• No, Confederation Wasn’t About ‘Freedom’

    Shirley Tillotson Editors’ note: This essay is jointly posted with our partners at ActiveHistory.ca, and appeared in an earlier version as a Letter to the Editor in the National Post (Oct. 26, 2017). Fundraisers love anniversaries. They’re like birthdays, right? Presents can’t be far behind. But when it’s the anniversary of a death, it’s not so… Continue Reading

  • Britishness and Whiteness in Early Canadian Culture

    Oana Godeanu-Kenworthy In the September 28, 2017 issue of the New York Review of Books, Fintan O’Toole explained Brexit as the consequence of a rebirth of English nationalism: “Brexit is a peaceful revolution but it is unmistakably a nationalist revolt. It is England’s insurrection against … the belief that contemporary nationality must be fluid, open,… Continue Reading

  • The American Gaze: Adam Gopnik’s Canada

    Jerry Bannister Adam Gopnik’s recent article, “We could all have been Canadians,” published in the May 15th issue of the New Yorker, has attracted considerable attention on social media among Canadian historians.[1] I’ve already chimed in with a short comment on Christopher Moore’s blog.[2]   With the sun shining hopefully on my back deck this morning,… Continue Reading

  • Canadian Exceptionalism is about Land and Resources

    Rachel Bryant Canadian exceptionalism has emerged (or re-emerged) in the Trump/Brexit/Canada 150 era as a useful concept for scholars and journalists seeking to understand how Canadians and their institutions are (or are not) unique in hemispheric and global contexts. But exceptionalism is about more than the ways in which vast geopolitical entities relate to one… Continue Reading

  • “The Mighty Waters of Democracy”: Thomas Chandler Haliburton on American Populism

    Oana Godeanu-Kenworthy On Nov 8 2016 reality-show star and billionaire Donald Trump won by a landslide the presidency of the US. Despite the still-ongoing collective head-scratching over the exact causes of the victory, nobody contests that the unlikely candidate rode an unprecedented wave of populism and nationalism whose long-term consequences remain to be seen. Trump’s… Continue Reading

  • Settler Colonialism and the Future of Canadian History

    Jerry Bannister In March I had the pleasure of attending the Pierre Savard conference[1] at the University of Ottawa. I was asked to give a talk on the future of Canadian history, particularly the ongoing debate over transnational versus national perspectives. I never did get around to asking why they invited me to speak. Perhaps… Continue Reading