Preview: Early Canada at the CHA

The annual meeting of the Canadian Historical Association will take place next week from May 28th to 31st at Ryerson University in Toronto as part of the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. Drawn from the preliminary program (which includes information on room locations) available on the CHA’s website, the following is a preview of panels and events that may be of particular relevance to historians with an interest early Canada.

Let us know in the comments section below if we’ve omitted either individual papers or entire panels pertinent to early Canada, or if this preview contains incorrect information. And, as always, please be sure to consult the CHA program for room numbers, and to verify the preview’s accuracy. Enjoy!

Sunday 28 May

6:30 – 8:00 (TRS 1-147)

1. Decolonizing 1867: Stories from the People. A Workshop in Canadian History

Helen Knott (Nenan Dane Zaa Deh Zona Family Services and Okanagan Nation Alliance): “‘Canada’: A long-form poem written in response to the Canada 150 funding”

Brittany Luby (University of Guelph): “A Most Convenient Oversight: An Examination of How the Crown Misconstrued ‘Appropriate’ to Reduce Indian Reserve Lands in Ontario, 1873- Present”

Naomi Recollet (University of Toronto): “Reflecting Back on 1836 to Understand ‘Decolonizing 1867’: One Interpretation from Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory”

Jesse Thistle and Carolyn Podruchny (York University): “Partial Justice for the Montours: A Métis Family Resists the Colonizing Canadian Hordes” Organizers and hosts: Kathryn Magee Labelle (University of Saskatchewan) and Stacy Nation-Knapper (L.R. Wilson Institute for Canadian History, McMaster University)

Sponsored by The L.R. Wilson Institute for Canadian History at McMaster University

Monday 29 May

8:30 – 10:00 (POD 370)

2. Regulating Bodies in Canada

Janet Miron (Trent University): “Regulation, Decriminalization, and the Medicalization of Attempted Suicide in Canada”

Beatrice Craig (University of Ottawa): “A Temperate Province? Rum and Tea Consumption in Lower Canada, 1830-1862”

Jamie Jelinski (Queen’s University): “‘More or Less Artistic Designs’: The Regulation of Tattooing in Canadian Cities, 1924-1964”

Katie-Marie McNeill (Queen’s University): “Isabel Macneill and Prison for Women (P4W)”

Chair: Carolyn Strange (Australian National University)


8:30 – 10:00 (POD 361)

4. New France and French Canadians: Reflections on Pre-Confederation Canada

Victoria Jackson (York University): “Youthful mischief as Wendat social regulation? Children’s pranks as critique in seventeenth-century missions”

Émilie Pigeon (York University): “Bête de l’Église: A Longue Durée History of the Loup Garou in North America”

Scott Berthelette (University of Saskatchewan): “French-Canadian Persistence and Continuity at les Postes de l’Ouest, 1743-1767”

Samuel Derksen (University of Saskatchewan): “‘It would be difficult to deprive them of it’: Alcohol Regulation and the Limits of Imperial Power in the Pays des Illinois, 1750-1800”

Chair: Robert Englebert (University of Saskatchewan)


8:30 – 10:00 (POD 358)

8. Missions, Regulation, Marriage, and Health in Transnational Perspective: A panel in honour of Myra Rutherdale

Rhonda Semple (St Francis Xavier University): “Managing Partnerships in Well-Being in Mission Leper Work and Beyond”

Elizabeth Elbourne (McGill University): “Regulating Marriage and Sexuality in the London Missionary Society, 1795-1820: Class, Gender and the Control of Working-Class Marriage”

Lisa Chilton (University of Prince Edward Island): “From Canada to Canton: A Missionary Solution to Leprosy”

Chair: Ruth Compton Brouwer (King’s University College, University of Western Ontario)

Sponsored by the Journal of the Canadian Historical Association


12:00 – 13:30

18. Walking Tour

Downtown George Brown: Our Father of Confederation

Tour in English

Registration required

Start Point: St. Lawrence Hall (157 King Street East)

End Point: George Brown House (186 Beverley Street)

Tour Length: 90 minutes

Tour Difficulty: flat sidewalks, crowded sidewalks

Tour Leader: Jamie Bradburn – Award-winning freelance writer, researcher, and historical consultant.


