• Property and Dispossession: Natives, Empires and Land in Early Modern North America–A Review

    Gregory Kennedy Allan Greer, Property and Dispossession: Natives, Empires and Land in Early Modern North America (Cambridge University Press, 2018). This ambitious book considers “the ways in which Europeans and their Euro-American descendants remade New World space as they laid claim to the continent’s resources, extended the reach of empire and established polities and jurisdictions… Continue Reading

  • Early-Modern Place Names in Today’s Canada

    [This is the third essay of the Borealia series on Cartography and Empire–on the many ways maps were employed in the contested imperial spaces of early modern North America.]  Lauren Beck The Geographic Names Board of Canada (GNBC) provides scholars with a database of place names that allows users to look up the location of a place name,… Continue Reading

  • Colonial Relations: The Douglas-Connolly Family and the Nineteenth-Century Imperial World: A Review

    Ann Little Adele Perry, Colonial Relations: The Douglas-Connolly Family and the Nineteenth-Century Imperial World (Cambridge University Press, 2015), Critical Perspectives on Empire series. If you’re on Twitter this summer of 2017, perhaps your timeline is like mine: full of #Canada150 (insert Maple Leaf emoji here) mentions this summer, both filiopietistic from the settler colonial perspective… 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

  • Jamaican Maroons in Nova Scotia: The politics of climate and race

    Anya Zilberstein Not long after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau handed winter coats to Syrian refugees arriving in Toronto this past December, reports about the immigrants’ problems began appearing in the press. Rent gouging by dishonest landlords. Frustration at delays in receiving permanent housing and full access to medical care. And, of course, that obligatory storyline:… 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