Monday, November 27, 2006

Attention History Grad Students! Wanna get soaked at a conference? The University of Saskatchewan Department of History invites proposals for the 1st annual Buffalo Province History Conference, May 11-13, 2007, Manitou Springs Hotel Resort and Mineral Spa, in Watrous, Saskatchewan. Presentations on all historical topics are welcome. Come join other graduate students and faculty from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta in a supportive and academically enriching environment. We invite you to present a paper on an aspect of your research, listen and comment on the presentations of others, network with peers and faculty, and meet and socialize with potential future advisors and colleagues. Although preference is given to graduate student submissions, we welcome proposals from faculty, senior honours students, and other specialists in the field of history.Please submit a 250 word abstract and short CV to Keith Thor Carlson ( no later than February 15th 2007. To see the conference poster, click here.
The Geology Department is sponsoring a public lecture Tuesday evening on the origin of modern geological thought in 17th century Florence. Dr. Alan Cutler of the Smithsonian Institute presents "Science, Seashells, and Religion: Nicolaus Steno and the Birth of Geology." Tuesday, November 28th, 7:30 PM, in the Battlefords Room of the Delta Bessborough. Everyone welcome. Sponsored by Sask Industry & Resources. Click here to see the poster.
The latest fabulous edition of the History Grad Students Committee Newsletter is now out on newsstands everywhere, but why pay $5.99 plus tax when you can get the whole thing just by clicking here?
A fabulous opportunity for students has come to our attention. The Canadian Battlefields Foundation is sponsoring its 13th Annual Battlefield Study Tour this summer, "The Canadians and the Liberation of Europe: Normandy, Dieppe, Vimy, Beaumont-Hamel". It runs from 1-16 June, 2007 and is intended for undergrads, grad students, and recent graduates. The tour will be led by Dr. Geoffrey Hayes of the University of Waterloo, and Lieutenant-Colonel David Patterson, Canadian Land Forces Command and Staff College. The foundation offers 12-16 scholarships that cover most of the expenses, though participants should expect to contribute between $1200 and $1500 of their own ($500 if they make their own way to Paris). Click here to view the poster, or here for the website and application forms.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

The second gala presentation of the History Grad Students Colloquia Series will take place this Friday, November 24th from 3:30 - 5:00 pm, downstairs at the Faculty Club. This Colloquium will feature MA students Matt Finn and Mark Polachic. Matt will be presenting "Atlantic History and Illegal Trade in Northeastern North America:1650-1750." Mark's presentation is entitled "Edmund Burke and Roy Porter: Two Views of Revolution and the Enlightenment in Britain." All faculty and grad students invited. Snacks will be provided.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Special Guest Lecture:

Tom Brooking
, of the History Department, University of Otago in New Zealand, will be visiting the University of Saskatchewan this Thursday, November 23, 1:00-2:00, ARTS 203. Tom is an environmental and agricultural historian, the author or editor of six books, and he will present a public lecture on his current research: "Empires of Grass: The Reconstruction of New Zealand Grasslands, 1850s-1920s". All interested faculty or students are encouraged to attend.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Further congratulations are in order for Mike Hayden (U of S Professor Emeritus) and Malcolm Greenshields (U of S alumnus and Univerisity of Lethbridge Professor of History), whose book 600 Years of Reform: Bishops and the French Church, 1190-1789 (McGill-Queens, 2005) has just been awarded The John Gilmary Shea Prize, given annually by the American Catholic Historical Association to the author(s) of a book, published during the preceding twelve-month period, which is judged by a committee of experts to have made the most original and distinguished contribution to knowledge of the history of the Catholic Church. The award will be presented to Malcolm and Mike during the 87th annual meeting of the Association on January 6, 2007 in Atlanta, Ga. which is held in conjunction with the annual meeting of American Historical Association.

Winning international acclaim is all very well, but Mike's and Malcolm's book is also nominated for a Saskatchewan Book Award in the Scholarly Writing category. The awards banquet is this coming weekend, in Regina. Stay tuned...
Last weekend, Pam Jordan and John McCannon represented the U of S at the National Convention of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, held in Washington, DC. Pam presented a paper entitled “Legal Defenders or Passive Assistants to the Court? The Complex Political Identities of Russian Advocates after Stalin.” John commented on a panel and delivered his own paper, “Gateway to the East: Decorative Art and Orientalist Imagery in Moscow’s Kazan Railway Station.” Much to the delight of all conference-goers, baby Miranda came along as well, and narrowly missed being chosen to give the keynote address.
Meanwhile, also in Washington, John McCannon and some of his colleagues celebrated the recent publication by Northern Illinois University Press of Russian Art and the West: A Century of Dialogue in Painting, Architecture, and the Decorative Arts, edited by Rosalind P. Blakesley and Susan E. Reidwhich, which contains John’s essay “Mother of the World: Eurasian Imagery and Conceptions of Feminine Divinity in the Works of Nikolai Roerich.” Click here to learn more about the book.

