Upcoming Publications December 2016

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

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

***Contains affiliate links***

***Since publication dates tend to change frequently, please let me know if there are any errors in this list, and I will ensure they are corrected. In cases where the publication date is uncertain, if you are able to tell me when a given book is due to be published, I’d appreciate it!***



December 1

Jonathan Peyton, Unbuilt Environments: Tracing Postwar Development in Northwest British Columbia (Vancouver: UBC, 2016)

Upcoming Publications November 2016

*The publisher’s website and Amazon have different publication dates. Last month both of them said November 28th. Now, the publisher says January 1st, Amazon says December 1st.

In the latter half of the twentieth century, industrial pioneers came to British Columbia with grand plans for resource development projects, many of which never materialized. Unbuilt Environments argues that these kinds of projects have lasting impacts on the natural and human environment – even when they fail. Jonathan Peyton examines a range of archival materials in five case studies. Looking at a closed asbestos mine, an abandoned rail grade, an imagined series of hydroelectric installations, a failed LNG export facility, and a fuel transmission line, Peyton finds that past development failures continue to shape contemporary resource conflicts in the region.

Formats available: Hardcover

Publisher’s link: http://www.ubcpress.ca/unbuilt-environments

Buy it on Amazon.ca: Unbuilt Environments: Tracing Postwar Development in Northwest British Columbia


Patrizia Gentile, Gary Kinsman, Pauline Rankin, eds. We Still Demand! Redefining Resistance in Sex and Gender Struggles (Vancouver: UBC, 2016)

Upcoming Publications December 2016

*Same problem, opposite direction. The publisher says December 1st, and Amazon says January 1st).

We Still Demand! recovers the vibrant histories of sex and gender activism across Canada from the 1970s to the present. Highlighting queer, trans, sex-worker, and feminist struggles, this activist history focuses on remembering these struggles and on rethinking the boundaries of sex and gender activism and scholarship.

By recovering the history of activism and outlining contemporary challenges, We Still Demand! provides a vital rewriting of the history of sex and gender activism in Canada that will enlighten current struggles and activate new forms of resistance.

Formats available: Hardcover

Publisher’s link: http://www.ubcpress.ca/we-still-demand

Buy it on Amazon.ca: We Still Demand!: Redefining Resistance in Sex and Gender Struggles


Mona Gleason and Tamara Myers, eds. Bringing Children and Youth into Canadian History: The Differences Kids Make (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2016).

Upcoming Publications December 2016

*Again, Amazon says December 1st, the publisher’s website used to say December and now just says 2017.

Do children and youth have their own history? How is it different from traditional accounts? What difference do children make to our understanding of contemporary Canada? These are the questions that Bringing Youth and Children into Canadian History: The Difference Kids Make helps us to answer. This collection of distinguished articles and never-before-published work is divided into eleven thematic chapters, and explores how topics such as politics and gender, residential schools and global citizenship inform being young and modern in Canada. Primary sources along with thoughtful introductions, study questions, and a timeline of key events provide additional context for each reading and allow students to make connections between chapters and the study of Canadian history as a whole.

Formats available: Paperback

Publisher’s link: http://www.oupcanada.com/catalog/9780199024483.html

Buy it on Amazon.ca: Bringing Children and Youth into Canadian History: The Differences Kids Make


December 5

Roberta M. Styran and Robert R. Taylor, This Colossal Project: Building the Welland Ship Canal, 1913-1932 (Montreal: MQUP, 2016).

Upcoming Publications December 2016

This Colossal Project presents an absorbing epic on the building of the fourth Welland Canal, which connects Lake Ontario and Lake Erie and allows ships to bypass Niagara Falls. An immense undertaking, the canal is a vital part of North America’s infrastructure and still functions as an essential part of the St Lawrence Seaway.

Emphasizing the role of vivid personalities including engineers John Laing Weller and Alex Grant, as well as contractors and labourers, in the construction of the canal, Styran and Taylor use archival sources, government documents, newspapers, maps, and original plans to describe a saga of technological, financial, geographical, and social obstacles met and overcome in an accomplishment akin to the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway. A story of Canadian skill, courage, vision, and hardship, This Colossal Project details the twenty-year excavation of the giant channel and the creation of huge concrete locks amidst war, the Great Depression, political change, and labour unrest.

Building on the work presented in Styran and Taylor’s This Great National Object, which told the story of the first three Welland canals built in the nineteenth century, This Colossal Project chronicles an impressive milestone in the history of Canadian technological achievement and nation building.

Formats available: Hardcover

Publisher’s link: http://www.mqup.ca/this-colossal-project-products-9780773547902.php?page_id=46&

Buy it on Amazon.ca: This Colossal Project: Building the Welland Ship Canal, 1913-1932


December 15

David Wright, Sickkids: The History of the Hospital for Sick Children (Toronto: UTP, 2016).

Upcoming Publications December 2016

Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children is the most famous medical institution in Canada. In addition to being the largest pediatric centre in North America, it has earned an international reputation for clinical care and research that has influenced generations of health care practitioners across the country and around the world. In a very real sense, hospital staff have touched the lives of tens of thousands of patients and their families.