13:15 – 14:45 (POD 368)

21. The New Political History: What it does and doesn’t do / Where it should and shouldn’t go

Will Langford (Queen’s University)

Lisa Pasolli (St. Francis Xavier University)

Colin Grittner (University of British Columbia)

Stéphane Savard (Université du Québec à Montréal)

Elizabeth Mancke (University of New Brunswick)

Shirley Tillotson (Dalhousie University)

Chair: Bradley Miller (University of British Columbia)

Sponsored by the Political History Group


13:15 – 14:45 (POD 372)

24. Nouvelles avenues de recherche sur les migrations continentales des Canadiens français, 1850-1960

Hélène Vézina (Université du Québec à Chicoutimi) : « BALSAC, un outil pour le repérage des francophones hors Québec dans les généalogies québécoises »

Marc Tremblay (Université du Québec à Chicoutimi) : « Identification des ancêtres Franco-Américains dans les généalogies regionals contemporaines au Québec »

Marie-Eve Harton (Université de Saint-Boniface) : « Profil généalogique des migrants canadiens-français à Manchester (New Hampshire) au tournant du XXe siècle: une analyse exploratoire du jumelage des données des recensements américains et du fichier de population BALSAC »

Yves Frenette (Université de Saint-Boniface) et John Willis (Musée canadien de l’histoire) : « À la recherche des ouvriers canadiens-français de la construction du capitole de Saint Paul (Minnesota), 1896-1907 »

Animatrice : Sylvie Taschereau (Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières)


15:00 – 16:30 (POD 368)

29. Indigenous Peoples and Canadian State Formation in the Era of Confederation

Brian Gettler (University of Toronto): “Public Finance and the Department of Indian Affairs in the 1860s”

Maxime Gohier (Université du Québec à Rimouski) : « Législation, pouvoir et administration : la Confédération canadienne et la standardisation de la Loi sur les Indiens »

Brittany Luby (University of Guelph): “A Most Convenient Oversight: An Examination of How the Crown Misconstrued ‘Appropriate’ to Reduce Indian Reserve Lands in Ontario, 1873 – Present”

Daniel Rück (University of Ottawa): “Northern Enclosure: The Centrality of Indigenous Lands to Canadian Confederation”

Chair: Daniel Laxer (Great Lakes Research Alliance for the Study of Aboriginal Arts and Cultures)


15:00 – 16:30 (POD 372)

33. Fractured Families in Nineteenth-Century Canada

Carolyn Strange (Australian National University): “The anomalous status of Carnal Knowledge in the new Dominion and the Spectre of False Accusations”

Patrick J. Connor (York University): “Servants, Orphans, & Incest: The Legal Protection of Minors in Pre-Confederation Ontario”

Laura Ishiguro (University of British Columbia): “Settler Women, skedaddling husbands, and the making of British Columbia, ca. 1870s”

Chair: Bettina Bradbury (York University)

Tuesday 30 May

8:30 – 10:00 (TRS 3-119)

38. Putting Canada in Context: Gender, Money and the Settler Colonial World

Catherine Bishop (University of Sydney): “Commerce was a Woman: Women in business in mid-nineteenth century colonial cities”

Bettina Bradbury (York University): “Investing, Accumulating and Giving: The financial and charitable engagements of widow Sarah Anne Moorhouse Rhodes”

Melanie Buddle (Trent University): “Darkened by family obligations: Businesswomen in British Columbia, 1901-1931”

Commentator: Peter Baskerville (University of Alberta)

Sponsored by the Canadian Business History Association


8:30 – 10:00 (TRS 2-166)

43. Black Canadian Women and Intersectional Agency: Political Thought, Activism, and Representation

Emillie-Andree Jabouin (Ryerson University): “Mary Ann Shadd and the Canadian Political Imaginary: Citizenship and Experience in the19th Century”

Melissa N. Shaw (Queen’s University) “Black Canadian Garveyite Women and Continuums of Race Activism in Ontario during the 1920s and 1930s”

Claudine Bonner (Acadia University): “‘More Than A Domestic’: Black Women and the Civil Rights Movement in Nova Scotia”

Joanna Joachim (McGill University): “Where My Girls At? A Case for Black Female Self-Representation and Quiet Activism”

Chair: Michele Johnson (Director Harriet Tubman Institute, York University)

Sponsored by the Canadian Committee on Women’s History


8:30 – 10:00 (TRS 3-109)

44. Confederation and Political Modernity: Provincialism, Federalization, and Power

Claude Couture (Campus Saint-Jean, University of Alberta): “The BNA Act after 150 Years: Provincializing Canada?”

