Unwritten Histories

The Unwritten Rules of History

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Canadian History Roundup – Week of June 18, 2017

Canadian History Roundup - Week of June 18

“Piscines de l’île Saint-Hélène, 10 juillet 1965.” Archives de la Ville de Montréal. VM94-Ud-27-017. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0


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


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Upcoming Publications in Canadian History – July 2017

Upcoming Publications - July 2017

Welcome back to our monthly series, “Upcoming Publications in Canadian History,” where I’ve compiled information on all the upcoming releases for the following month in the field of Canadian history from every Canadian academic press, all in one place. This includes releases in both English and French. To see June’ releases, click here.


***Please note that the cover images and book blurbs are used with permission from the publishers.***

N.B. This list only includes new releases, not rereleases in different formats.


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Exhibiting Hockey: A Conversation with Jenny Ellison

Growing up in Montreal, hockey was very much a part of my cultural landscape. I’m not really even sure that I ever made a conscious decision to be a Habs fan – it just came with the territory! The names of Maurice Richard, Jean Béliveau, Saku Koivu, and Patrick Roy were as familiar to me as the names of Sesame Street characters. I vividly remember the elation of the Habs winning the Stanley Cup in the 1992-1993 season, the sense of betrayal when Patrick Roy left the Habs for the Avalanche, and being annoyed when the team moved from the Forum to the Molson Centre (now the Bell Centre). I even own my very own copy of The Hockey Sweater, in both book and video formats.

So, several weeks ago, when I was offered the chance to sit down and speak with Dr. Jenny Ellison about the new exhibit at the Canadian Museum of History, “Hockey,” I of course jumped at the opportunity! The blog post that follows is the result of that conversation, a behind-the-scenes look at the new exhibition and about Ellison’s work on the project.

*Please note that all images, with the exception of Jim Logan’s “National Pastimes,” are courtesy of the Canadian Museum of History, and used with permission. The images of Jim Logan’s “National Pastimes” have been made available by the Canadian Museum of History, and are used with permission from Jim Logan. Please do not reproduce.

Jenny Ellison

Photo credit: Stephen Darby, CMH.

Jenny Ellison joined the Museum’s staff in 2015. Her research examines the representation and experience of sport, leisure, physical fitness and health. In keeping with the priorities identified in the Museum’s Research Strategy, Dr. Ellison will be looking at how sports and leisure shape Canadian experiences and help us understand the past. In terms of collections development, this includes research on sports and health activism, adaptive sports, representations of the body, games and government-supported physical fitness programs.

Dr. Ellison has published articles in the Journal of Canadian Studies, the Canadian Bulletin of Medical History, the Journal of the Canadian Historical Association and the award-winning Fat Studies Reader. She is also the co-editor of Obesity in Canada: Critical Perspectives.

Dr. Ellison holds an Honours BA in History from the University of Toronto, an MA in Canadian Studies from Carleton University and a PhD in History from York University. She completed her postdoctoral training at Mount Allison University’s Centre for Canadian Studies, and has worked as an assistant professor of Canadian Studies at Trent University and as a researcher at the Australian Museum.


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Canadian History Roundup – Week of June 11, 2017

Canadian History Roundup - Week of June 11th

“Betty Chan, a Chinese Canadian, admiring Pipe Major Bill MacLeod’s tie, made from the MacLeod tartan at the festival in Winnipeg’s Kildonan Park. Winnipeg, Manitoba.” Photo by Chris Lund and Gar Lunney. 1960. Office national du film du Canada. Service de la photographie. R1196-14-7-F. Library and Archives Canada. Copyright expired.


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


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Beyond 150: Telling Our Stories Twitter Conference

Beyond 150

Surprise! So this is something that Krista McCracken (of Active History) and I have been working on for the past few months now, and we’ve both really excited to see it launch! So what is Beyond 150: Telling Our Stories? Here’s a snippet from the Active History post:

The Active History editorial team is excited to announce that in collaboration with Unwritten Histories, Canada’s History Society, and the Wilson Institute we’re organizing the first-ever Canadian History Twitter Conference. Beyond 150: Telling Our Stories will take place on Twitter August 24-25, 2017.

