Top CHA Picks 2017


Who’s excited for the CHA? I know I am! If you remember last year, back when Unwritten Histories was still a tiny little baby blog, I wrote a Beginner’s Guide to the CHA, including my top picks for the conference.  Just because I love you guys, I have rewritten and updated the guide for this year’s CHA! However, this year, my guide is being hosted over at the CHA’s website! Go check it out!

But what about my top picks? You guys seem to think my opinion is important, so of course I am not going to leave you hanging. In this post, I’ll go over the panels that I think will be the most popular as well as the ones that I am planning to attend! Think of it as a history version of “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego,” only it’s just me, not some super exciting spy. Just remember that these are just my recommendations, and I wish there was a way to attend multiple panels at once. 🙁

One final note before I get down to business: if you happen to spot me running around at some point, please say hi! I promise, I don’t bite! 😉 I would tell you to look for the short, quiet girl with brown hair and glasses, but since that describes at least half of the female CHA attendees, I’m not sure that it’s so helpful…


Sunday, May 28th

  • At 3:00 pm, the Wilson Institute will be holding its Award Ceremony at the Studio Bar. There will be free food and drinks..
  • From 6:30 to  8:00 pm, I will be attending the Decolonizing 1867: Stories from the People: A Workshop in Canadian History. This special panel, which you can read about here has been organized by Kathryn Magee Labelle and Stacy Nation-Knapper, in collaboration with the Wilson Institute. 


Monday, May 29th 

  • The CHA has been a bit evil by scheduling three different panels that I’m interested at the same time — 8:30 in the morning! I still can’t decide what to choose. 🙁
    • Panel 6: “What’s History Learning Like and For? A National Assessment of the Education Experience of Undergraduate students | En quoi consiste une éducation en histoire et à quoi sert-elle ? Une évaluation nationale de l’expérience d’enseignement des étudiants de premier cycle”
    • Panel 9: “9. Rethinking the Writing of Canadian History | Repenser l’écriture de l’histoire du Canada”
    • Panel 10: “CHA Panel : Historians and Advocacy | Panel de la SHC : les historiens et les interventions publiques”
  • At 10:15, I will of course be attending the keynote address by John English, who will be speaking on “The Present is a Foreign Country: Lester Pearson and 1967.”
  • The 1:15 slot is another tie. I can’t decide between
    • Panel 26: “Changing Society and Changing Legal Structures: The Omnibus Bill | Changer la société et modi er les structures légales : le projet de loi omnibus.”
    • Panel 27:  “Putting Women’s History in Action, Agency, and History Education/Mettre en pratique l’histoire des femmes : les femmes, la capacité d’agir et l’enseignement de l’histoire ,”
    • or Panel 28: “Remembering our Past, Rethinking the Next 150 Years and Beyond/Se souvenir de notre passé, réflexion sur les 150 prochaines années et par la suite.” This one will be a biggie.
  • Of course, at 3:00 you will all be attending the roundtable on Canadian History and Social Media, featuring Daniel Ross, Jessica DeWitt, Adam Gaudry, Alexandre Turgeon, Sean Kheraj, Sarah Elizabeth York, and me! Right?


Tuesday, May 30th

  • At 8:30 in the morning, you should definitely drag yourself out of bed to attend Panel 43: “Black Canadian Women and Intersectional Agency: Political Thought, Activism, and Representation | Les femmes noires canadiennes et la capacité d’agir : pensée politique, militantisme et représentation.”
    • Though I would also recommend Panel 38,” Putting Canada in Context: Gender, Money and the Settler Colonial World | Mettre le Canada en contexte : le genre, l’argent et le colonialisme de peuplement” and Panel 39: “The Indian Act: A Contested Technique of Colonial Governance, 1876-Present | La Loi sur les Indiens : une technique de gouvernance coloniale contestée, de 1876 à aujourd’hui.”
  • At 10:15, I will definitely be attending Panel 51: “Activism and Affect: Thinking Through Second-Wave Feminist Histories | Le militantisme et son influence : réflexion sur l’historique du féminisme de deuxième vague,” which will be featuring my former supervisor and awesome historian, Lynne Marks, not to mention some of my favourite historians!
    • But I would also recommend Panel 47: “The Past and Future of Canadian Environmental History Roundtable | Table ronde sur le passé et le future de l’histoire environnementale canadienne”
    • and Panel 52: “A Roundtable on Robert C.H. Sweeny’s Why Did We Choose to Industrialize? Montreal, 1819-1849, winner of the CHA’s 2016 Sir John A. Macdonald prize | Table ronde sur le livre de Robert C.H. Sweeny’s Why Did We Choose to Industrialize? Montreal, 1819-1849, qui s’est mérité le prix Sir-John-A.-Macdonald 2016.” This is totally killing me.
  • At 1:15, I guarantee that everyone will be at Panel 66: “Ramsay Cook: Scholar, Mentor, and Friend Roundtable | Table ronde : Ramsay Cook, chercheur, mentor et ami. Seriously, why did they schedule anything else at this time?
    • But Panel 63: “Meanings Beyond Words: Recovering European non-verbal/non- textual communication with Indigenous Peoples in North America | Le sens au-delà des mots : récupérer la communication non verbale/ non textuelle des peuples autochtones en Amérique du Nord” and Panel 67: “The Sound of History | L’écho de l’Histoire” also look fascinating!


Wednesday, May 31st

  • One of the biggest panels of the year will of course be Panel 76: “New Technologies in Historical Research Roundtable | Table ronde sur les nouvelles technologies dans la recherche en histoire.” Though it’s at 8:30 am, it’s feauturing Peter Baskerville, Dominique Clément, Ian Milligan, and Red Rose-Redwood, Samantha Romano, and Sonja Aagesen from the Landscapes of Injustice Project.
  • Another big panel, in my opinion, will be, at 10:15, Panel 85: “Doing it in Public: History Outside the Academy Roundtable | Table ronde : le faire en public : l’Histoire à l’extérieur du milieu universitaire.” I am certainly going to have a busy morning…
  • At 1:15, there will Panel 105: “On Sharing an Interest: Educational Researchers and the Discipline of History Roundtable | Table ronde sur le partage d’un intérêt commun : chercheurs et chercheuses en éducation et la discipline de l’histoire,” which should be of interest to all history educators.
    • Though I will imagine Panel 102: “Roundtable : What Would Canadian History Look Like if We Really Took a Left Turn? | Table ronde : à quoi ressemblerait l’histoire canadienne si nous avions réellement pris un tournant vers la gauche ?” will be a big draw!
  • In keeping with their sneaky habit of scheduling cool panels in the last slot, Panel 113: “The Next 150: Research Learning, Institutional Histories, and the Colonial Past Roundtable | 150 ans vers l’avenir : table ronde sur l’apprentissage de la recherche, l’histoire institutionnelle et le passé colonial” will be at 3:00 pm.

If you are living in the Toronto area or are staying on later in the week, you should also totally check out NiCHE’s “Canadian History and Environment Summer School 2017: Gender and Indigenous Landscapes,” which you can find out about here.

Wow, sounds like I’m going to be super busy! By the time this goes up, I will already be in Toronto, so hopefully I will be seeing many of you very soon!

Liked this post? Please take a second to support Unwritten Histories on Patreon!