SickKids has an equally remarkable history – from its humble origins in rented houses in Victorian Toronto, the Hospital would flourish to become an influential paediatric institution, pioneering Pasteurization, the Iron Lung for Polio, Pablum, the Mustard Procedure for ‘Blue Babies’, and the discovery of the gene for Cystic Fibrosis. It would also be the site of two of most famous medical controversies in modern Canadian history — the suspected murder of two dozen babies in the early 1980s and, more recently, the whistle-blowing controversy involving the research scientist, Nancy Olivieri.

David Wright’s History of the Hospital for Sick Children chronicles this remarkable history of the SickKids, including its triumphs and tragedies, its discoveries and dead-ends.  In doing so, Wright has crafted a compelling and accessible history of SickKids that anchors Toronto’s children’s hospital within the broader changes affecting Canadian society and medical practice over the last century.

Formats available: Hardcover

Publisher’s link: http://www.utppublishing.com/product.php?productid=4132&cat=2&page=1

Buy it on Amazon.ca: SickKids: The History of the Hospital for Sick Children


December 22

Steven High, ed, Occupied St. John’s: A Social History of a City at War, 1939-1945 (Montreal: MQUP, 2016).

Upcoming Publications December 2016

In January 1941, the hulking twenty-one thousand ton troopship Edmund B. Alexander docked in St John’s harbor, carrying a thousand American soldiers sent to join the thousands of Canadian troops protecting Newfoundland against attack by Germany. France had fallen, Great Britain was fighting for its survival, and Newfoundland – then a dominion of Britain – was North America’s first line of defence. Although the German invasion never came, St John’s found itself occupied by both Allied Canadian and American forces.

Occupied St John’s reveals the profound impact that the war years had on the city’s inhabitants, thrown into a conflict where the “home front” was also the “war front.” Weaving together interviews with residents who lived through the upheaval as well as archival material, this collection reconstructs the memories of people coping with extraordinary circumstances.

Lavishly illustrated and engagingly written, Occupied St John’s is a remarkable look at the effects of the Second World War on the city, opening another chapter in Newfoundland’s fascinating history.

Formats available: Hardcover, Paperback, Ebook

Publisher’s link: http://www.mqup.ca/occupied-st-john-s-products-9780773537507.php

Buy it on Amazon.ca: Occupied St John’s: A Social History of a City at War, 1939-1945


December 30

Matthew Hayday and Raymond Blake, eds., Celebrating Canada: Holidays, National Days, and the Crafting of Identities (Toronto: UTP, 2016).


Upcoming Publications December 2016Holidays are a key to helping us understand the transformation of national, regional, community and ethnic identities. In Celebrating Canada, Matthew Hayday and Raymond Blake situate Canada in an international context as they examine the history and evolution of our national and provincial holidays and annual celebrations.

The contributors to this volume examine such holidays as Dominion Day, Victoria Day, Quebec’s Fête Nationale and Canadian Thanksgiving, among many others. They also examine how Canadians celebrate the national days of other countries (like the Fourth of July) and how Dominion Day was observed in the United Kingdom. Drawing heavily on primary source research, and theories of nationalism, identities and invented traditions, the essays in this collection deepen our understanding of how these holidays have influenced the evolution of Canadian identities.

Formats available: Hardcover, Paperback

Publisher’s link: http://www.utppublishing.com/Celebrating-Canada-Holidays-National-Days-and-the-Crafting-of-Identities.html

Buy it on Amazon.ca: Celebrating Canada: Holidays, National Days, and the Crafting of Identities


December Date Unspecified

Stephen Bocking and Brad Martin, eds., Ice Blink: Navigarting Northern Environmental History (Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 2016).

Upcoming books December 2016

*This book will be available in open-access format from the University of Calgary website linked below sometime in December. The hardcopy will be available in January

Northern Canada’s distinctive landscapes, its complex social relations and the contested place of the North in contemporary political, military, scientific and economic affairs have fuelled recent scholarly discussion. At the same time, both the media and the wider public have shown increasing interest in the region. This timely volume extends our understanding of the environmental history of northern Canada – clarifying both its practice and promise, and providing critical perspectives on current public debates.

Ice Blink provides opportunities to consider critical issues in other disciplines and geographic contexts. Contributors also examine whether distinctive approaches to environmental history are required when studying the Canadian North, and consider a range of broader questions. What, if anything, sets the study of environmental history in particular regions apart from its study elsewhere? Do environmental historians require regionally-specific research practices? How can the study of environmental history take into consideration the relations between Indigenous peoples, the environment, and the state? How can the history of regions be placed most effectively within transnational and circumpolar contexts? How relevant are historical approaches to contemporary environmental issues?

Scholars from universities in Canada, the United States and Britain contribute to this examination of the relevance of historical study for contemporary arctic and sub-arctic issues, especially environmental challenges, security and sovereignty, indigenous politics and the place of science in northern affairs. By asking such questions, the volume offers lessons about the general practice of environmental history and engages an international body of scholarship that addresses the value of regional and interdisciplinary approaches. Crucially, however, it makes a distinctive contribution to the field of Canadian environmental history by identifying new areas of research and exploring how international scholarly developments might play out in the Canadian context.

Formats available: E-book, Hardcover

Publisher’s link: https://press.ucalgary.ca/books/9781552388549 

Buy it on Amazon.ca: Ice Blink: Navigating Northern Environmental History


That’s all for this month (and year!) for upcoming publications! I’ll see you guys back here on Sunday for another Canadian History Roundup.

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