Friday, November 17, 2006

We here at What's Up stop at nothing, nothing, to track down old friends and departmental alum. We want to know what they -- you, maybe -- are up to, and frankly we intend to find out. Take Alex Taylor, for example. Alex completed his MA here in 1995 and then proceeded to the University of Calgary for his Ph.D. Word has now reached us that Alex is married and a father and living in Washington, D.C. where he works for the Council of Latino Agencies, which works on behalf of the Latino community in D.C. and the surrounding region of Virginia and Maryland. In keeping with his longstanding interest in human rights, and with his scholarly and personal interests on human rights abuses in Guatamala, Chile, and Argentina, Alex is also actively involved with Amnesty International. So much so, in fact, that he was the subject of an online profile in the Fall 2006 edition of their online newletter. Click here to see Alex and read more about his work.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Congratulations to Keith Carlson, who, along with Kristina Fagan of the English Department, has co-edited a new edition of Henry 'Hank' Pennier's 1972 autobiography, 'Call Me Hank': A Stó:lõ Man's Reflections on Logging, Living, and Growing Old (University of Toronto Press & The Pennier Family, 2006). Pennier was a logger, story-teller, and self-described 'half-breed' whose memoirs offers poignant political commentary on issues of race, labour, and life. Keith and Kristina have added a scholarly introduction that set's Hank and his story in context. The U of T Press won't sell you a copy until next month, but their web site is working these days so you can learn more about it by clicking here. Keith reports that the Pennier family has organized a sacred "burning ceremony" whereby a shaman will burn food, clothing and a copy of the book for the now deceased author so he can have it "in the afterlife". This appears to be the first public book-burning ceremony that the University of Toronto Press has endorsed.

Congratulations to Steve Hewitt (U of S Ph.D., 1997) who has just published his third book, Riding to the Rescue: The Transformation of the RCMP in Alberta and Saskatchewan, 1914-1939 (University of Toronto Press, 2006.) The book incorporates previously classified material, and explores the RCMP both in the context of its ordinary policing role and in its work as Canada’s domestic spy agency. Steve demonstrates how much of the impetus behind the RCMP’s transformation was ensuring its own survival and continued relevance. Steve's first book, also with U of T Press, was Spying 101: The RCMP's Secret Activities at Canadian Universities, 1917-1997 (2002), followed by Canada and the Cold War (James Lorimer & Co, 2003), which he co-authored with Reg Whitaker. Be sure to go to Steve's website to find out, among other things, whether the Mounties have been spying on you and yours. Steve is a lecturer in American and Canadian Studies at the University of Birmingham, in England. Click here for his departmental web site.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Dog days of November getting you down? Is the grind of your compulsory non-history courses more than usually fatiguing? Has even the joy of writing history essays temporarily lost its lustre? Do not despair, for the social highlight of the season is almost upon us. This very Friday, November 17th, HUSA will sponsor the umpteenth annual Meet the Profs Night at Louis' pub, starting at 5pm. Drag yourself there and be revived.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

History and fiction overlap in more ways than many of us realize, or care to admit, and so you might be interested to know that on November 14th at 3:30, the English Department and the Saskatchewan Writers' Guild present Governor General's Award winner Maggie Siggins, who will speak about "A Fictional Truth: New Literary Genre or Old Hodgepodge?" Reading from her most recently-published book, Bitter Embrace: White Society's Assault on the Woodland Cree and from a manuscript of a book about Louis Riel's grandmother, Siggins will explain what she sees as an "emerging new literary genre." Or is that the re-emergence of a very old literary genre? Go along and find out.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The sun shines and all seems right with the world, but it is not so.

It is with the deepest regret that we report the death of Rogan Bailey Garner (August 15 to October 30, 2006), beloved daughter of our friend and student Chris Garner and his wife Megan Garner. Our hearts and our thoughts are with Chris, Megan, and the Garner family. Please click here for a loving tribute to Rogan.

And we are sad to report that two other friends and members of our extended History family, both of them doctoral candidates as it happens, have lost loved ones in recent days.

We offer our condolences to Denyse Saint-Georges-Smith and her family. Denyse's mother died on October 29.

