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 last month’s 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.
Jean-Marie Fecteau, The Pauper’s Freedom: Crime and Poverty in Nineteenth-Century Quebec, translation by Peter Feldstein (Montreal: MQUP, 2017).
At the turn of the nineteenth century, the recognition that individual and collective freedom lay at the foundation of the social order held out the hope for a more or less definitive solution to the problems of poverty and crime. But, in Quebec as elsewhere, the aspirations associated with the transition to democracy and “liberalism” rapidly gave way to a bourgeois ideology where the poor were held personally responsible for their sad plight – since they were free, their poverty was allegedly their own fault. Jean-Marie Fecteau analyzes this complex history and the ways in which it was influenced by both the specific conditions of Quebec’s political context and the overarching issues raised by the transition to liberal democracy in the West. The Pauper’s Freedom is a connected history that offers a profound renewal of the sociopolitical history of the nineteenth century. Fecteau takes an original approach to the role played by the province’s institutions – including the state and the Catholic Church – and details the liberal mode of regulation that was then spreading throughout the western world. In addition to offering a penetrating discussion of the history of the regulation of crime and poverty, The Pauper’s Freedom also engages in an ambitious consideration of the global history of liberalism as a new relationship to the world – a relationship that continues to shape our lives.
Formats available: Paperback, Hardcover
Publisher’s link: http://www.mqup.ca/pauper-s-freedom–the-products-9780773549470.php
E.A. Heaman, Tax, Order, and Good Government: A New Political History of Canada, 1867-1917 (Montreal: MQUP, 2017).
Was Canada’s Dominion experiment of 1867 an experiment in political domination? Looking to taxes provides the answer: they are a privileged measure of both political agency and political domination. To pay one’s taxes was the sine qua non of entry into political life, but taxes are also the point of politics, which is always about the control of wealth. Modern states have everywhere been born of tax revolts, and Canada was no exception. Heaman shows that the competing claims of the propertied versus the people are hardwired constituents of Canadian political history. Tax debates in early Canada were philosophically charged, politically consequential dialogues about the relationship between wealth and poverty. Extensive archival research, from private papers, commissions, the press, and all levels of government, serves to identify a rising popular challenge to the patrician politics that were entrenched in the Constitutional Act of 1867 under the credo “Peace, Order, and good Government.” Canadians wrote themselves a new constitution in 1867 because they needed a new tax deal, one that reflected the changing balance of regional, racial, and religious political accommodations. In the fifty years that followed, politics became social politics and a liberal state became a modern administrative one. But emerging conceptions of fiscal fairness met with intense resistance from conservative statesmen, culminating in 1917 in a progressive income tax and the bitterest election in Canadian history. Tax, Order, and Good Government tells the story of Confederation without exceptionalism or misplaced sentimentality and, in so doing, reads Canadian history as a lesson in how the state works. Tax, Order, and Good Government follows the money and returns taxation to where it belongs: at the heart of Canada’s political, economic, and social history.
Formats available: Hardcover
Nathalie Cooke and Fiona Lucas, eds., Catherine Parr Traill’s The Female Emigrant’s Guide: Cooking with a Canadian Classic (Montreal: MQUP, 2017).
What did you eat for dinner today? Did you make your own cheese? Butcher your own pig? Collect your own eggs? Drink your own home-brewed beer? Shanty bread leavened with hops-yeast, venison and wild rice stew, gingerbread cake with maple sauce, and dandelion coffee – this was an ordinary backwoods meal in Victorian-era Canada. Originally published in 1855, Catharine Parr Traill’s classic The Female Emigrant’s Guide, with its admirable recipes, candid advice, and astute observations about local food sourcing, offers an intimate glimpse into the daily domestic and seasonal routines of settler life. This toolkit for historical cookery, redesigned and annotated in an edition for use in contemporary kitchens, provides readers with the resources to actively use and experiment with recipes from the original Guide. Containing modernized recipes, a measurement conversion chart, and an extensive glossary, this volume also includes discussions of cooking conventions, terms, techniques, and ingredients that contextualize the social attitudes, expectations, and challenges of Traill’s world and the emigrant experience. In a distinctive and witty voice expressing her can-do attitude, Catharine Parr Traill’s The Female Emigrant’s Guide unlocks a wealth of information on historical foodways and culinary exploration
Formats available: Hardcover, Paperback
Cameron Macdonell, Ghost Storeys: Ralph Adams Cram, Modern Gothic Media, and Deconstructive Microhistory at a Canadian Church (Montreal: MQUP, 2017)
Most studies of modern Gothic media assume that, beyond the 1830s, modern Gothic architecture and literature had very little in common. The work of Ralph Adams Cram (1863–1942), America’s most prolific Gothic Revival architect and an author of ghost stories, challenges that assumption. The first interdisciplinary study of Cram’s aesthetics, Cameron Macdonell’s Ghost Storeys deconstructs the boundaries of Gothic architecture and literature through a microhistory of St Mary’s Anglican Church in Walkerville, Ontario. Focusing on Cram and the church’s main patron, Edward Walker (1851–1915), Macdonell explores the intricate intersections of Gothic aesthetics, architectural ethics, literature, theology, cultural values, and community construction in an Edwardian-era company town. When Walker commissioned the church, he believed that its economy of salvation could save him from the syphilis that afflicted his body and stained his soul. However, while implementing that economy, Cram, whose architectural theory, social commentary, and ghost stories were pessimistic about reviving the Gothic in the modern world, also created an architecture haunted by the sickness of humanity. Painstakingly researched and lavishly illustrated, Ghost Storeys redefines the allegorical relationship between a marginalized church and the Gothic Revival movement as a global interdisciplinary phenomenon.