With this conference we hope to diversify the historical narrative and uplift marginalized historical perspectives. This event is designed to encourage collaboration, public engagement, and spark discussion about Canada’s history in a way that is accessible to everyone.

The format of the conference is modeled after the Public Archaeology Twitter Conference. Designed with no conference fees and no travel costs the online platform of Beyond 150 aims to breakdown barriers and stimulate discussion across the country and across multiple disciplines.


Would you like to learn more? Go here to read the rest of the Active History post and here to check out the official website! And don’t forget to follow our official account on Twitter (@Beyond150CA) and the conference hashtag, #beyond150ca. So be sure to spread the word and submit your own paper! 

Best New Articles from May 2017

Best New Articles May 2017

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:

* The articles were published in their “latest articles” section, which contains articles that will appear in the next issue.

Here are my favourites:



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Canadian History Roundup – Weeks of May 28, 2017 and June 4, 2017


Canadian History Roundup May 28th, 2017

Massif de fleurs, virevent géants et le Paratrooper, at La Ronde Amusement Park. 1970. Archives de la Ville de Montreal. VM94-EX276-1182 CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

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

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Hurtful Histories: Louis Riel and Why Accuracy Matters

Header Image Louis Riel

If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I was recently talking about the Louis Riel podcast episode from Stuff You Missed in History. This blog post is based off of that original Twitter essay.

Special thanks to Krystl Raven, Catherine Ulmer, and Melissa Shaw for their help reviewing this blog post, and also to Krystl Raven and Adam Gaudry for reading recommendations on this subject! Finally, a big thank you to my friends on Facebook, who insisted that I needed to write this post.

As I was getting ready for bed the other night, I received a notification that a podcast that I occasionally listen to, Stuff You Missed in History Class, had a new episode. I clicked over to see what it was, and immediately felt uneasy. The subject was Louis Riel. Not that there is a problem with the subject, but in most cases, the history of Louis Riel is handled poorly.

I do want to make it clear here that I’m not trying to pick on Stuff You Missed in History Class. To be fair, the hosts of the show do not claim to be historians. And the show is not intended to be academically rigorous. It is for entertainment value, though the hosts do try their best to be accurate and provide a list of their sources.

However — and it is a big however — I believe that they failed in their due diligence to ensure that they accurately and fairly represented this particular subject, especially given the sensitive and political nature of it. And I know they can do better; I’ve listened to some great and well-sourced podcast episodes from this show (like their series on Redlining or their “Unearthed” episodes!) But, if you’re using a public platform to explain and disseminate information about history, the onus is on you to present your information accurately and fairly.

This blog post is not a re-telling of the history of Louis Riel. Rather, I focus on some of the major errors in the podcast episode and the ramifications of these mistakes. You may think that this is just another historian griping about some non-historians being inaccurate about random obscure facts that no one else cares about, but perpetuating certain dominant historical narrative can do great harm.


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CHA 2017: Reflections

CHA Reflections


I’m back! Did you miss me? For those who missed last week’s programming notice, the blog and my Twitter feed have been a little quiet as of late because I was off attending this year’s Canadian Historical Association’s Annual Meeting. As with most conferences, this year’s CHA was a blast, and totally exhausting. Before we let this year’s CHA fade gently into the night, I wanted to take the opportunity to reflect on my experiences, what I learned, and what we and I can take forward for CHA 2018. Enjoy!

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#CHASHC2017 Archive!

CHA Archive Header


The CHA 2017 Annual Meeting might be over, but that doesn’t mean it should be forgotten!


This year’s CHA was, as always, absolutely incredible. I saw some absolutely fantastic panels, and did my best to live-tweet as many as possible! In between, I did all of the things, went all of the places, and met all of the people. My poor little hermit brain feels like it is about to explode! But before it does, I wanted to put together our annual Storify archive of tweets from the conference.

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