And we extend our deepest sympathies to Merle Massie and her family. Merle's brother died in tragic circumstances just yesterday, November 1.
Click here to read the fabulous, informative, droll, full-colour History Grad Students' Committee Official Newsletter for October, 2006. And click here, or go through the HGSC link under "Graduates" on the Departement web site, to see the entire backlist of this fine publication.
The History Graduate Students Committee invites you to attend the first installment of the 2006-2007 HGSC Lecture Series, featuring Dr. Keith Thor Carlson (Dept of History) presenting: “Dreams, Footnotes, and History”

Today, Thursday November 2nd 4:00-5:00 in Arts 214

The footnote: a citation or brief explanation. But what does one do when the person we’re interviewing tells us that he or she is not, in fact, the source of historical information, but merely a conduit; that the voice transmitting the “historical evidence” is not the ethnographic “other” sitting across the table from us, but the other’s other – an ancestral voice acquired not from memory in the western sense, but from dreams across shamanic chasms? And how do we respond when the other’s other informs us that our own voice is actually not ours, but one directed by an Aboriginal ancestral spirit whose alleged design is to influence questions so as to illicit particular responses? In such a relationship where does the power and agency reside, and more basically, how does one cite one’s source? Building upon such diverse historical theorists as Michel de Certeau, Carlo Ginzburg, and Marshall Sahlins, Carlson engages with Salish indigenous knowledge and explains how he came to learn that skepticism isn't always as clever as one might think, and why a historical footnote can be a difficult thing to craft.

The Lecture is open to the general public. We hope to see you there!
Just a reminder of the History Honours/Graduate Reception being held this evening, Thursday November 2nd, from 6:30 until 9:00 p.m. at Boffins Club. Pizza buffet and refreshments will be served. All History Honours and Grad Students welcome.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Congratulations to Howard G. Brown, seen right looking less pleased than he might. Howard is Professor of History at The State University of New York, Binghamton. A proud graduate of the U of S (B.A. Hons, 1985), his new book Ending the French Revolution: Violence, Justice, And Repression from the Terror to Napoleon (University of Virginia Press, 2006) has just been awarded the American Historical Association's 2006 Leo Gershoy Award for the best book in seventeenth and eighteenth-century European history. This puts Howard in very select company indeed: since its inception in 1977 the award has been won by Simon Schama, Robert Darnton, J.H. Elliott, John Beattie, Isser Woloch, and Roy Porter, among others.

What makes Howard's book so valuable is that although for two centuries the early years of the French Revolution have inspired countless democratic movements around the world, little attention has been paid to the problems of violence, justice, and repression between the Reign of Terror and the dictatorship of Napoleon Bonaparte. In Ending the French Revolution, Howard analyzes these years to reveal the true difficulty of founding a liberal democracy in the midst of continual warfare, repeated coups d'état, and endemic civil strife.

And if that sounds like a familiar challenge, you might care to read Howard's op-ed piece in the August 4, 2006 edition of the Chronicle of Higher Education, in which he draws striking, and sobering, parallels between the nation-building efforts of the French Directory and those of the Bush Administration. To read it, click here if you have U of S library access.
Congratulations to Colin Dueck (M.A., 1992) who was in town this last weekend for the McNally Robinson launch of his book Reluctant Crusaders: Power, Culture, and Change in American Grand Strategy (Princeton University Press, 2006), which examines patterns of change and continuity in American foreign policy strategy by looking at four major turning points: the periods following World War I, World War II, the Cold War, and the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Colin shows how American cultural assumptions regarding liberal foreign policy goals, together with international pressures, have acted to push and pull U.S. policy in competing directions over time. The result is a book that combines an appreciation for the role of both power and culture in international affairs. Colin was a student of Ivo Lambi's, and from the U of S he proceeded to a Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford, then to a doctorate at Princeton. He is now an Assistant Professor in the Department of Public and International Affairs at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.
HUSA is up and running this year, and upcoming events include the following:

1) "Remember, remember, the fifth of November!" Come celebrate Guy Fawkes' Night with HUSA this Saturday, November 4th (November 5th in England). Festivities begin at Winston's pub (below the Senator hotel downtown) at 8pm. "Traditional Guy Fawkes' day celebrations" to follow at location TBA.

2) The infamous HUSA Meet the Profs Night is coming soon! (Fashionably late, but all the more welcome). Come meet (or re-meet, or meet outside the classroom) your favourite history professors on November 17 at Louis' pub on campus, starting at 5pm. (Details with Louis' are being hammered out, but this date is not likely to change, and if it does, we'll let you know asap!). Free food and beverages (both fermented and non-) will be served! Hope to see you there!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

If you have not yet explored the burgeoning world of Google Books, you probably should. (Google Scholar,, another increasingly indispensable arrow in our quiver, is a separate project altogether.) In its ongoing efforts to be all things to all people always, and for free, Google is rolling out the fruits of its controversial labours to render the world's books in electronic form. Simply Google "Google Books" and start searching. As in Google Scholar, but unlike pretty much every other known bibliographic search engine, searches carried out in Google Book search through content as well as the bibliographic details.

Only very limited access is available for copyrighted material, but having found something one can always swing from Google Books over to the University Library. For material out of copyright, however, the entire tome is often provided, and the option of downloading the whole thing as a PDF file is sometimes offered. At the start of each search you can choose to call up only "Full View Books" if you wish. Once found, you can click on the index or, perhaps better yet, used the search facility to check through the text itself.