Ted Binnema (University of Northern British Columbia): “The Significance of Federation for Indigenous Peoples in Canada, Australia, and the United States”

Elsbeth Heaman (McGill University): “‘French Canadianism entirely extinguished … but Quebec will be well treated’: Reckoning with Culture and Power in Canada from Confederation to Conscription”

Chair and Commentator: Donald Wright (University of New Brunswick

Sponsored by the Journal of the Canadian Historical Association


10:15 – 11:45 (TRS 3-119)

47. The Past and Future of Canadian Environmental History Roundtable

Stephen Bocking (Trent University)

Jennifer Bonnell (York University)

Joanna Dean (Carleton University)

Matthew Evenden (University of British Columbia)

Mica Jorgenson (McMaster University)

Dan Macfarlane (Western Michigan University)

James Murton (Nipissing University)

Jonathan Peyton (University of Manitoba)

Moderator: Jim Clifford (University of Saskatchewan)

Sponsored by the Environmental History Group


10:15 – 11:45 (TRS 3-109)

48. Recovering Indigenous Law in Pre-Confederation Land Conveyances to the British Crown, 1764-1864

Jeffrey Hewitt (University of Windsor): “Wampum as Treaty Text”

Heidi Bohaker (University of Toronto): “What’s In a Treaty: Anishinaabe Governance and Law in Land Conveyance Agreements for the eastern Great Lakes region, 1763-1815”

Zachary Smith (University of Toronto): “Treaties, Text, and Relationships: Kinship and Settler Colonialism in the Great Lakes”

Victoria Freeman (York University): “Talking Treaties in Toronto”

Chair: Alison Norman (Ontario Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation)

10:15 – 11:45 (TRS 1-075)

49. Interrogating the Criminal Justice System in 19th-Century Canada: Race, Power, and Colonialism

Mary Anne Poutanen (Concordia University) and Dan Horner (Ryerson University): “Drying out the Disorderly Migrant: Policing and Regulating Drinking in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Montreal”

Donald Fyson (Université Laval): “Executions in Quebec, 1854-1919: Mercy in the Land of Social Conservatism?”

Shelley A.M. Gavigan (Osgoode Hall Law School): “Getting Their Man: The NWMP as Accused in the Territorial Criminal Court in the Canadian North-West, 1876-1905”

Chair: Jane Errington (Royal Military College of Canada)


10:15 – 11:45 (TRS 2-166)

52. A Roundtable on Robert C.H. Sweeny’s Why Did We Choose to Industrialize? Montreal, 1819-1849, winner of the CHA’s 2016 SirJohn A. Macdonald prize

Robert C.H. Sweeny (Memorial University)

Ian McKay, (L.R. Wilson Institute for Canadian History, McMaster University)

Bettina Bradbury (York University)

Kathryn McPherson (York University)

Magda Fahrni (Université du Québec à Montréal)

Chair: Robin Jarvis Brownlie (University of Manitoba)

Sponsored by the Journal of the Canadian Historical Association


13:15 – 14:45 (TRS 1-077)

63. Meanings Beyond Words: Recovering European non-verbal/nontextual communication with Indigenous Peoples in North America

Georgia Carley (Queen’s University): “Tangible Treaties: uncovering the role of British material expression in eighteenth century treaties with First Nations”

Stephen Hay (University of British Columbia): “A Secret, a Lie, and a Hoax: Miscommunications in Labrador’s British-Inuit Borderlands, post-1759”

Tabitha Renaud (Queen’s University): “Makeshift Miming: A Reconsideration of Nonverbal Communication Between Aboriginals and Europeans in Sixteenth Century Northeastern America”

Chair: Heidi Bohaker (University of Toronto)


15:00 – 17:30 (TRS 2-166)

70. Presidential Address

Introduced by: Adele Perry (University of Manitoba)

Joan Sangster (President of the Canadian Historical Association)

“Confronting Colonial Pasts: Historicizing a Century of Canadian Political Alliances”

Wednesday 31 May

8:30 – 10:00 (SLC 514)

74. Confederation at 150: New Perspectives

Samantha Cutrara (Independent Scholar): “Metanarratives of Confederation: The Lessons of ‘Big History’ as told through children’s non-fiction”

Christopher Morash (University of Cambridge): “The Political and Intellectual Impact of the Irish Famine 1845-1851 on Canadian Confederation”

Peter Price (University of Cambridge): “Confederation as an Imperial Moment: Situating 1867 in Late-Victorian Political Thought”

Mathias Rodorff (Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich): “Local Interests vs. National Visions: Reflections of Nova Scotia and Canada”

Chair: Elsbeth Heaman (McGill University)


10:30 – 12:00 (SLC 449)