Formats available: Hardcover, Paperback
Publisher’s link: http://www.mqup.ca/ghost-storeys-products-9780773549890.php?page_id=73&
John G. Gibson, Gaelic Cape Breton Step-Dancing: An Historical and Ethnographic Perspective (Montreal: MQUP, 2017).
The step-dancing of the Scotch Gaels in Nova Scotia is the last living example of a form of dance that waned following the great emigrations to Canada that ended in 1845. The Scotch Gael has been reported as loving dance, but step-dancing in Scotland had all but disappeared by 1945. One must look to Gaelic Nova Scotia, Cape Breton, and Antigonish County, to find this tradition. Gaelic Cape Breton Step-Dancing, the first study of its kind, gives this art form and the people and culture associated with it the prominence they have long deserved. Gaelic Scotland’s cultural record is by and large pre-literate, and references to dance have had to be sought in Gaelic songs, many of which were transcribed on paper by those who knew their culture might be lost with the decline of their language. The improved Scottish culture depended proudly on the teaching of dancing and the literate learning and transmission of music in accompaniment. Relying on fieldwork in Nova Scotia, and on mentions of dance in Gaelic song and verse in Scotland and Nova Scotia, John Gibson traces the historical roots of step-dancing, particularly the older forms of dancing originating in the Gaelic–speaking Scottish Highlands. He also places the current tradition as a development and part of the much larger British and European percussive dance tradition. With insight collected through written sources, tales, songs, manuscripts, book references, interviews, and conversations, Gaelic Cape Breton Step-Dancing brings an important aspect of Gaelic history to the forefront of cultural debate.
Formats available: Hardcover
William Jenkins, Between Raid and Rebellion: The Irish in Buffalo and Toronto, 1867-1916 (Montreal: MQUP, 2017).
In Between Raid and Rebellion, William Jenkins compares the lives and allegiances of Irish immigrants and their descendants in one American and one Canadian city between the era of the Fenian raids and the 1916 Easter Rising. Highlighting the significance of immigrants from Ulster to Toronto and from Munster to Buffalo, he distinguishes what it meant to be Irish in a loyal dominion within Britain’s empire and in a republic whose self-confidence knew no bounds. Jenkins pays close attention to the transformations that occurred within the Irish communities in these cities during this fifty-year period, from residential patterns to social mobility and political attitudes. Exploring their experiences in workplaces, homes, churches, and meeting halls, he argues that while various social, cultural, and political networks were crucial to the realization of Irish mobility and respectability in North America by the early twentieth century, place-related circumstances were linked to wider national loyalties and diasporic concerns. With the question of Irish Home Rule animating debates throughout the period, Toronto’s unionist sympathizers presented a marked contrast to Buffalo’s nationalist agitators. Although the Irish had acclimated to life in their new world cities, their sense of feeling Irish had not faded to the degree so often assumed. A groundbreaking comparative analysis, Between Raid and Rebellion draws upon perspectives from history and geography to enhance our understanding of the Irish experiences in these centres and the process by which immigrants settle into new urban environments.
Formats available: E-Book, Hardcover, Paperback
Steven High, Lachlan Mackinnon, Andrew Perchard, The Deindustrial World: Confronting Ruination in Postindustrial Places (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2017).
Since the 1970s, the closure of mines, mills, and factories has marked a rupture in working-class lives. The Deindustrialized World interrogates the process of industrial ruination, from the first impact of layoffs in metropolitan cities, suburban areas, and single-industry towns to the shock waves that rippled outward, affecting entire regions, countries, and beyond.
Seeking to hear the “roar … on the other side of the silence,” scholars from France, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States share their own stories of ruin and ruination and ask others what it means to be working class in a postindustrial world. In Part 1, they explore the ruination of former workplaces and the damaged health and injured bodies of industrial workers. Part 2 brings to light disparities of experiences between rural resource towns and cities, where hipster revitalization often overshadows industrial loss. Part 3 reveals the ongoing impact of deindustrialization on working people and their place in the new global economy.
Together, the chapters open a window on the lived experiences of people living at ground zero of deindustrialization, revealing its layered impacts and examining how workers, environmentalists, activists, and the state have responded to its challenges.
Formats available: Hardcover
Publisher’s link: http://www.ubcpress.ca/search/title_book.asp?BookID=299175560
Better Late than Never – May 28
Patrice Dutil, Prime Ministerial Power in Canada: Its Origins under Macdonald, Laurier, and Borden (UBC Press, 2017)
Many Canadians lament that prime ministerial power has become too concentrated since the 1970s. This book contradicts this view by demonstrating how prime ministerial power was centralized from the very beginning of Confederation and that the first three important prime ministers – Macdonald, Laurier, and Borden – channelled that centralizing impulse to adapt to the circumstances they faced. Using a variety of innovative approaches, Patrice Dutil focuses on the managerial philosophies of each of the prime ministers. He shows that by securing a firm grip on the instruments of governance these early first ministers inevitably shaped the administrations they headed, as well as those that followed.
Formats available: Hardcover
Buy it on Amazon.ca: http://www.ubcpress.ca/search/title_book.asp?BookID=299175556
That’s all for this month! Seems to be that MQUP is pretty much the only one with Canadian history releases this month. Are there any books in particular that you are looking forward to? Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments below! And if there is an upcoming book you think I should know about, send me an email at unwritten histories [at] gmail [dot] com. If you liked this post, please consider sharing it on the social media platform of your choice! And don’t forget to check back on Sunday for a brand new Canadian history roundup! See you then!