Curiously, clicking on a desired item found in a search will often land you on a fairly random early page: typing the Roman numeral "i" in the box for page searches will get you right back to the start of the scan -- quite possibly to the outside cover of the book, in fact, from where you can advance forward.

The materials currently on offer reflect the idiosyncrasies of the scanning process, which is spread among a number of major research libraries. People researching nineteenth-century topics will find a vast array of materials now out of copyright. Happily, the bounty of the 1800s includes many antiquarian editions of medieval and early modern manuscript sources, as well as nineteenth-century editions of earlier titles that might or might not have made it to ECCO or EEBO.

We had our best people take Google Book out for a spin, and here are some of the completely random results they came back with.
  • John Spalding's indispensable but not entirely trustworthy Memorialls of the Trubles in Scotland and in England. A.D. 1624-A.D. 1645 is available, albeit the first volume is from the flawed 1828 edition, and the second from the superior 1851 edition. Go figure.
  • The Diary of Alexander Jaffray is so far provided in the 1833 edition, so we must still await the preferred 1856 edition.
  • Those of you who look back fondly to the days when no good sin went unpunished will rejoice, or at least nod approvingly, at the news that John Stuart's undeservedly ignored edition of the Selections from the Records of the Kirk Session, Presbytery, and Synod of Aberdeen (Aberdeen, 1846) is available in its censorious entirety.
  • To show that even Google is not perfect, we can confirm the widely unreported fact that there is a scanning flaw on page 82 of the first volume of Miscellany of the Spalding Club (Aberdeen, 1841) -- so don't discard those old photocopies just yet! Being Google, however, we were invited to report the flaw on a straightforward form that conveys every intention to fix the problem.

All in all, Google Books marks yet another stride in the electronic revolution that is making it easier for Saskatoon-based historians to conduct advanced research, and harder to plead that the sources are not available locally.
Congratulations to all the newly-minted History graduates who received their Batchelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees on Saturday, October 28th at the Fall Convocation.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The History Graduate Students Colloquium will reconvene this Friday, October 27th downstairs in the Faculty Club, at 3:30 pm. The speakers will be Charles Robertson, "Saint Augustine, Vatican II and the Development of Catholic Doctrine: A Study of Lumen Gentium and De Baptismo Contra Donatistas"; and Scott Wright, "Timbuktu and the Imperial Imagination". This will involve an examination of how French explorers and geographers manipulated the idea of Timbuktu to further their aims of empire-building in 19th century West Africa. Everyone welcome, especially each and every History grad student.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Here's something very useful to check out. With eScholarship Editions, the University of California Press has digitized all the books it has published in living memory, and about one-third of those have been made available to the reading public, free of charge, in their searchable and printable entirety. Searching for the keyword "History" finds 518 books available to the likes of us, free. These include all kinds of recent and important works, including, for example, David B. Edwards, Before Taliban: Genealogies of the Afghan Jihad (2002); Antoinette Burton, At the Heart of the Empire: Indians and the Colonial Encounter in Late-Victorian Britain (2000); and Peter Earle, The Making of the English Middle Class: Business, Society and Family Life in London 1660-1730 (1989). There are even numerous volumes on the history of science, if you really must. Having these texts available means that students can get their mitts on them when they need them, and instructors can assign them to an unlimited number of students. And did we say they were free? Check out the whole list at
The next CMRS Colloquium is this Thursday, October 26th, and will feature Moira Day's presentation of "From Bell's Psyche to Euripedes' Trojan Women: Women Preserving the 'Bright Torch' in Wartime on the Canadian Campus, 1914-1920". STM 344B, 4:00 for refreshments, paper at 4:30. Everyone welcome. Click here to see the poster.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Library Changes: As some of you may know, the Main Library is beginning to undergo major renovations to accomodate the new University Learning Centre, which will take up much of the current entry level and first floor of the main building. The ULC, as it seems destined to be known pending a corporate benefactor, promises to become a much-needed focal point for student life and study on campus, but nothing is without its costs and one consequence of the reconfiguration of Library space is that about 5 km of shelf space will disappear. More space than you might think can be reclaimed in various creative ways, such as utilizing the currently empty top shelves, and leaving less open space on the shelves. Some materials currently on the shelves, however, will definitely have to be moved out of the building. The History Department, led by our faculty Library Liason, Lisa Smith, has been monitoring these developments, and we are pleased to say that nearly all of our initial concerns have been put to rest. The majority of the items to be removed will be paper copies of journals now available in electronic format. The library will retain the paper copies, transferring them to a storage facility across campus. In certain instances -- journals with high quality printed images, for example -- the originals may be retained on the Main Library shelves even if there is an electronic copy. Other materials judged to be little used, especially those for which there is an alternative electronic source, will be moved to the storage facility as well. These will continue to be listed in the cataglogue, and readers will be able to order them and collect them a day or so library from the library. Similar arrangements have been made by university libaries everywhere, since they almost all face similar challenges relating to storage space. Our new storage facility, like its counterparts elsewhere, will be accessible only to library staff, a move necessitated by security and building code concerns: shelves in the Library proper, for example, need to be far enough apart to afford wheel chair access, whereas in the storage facility they can be set up with narrower corridors.

