Studio, out of Toronto; and Charles William Jeffreys’ attempts to create a Canadian visual history.
  • I unravel the mystery of what historians actually do, besides cackling evilly over student papers.


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