90. Understanding Settler Colonialism

Chris Youé (Memorial University): “Distinguishing Marks of Africa’s Settler Colonies: Kenya and Rhodesia”

Kurt Korneski (Memorial University): “Settler Colonialism in Newfoundland and Labrador in the Nineteenth Century”

Peter Allan Goddard (University of Guelph): “Fate of Nature and Colonial Enterprise: The New France Example”

Shelagh Roxburgh (University of Ottawa): “Read Black and White: Decolonizing African studies in North America”

Chair: Chris Youé (Memorial University)

Joint Session with the Canadian Association of African Studies


13:15 – 14:45 (KHW 57)

100. Our Laws, Our Nation: A Roundtable on Legal History and Nationality

Donald Fyson (Université Laval)

Bradley Miller (University of British Columbia)

Philip Girard (Osgoode Hall Law School)

Shirley Tillotson (Dalhousie University)

William Wicken (York University)

Facilitator: Dominique Clément (University of Alberta)


15:00 – 16:30 (SLC 452)

106. Mobility in the Hudson’s Bay Company World

Erin Wall (Queen’s University): “Seen Far and Wide: Canadian Identity, Settler Art History, and the National Future”

Krista Barclay (University of Manitoba): “West, East and Back Again: Gender, Race, and Mobility Among mid-19th Century Hudson’s Bay Company Widows”

Daniel Laxer (Great Lakes Research Alliance for the Study of AboriginalArts and Cultures): “Paddle-mobility: From Canoe-Connectivity to Isolation in Canada’s ‘Fly-In’ Communities”

Chair: Carolyn Podruchny (York University)

Latest Comments

  1. Todd Webb says:

    Readers might be interested to know that there is also pre-Confederation content to be had at the annual meeting of the Canadian Society of Church History, meeting from 31 May to 2 June at Jorgensen 1402, Ryerson University, as part of Congress 2016, including:

    31 May 2016

    11:00 – 12:00 – Session 2 – The Lion, A Switch and the Black Robe: Colonialism, Imperialism & Evangelization in the Nineteenth Century
    Chair: James Tyler Robertson (Tyndale Seminary)

    Jonathan Lofft (Trinity College):“X Marks the Spot: Hagiotoponymy and the translocal spread of the British Imperialist cult of St. Alban the Martyr in Canadian Anglicanism, 1856-1921”

    Keith Hyde (University College of the North):“Rescue the Parishing: Henry Budd— Constructive Transformer or Colonial Tool?”

    Emily Turner (University of Edinburgh): “Evangelism and the Land: Mission Networks and the Growth of Nineteenth-Century Missionary Activity in the Canadian North”

    1 June 2016

    10:15 – 11:45 Session 6 – Peripheries, Centres, and Religion in the Atlantic World

    Chair: Todd Webb (Laurentian University)

    Robynne Rogers Healey (Trinity Western University):“Quakers on the Margins:
    Migration and Minorities in Late-eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Transatlantic Quakerism”

    Sydney Harker (Trinity Western University): “The Ties that Bind: Cross-border Marriage Strategies Among the Quakers and Methodists of Upper Canada, 1790-1820”

    Amanda Slater (Trinity Western University):“Christianity, Gender, and Racism in the Fur-Trade: Exploring How Women in Fur-Trade Society reshaped Atlantic World Ideas”

    1 June 2016

    3:30-4:30 – Session 8 – “Have we not heard enough on this subject?” Revisiting the Life and Career of Egerton Ryerson in Transcontinental and Transatlantic Perspectives

    Chair: James Tyler Robertson (Tyndale Seminary)

    Scott McLaren (York University), “His style was diffuse and feeble”: American Methodist responses to Egerton Ryerson

    Todd Webb (Laurentian University), “His teachings are in want of faith”: British Wesleyan responses to Egerton Ryerson

    • Todd Webb says:

      All of the dates for the Canadian Society of Church History annual meeting should be for 2017, of course.

  2. Laura J. Smith says:

    And I’m participating in a session at the Canadian Catholic Historical Association meeting on Wednesday morning

    10:15 am – 11:45 am (ILLC Room A/B enter from 133 Mutual Street)

    19th Century Catholics Fighting for a Place in British North America

    Laura J. Smith, University of Toronto, “Hoganism in York? Reconsidering the O’Grady schism in the lay occupation of St. Paul’s, 1832-1833”
    Paul Reale, University of Toronto, “Separate Schools and the Threat of Universal Schooling”
    Mark G. McGowan, University of Toronto, “Uncomfortable Pews: Canada’s Catholics and the Making of Confederation, 1864-1867”

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