We would all prefer that all our books were always right where we would wish them, but given that something has to give, our friends and colleagues in the Library are, as usual, making careful and astute decisions with our needs and wishes very much on their minds. We can also look forward to further consultation as further decisions regarding history materials come to be made.
Chris Kent has alerted What's Up to the sad news of the passing of Arthur Marwick, Professor of History at Britain's Open University and a historian whose influential works on the methodology and the study of history have been widely taught and read for nearly four decades (though he was only 70 when he died.). Click here for this exemplary obituary from the Guardian newspaper.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Bill Waiser has been a member of our department for so long (sorry Bill) that it is easy to forget that he was once our (institutionally speaking) student, having earned his MA (1976) and Ph.D. (1983) on our very own seventh floor. This past Thursday evening, October 12th, Bill was presented with the University of Saskatchewan Alumni Honour Award, in recognition of Bill having recieved "notable acclaim for professional achievements, which in turn has enhanced the image of the University of Saskatchewan and its alumni." You need only scroll a ways down our fair blog, or check with your friends at Google, to review some of the acclaim that has justly come Bill's way.
Who says U of S students don't get around? Two of our M.A. candidates, Chris Clarke and Cameron Goodfellow will be presenting next weekend (October 21-22) at the 8th Annual University of Maine - University of New Brunswick History Graduate Student Conference, held this year at the U of M in Orono, Maine. Chris' paper is entitled "Innovations in Publishing -- From Vespucci to Blogspot: 1500-2006", and Cameron's is on "John Partridge's Books of Secrets: Trade Manual or Popular Press".
In the fantastic news department, Yimin Zhang, our sessional lecturer in East Asian history, has just successfully defended his doctoral dissertation at McGill University. His thesis title is "The Role of Literati in Military Action during the Ming-Qing Transition Period." Congratulations, Yimin!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Bill Waiser has just been named one of the five new recipients of the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, the highest honour bestowed by the Province of Saskatchewan. Bill joins an illustrious list of 141 holders of the award who have been honoured since it was instituted in 1985. Bill, described in classic Star Phoenix style as a "Saskatoon storyteller" and "history buff" -- which indeed he is -- is being recognized for his outstanding work in not only uncovering and writing the history of this province, but in making that history accessible to the wider public, especially through his much-honoured Saskatchewan: A New History (2005). The award will be presented in November by our new (and our own) Lieutenant Governor, Gordon Barnhardt (Ph.D., 1998), who announced the names of the recipients on October 6th. Bill has postponed a planned trip to Japan, where he was to give lectures on Saskatchewan history, in order to attend the awards ceremony. When you see Bill, be sure to congratulate him on this latest, and richly deserved honour. He has, not for the first time, done us all proud.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Need help with research? Who doesn't? To get the help you need, drop in for a HISTORY RESEARCH HELP SESSION at the Main Library--Room 161 on Tuesday, October 10 at 1:00 p.m. The session is scheduled for 1:00-2:30 p.m. Students are encouraged to bring questions related to their specific research needs and will have an opportunity for hands-on practice. No need to pre-register – just drop in!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Congratulations to Erin Millions (M.A., 2004), who -- surrounded by archaeologists and historians alike -- married her longtime partner Perry on September 3rd. Erin and Perry (and Monster) live in Calgary now. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Reminder: The annual Undergraduate Workshop on Applying for Graduate School and FUNDING will take place on the afternoon of Friday, Sept. 29, 1-4pm in ARTS 105 (click here to see poster with full details).

Tomorrow's CMRS Colloquium will be like no other, and you are invited. Instead of the usual brilliant and stimulating lecture, you will see a brilliant and stimulating and very funny performance of a Roman comedy, 2200 years in the making!



