Borealia: A Prospectus

Borealia (bor-ee-al-ya) is a new academic group blog on early Canadian history, featuring writing by regular, occasional, and guest contributors. It can be found at http://earlycanadianhistory.ca.

We begin with the basic assumption that the field of early Canadian history is vibrant and varied. It may be a bit of a stretch to claim that, “We are all Canadianists now,” but with the Atlantic turn in historiography, it is no longer only Canadian-based scholars that integrate the northern half of the continent into their narratives. Early Canadian sessions, encouragingly, were a major presence at the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture (Halifax, June 2014), and at the American Society for Environmental History (Washington, March 2015). The field is healthy and robust, and we have plenty to talk about.

The goal of Borealia is to provide an energetic, professional, and respectful space for conversation about research and teaching in early Canadian history. We believe that a dedicated forum for discussion, alongside broader historical associations and publications, will nurture informal networks of scholars and will demonstrate the vitality of the field among colleagues and the public.

Borealia (“northern”) is a title expansive enough to take in the breadth of our field. We are interested in all regions of what eventually became Canada, to about 1867, and connections to the wider world. We hope our contributors will reflect the diversity of our field, encompassing cultural, intellectual, political, religious, economic, and other perspectives, and will come from every stage of academic careers. We will strive to have content in both English and French.

We intend the tone of the blog to be positive, focused on content and ideas, respectful and civil in conversation, and professional. If the blog were a restaurant, it would be “casual fine dining.” We anticipate a modest but regular schedule of blog posts, which will include brief work-in-progress profiles, research notes, timely historical commentary, author interviews and book reviews, reflections on teaching and career development, digital and public history, and conference recaps.

Do you want to start a conversation at Borealia? We’d love to talk with you about just that–please use the contact form to get in touch with our editors, Keith and Denis.

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