in Latin, with English subtitles,

Thursday, September 28

Wine and cheese: 4:00 pm

Performance: 4:30 pm

STM 344



DARREN ZIMMER as Euclio (“Ucli”), a deservedly unappreciated miserable old guy

JOHN HOLGATE as the Lar (“Larry”), Euclio’s under-appreciated family god

LILIAN CHERRY as Barbia (“Barbie”), Euclio’s beautiful but stupid daughter

MARCY MURPHY as Staphyla (“Staffie”), long-suffering slave to Ucli & Barbie

JOHN PAULI as 1) Megadorus (“Biglyrich”), Euclio’s insufferable neighbor

2) Lyconides (“Likki”), M’s beautiful but stupid nephew

ABBEY PAULI as Eunomia, Lyconides’ eminently sensible mother




Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The What's Up team likes to think we have our ears and noses pretty close to the ground, and yet somehow we managed not to know until recently that Warren Johnston, a sessional lecturer in our department, received the Master Teacher Award for 2005 from St. Peter’s College, Muenster. Congratulations, Warren.
Congratulations to Jeff Wigelsworth, who has been busy since he successfully defended his Ph.D. in our department twelve months ago. Between then and starting a postdoctoral appointment at Dalhousie University a few weeks back, he wrote a book that has just been published by Greenwood Press. Science and Technology in Medieval European Life is a textbook for undergraduates that seeks to dispell the popular view of medieval Europe as a "Dark Age" of intellectual stagnation, showing instead how scientific and technological achievement thrived. We here at What's Up are firmly of the opinion that this is a book not only to read and admire, but to buy. To that end, click here.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

This just in from John Porter, loyal What's Up correspondent and Undergrad Director:

The annual Undergraduate Workshop on Applying for Graduate School and FUNDING will take place on the afternoon of Friday, Sept. 29, 1-4pm in ARTS 105(click here to see poster with full details).

John is also planning a session for MA students and senior undergraduates devoted specifically to the process of applying for support from SSHRC at the MA level. For which, stay tuned...

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

HUSA is off to an early start this term. The History Undergrad Students Association, which represents all History undergrads, will be in the Tunnel selling memberships for 2006-2007 from 10:00 to 12:30 this Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday (Sept. 20-22). Memberships cost a measly $5.00 and allow students to participant in events such as the famous HUSA Movie Nights, the ever-popular Meet the Prof's Night (highlight, year after year, of the social season), and the upcoming "Remember Remember the 5th of November" Guy Fawkes Day Celebration (which will start on Nov. 4). HUSA will also be organizing other events with PASS (the political studies association) and the English Undergrads, which HUSA members will get discounts to.
Karen Thomson(née Sander), M.A. 2006, is in the process of moving back to Saskatoon after a two-year stint working as an archivist in the Provincial Archives in Regina. She is now an archivist with the Saskatchewan Teacher's Federation in the Records and Archives Department. Welcome back, Karen.
The whole team here at What's Up is delighted to report that Rob Angove (M.A. 2005) is, as of last month, settling in nicely to his new job in Prince George, B.C. as the Graduate Studies Officer in the Registrar's Office at the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC). Congratulations, Rob.
This just in! This very day, Simonne Horwitz successfully defended her D.Phil thesis at Oxford. She will return shortly to resume teaching her honours seminar on "Health and Health Care in the Developing World in the 19th and 20 the centuries", and on October 1 she will commence her new appointment as CRC Post-doctoral Fellow in our department. Congratulations, Simonne!
History honours student Cody Powell, a regular contributor to the Sheaf campus newspaper, is now writing a column for the Sheaf on cultural history and nation states. It's entitled 'Better Know a Country' and runs every week in the news section. So far he has discussed Turkmenistan, Cambodia and Nicaragua. Watch for Cody's column on newstands everywhere.
Mark this on your calendars: On November 20, Melanie Racette-Campbell, an MA candidate in CMRS, will be giving a talk on "Pederasty and the Other in Classical Athens" as part of the campus Sexualities and Gender Discussion Series. The informal social institution of pederasty played an important role in the education and acculturation of aristocratic boys in Ancient Greece. Melanie's paper considers the ways in which it served to introduce the youth into elite political and social networks and to smooth his change of status from that of an “other” to that of a man. Stay tuned for further details as to the exact time and location.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Congratulations to the following student prize winners for 2005-06:

The James H. Gray Essay Prize for the best 400-level History research paper has been awarded to Brendan Kelly for his essay, "La Petite Guerre of the Iroquois and the Colonists of French Canada: A Study in Adaptation”, written for Dale Miquelon's History 450 class. Brendan graduated with his honours degree in May, and is currently pursuing his M.A. in our department.

The Simpson Prize in History, awarded to two first-year students deemed to have written the best exams in 100-level History courses, has been awarded to Elise Epp for her final exam in History 120, taught by Gordon DesBrisay; and Eric MacFarlane, for his final in History 122, taught by Lisa Smith.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Lisa Smith spent the Labour Day weekend labouring in a monastery in Massa Marittima, Tuscany. The town's imposing bell tower, seen in the photo to the right, served as a fitting backdrop for the conference on The Penis in Pre-Modern Western Culture, hosted by the Universities of Leicester and Warwick in England. Lisa's paper was entitled "'Monsters in Nature?': Male Sterility in Eighteenth-Century England and France".

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

July marks the start of a new administrative year, and this year the turnover has been larger than usual in the History Department. The big news is that Chris Kent is serving as acting head for the academic year 2006-07 while Brett Fairbairn is on leave. It is a huge job, and we are all very appreciative that Chris (who had already served his time as department head) has agreed to fill in for Brett.

In other switches, John Porter is the new Undergrad Director now that Martha Smith-Norris has completed her term in that post; Keith Carlson now chairs the Research Committee, succeeding Valerie Korinek; and Angela Kalinowski chairs the Instructional Committee now that Gordon DesBrisay has finished up there. Many thanks to the incomers for their willingness to serve, and to the outgoers for their dedicated efforts and many achievements over the past three or more years.

Meanwhile, over our CMRS colleague Carl Still has been elevated to the deanship of STM, and so Alan Reese succeeds him as chair of CMRS. Congratulations to both Carl and Alan.
The History Department's very own Geoff Cunfer has just been awarded the 2006 Theodore Saloutos Book Award for his On the Great Plains: Agriculture and Environment (Texas A&M University Press, 2005). This award is given by the Agricultural History Society for the year's most outstanding published work in American agricultural history. It was presented last month at the society's annual meeting in Cambridge, Massachusetts. May your work continue to flourish, Geoff!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

We here at What's Up normally write our own copy, but our new friends at History Compass have been kind enough to send along this What's Up-friendly ad for their essay competition. We see no reason why U of S grad students ought not to be on the receiving end of these prizes. As my grandmother once said to my father (the context need not concern us here), "Better you than some bum."

Submissions are invited for the 2006 History Compass Graduate Essay Prize

History Compass publishes peer reviewed survey articles from across the entire discipline. Experienced researchers, teaching faculty, and advanced students will all benefit from the accessible, informative articles that provide overviews of current research.

Entries for the 2006 Graduate Essay Prize should contain a strong survey element which ensures the essay remains accessible to the non-specialist. The incorporation of advanced graduate work is strongly encouraged.

There will be a prize-winning graduate essay for each of the 9 sections on History Compass:

Deadline: 1 September, 2006.

What do I win?
Each section winner will receive $200/£100 of free Blackwell books and have their article published on History Compass

Can I choose my own topic?
Those entering can choose their own topic; however, as with articles already published on History Compass, submitted essays should have a survey element, putting the chosen topic in context for the non-specialist.

Is there a word limit?
The upper word limit is 5000 words, including endnotes and bibliography.

What is the deadline?
September 1st 2006.

Where should I send my article?
Essays should be submitted by email as a Word document to Associate Managing Editor Keren Oertly at: Graduates must specify which section they are entering their essay for, and give details of their affiliation, and their supervisor's name and email address.

How is my essay reviewed?
The Review Panel for each section will comprise the relevant Editor(s) and three Editorial Board members. All submissions will be read 'blind'.

When will the winners be announced?
The winners will be announced at the 121st Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association, January 4-7, 2007in Atlanta.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Congratulations to Janice MacKinnon, who has been named Chair of the Board of Directors of the Institute for Research on Public Policy, an independent, national, nonprofit think-tank based in Montreal and dedicated to improving Canadian public policy by generating research, providing insight and sparking debate.

As part of her work trying to nudge public policy debate along, Janice will be speaking at the University of Prince Edward Island's Confederation Centre of the Arts, on"Canada's Health Care System: Why the Long Waiting Lists and High Costs?" on Thursday, July 20, as part of the 2006 Dr. Frank MacKinnon Lecture Series. "In a recent Supreme Court of Canada decision," she says, "Canada's health care system was criticized for having some of the longest waiting lists in the developed world despite the fact that Canadians are among the biggest spenders on health care. Facts like these are especially troubling since health care is sometimes seen as an essential part of Canada's identity, even though the evidence suggests that other developed countries have been more successful in creating affordable and effective health care systems." Janice will address these issues by looking at the origins and evolution of Canada's health care system and comparing it to other health care systems, like those of Western Europe.
Pam Jordan is in St. Petersburg, Russia, for the G8 Summit. She is affiliated with the University of Toronto-based G8 Research Group, whose members receive press passes to attend press conferences with G8 leaders. Pam hopes to interview several Russian officials at the Summit about their foreign policy perspectives and impressions of Russia's work on nuclear non-proliferation policy through the G8. She's also looking forward to free food and drink at the International Media Centre, as well as possibly meeting Bono or other lesser world-historical figures. She's renting an apartment in central St. Petersburg by the Fontanka Canal (right), just a block away from the building where Leo Tolstoy lived in the 1850s.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Bill Waiser, nominated by his colleagues here in the department, is among the five finalists for the 2006 Pierre Berton Award for achievement in popularizing Canadian history. The award celebrates "those who bring the past to life ... the wordsmiths who have dedicated their lives and careers to reminding us of our identity, our successes and our failures so that our future continues to grow strong." In announcing the nomination, Canada's National History Society noted, quite rightly, that Bill is “exceptional because he is so well regarded for the rigor of his research as well as his ability to tell a really good story.” This talent is evident with CBC-TV Saskatchewan’s popular history series Looking Back, which he hosted. His most recent book, Saskatchewan: A New History, released last year to mark the province’s centennial, is regarded as “the new definitive reference to the province's history.” Other finalists for the award include military historian Ted Barris, Ottawa Citizen journalist Randy Boswell, author Ken McGoogan, and the CBC Digital Archives. Canada's National History Society publishes The Beaver and Kayak, a Canadian history magazine for kids. This year’s winner will be announced in October at the National History Conference in Vancouver.
While Lisa Smith has been in London conducting further research, the fruits of other recent work have just been published in the Journal of Family History, available in our library on-line. If you are on campus or logged into the library from afar, click here to read more. Otherwise, you can easily fetch it for yourself: Lisa Smith, "The Relative Duties of a Man: Domestic Medicine in England and France, ca.1685-1740", Journal of Family History 31, 3 (2006): 237-265.
The library has just added the Catholic Periodical and Literature Index (CPLI) to its online resources. A bibliographic database compiled by the American Theological Library Association (ATLA) and the Catholic Library Association, covering all aspects of the Catholic faith and lifestyle. It indexes articles and reviews published in Roman Catholic periodicals, Papal documents, church promulgations, and books about the Catholic faith that are authored by Catholics and/or produced by Catholic publishers. Click here to check it out.
Historical Statistics of the United States (HSUS) is the latest online miracle added to the University Library collection. The standard source for the quantitative facts of American history, the site includes the capability to customize and download tables of data. So, you can:

* Download tables in Excel or CSV; also download entire groups of tables as a zip file.
* Create custom tables; merge columns from multiple tables to create custom tables, which can also be downloaded, printed, or graphed.
* Advanced searching of the tables, their documentation, and essays.
* Full citation downloading in RIS, text, or CSV format.

Click here to learn more about HSUS. You never know, you could get hooked and become a specialist -- a Dr. HSUS.

The innumerate among you ought not to flinch, because the spreadsheet you likely have already (Excel, for example, which is usually bundled with MS Word) means, in essence, that you have a machine that can do the math for you, thereby putting the power of quantification at your fingertips. Feel the power!

If you are new to spreadsheets, by the way, your friends at Google are beginning to make available their own free Google Spreadsheet, which is very easy to use. Being internet-based, it allows you to share your number crunching activities with all designated Google-spreadsheet-equipped friends (or colleagues or students or classmates, whether friends or not), and it is also a simple matter to save your work to your own hard drive for smooth integration in and out of Excel and other heavier-duty terrestrially-based spreadsheets. You probably need one of Google's e-mail (GMail) accounts to use the spreadsheet, but that is free too, and worth having if only for this purpose. Click here to learn more.
Just so you know, as of Wednesday, July 5th, "select campus buildings will be locked overnight from 8:00 p.m. until 7:00 a.m. in order to improve the personal safety of the many young people who are staying here on campus." Fair enough. The policy of not over-burdening such announcements with useful information remains in effect, however, and so it was not felt necessary to specify which campus buildings have been deemed select. Rest assured, though, that when faculty and staff find themselves locked out of where they wish/need to be, they are invited to call Campus Safety at 966-5555 in order to be let in. Any questions or concerns can be directed to Communications at 966-2213.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Gotta dance? Those of you who have been looking in vain for Y. Daniel's essential Rumba: dance and social change in contemporary Cuba, or C. Howard's classic Just one more dance: a collection of old western square dance calls (you know who you are) should know that the library has moved all volumes with the "GV" call number designation to the Education Library, located (sensibly enough, but we here at What's Up have learned not to take such things for granted) in the Education Building, where all the other "G" volumes already reside. But there is no need to panic. Rest assured that a legit U of S library card allows you much the same borrowing privileges at all campus libraries.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Roger Carpenter, who taught American History in our department in 2004-05, has just landed a tenure-track appointment at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, starting in August. Congratulations, Roger!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Congratulations to Pauline Melis, Director of Institutional Planning at this university and proud history graduate (BA High Hons, 1977, MA 1982), who was recently awarded the President's Service Award for her instrumental role in the creation of all major policy and planning documents at the U of S over the past 15 years. Pulling these documents together has required vast effort, patience, skill, and fortitude, not to mention diplomatic skills of a high order. We here at What's Up shamelessly trade on the success of our distinguished alumni, but we honestly suspect that Pauline's training in history shows in her ability to take on so many varied projects over the years; in her grasp of both the details and the big picture of this sprawling cluster of semi-autonomous institutional fiefdoms; and in a certain sense of perspective (and irony) that helps her see beyond the crisis of the day. Click here to read more about Pauline and her path from the seventh floor.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

History grad students are reminded that the deadline for voting in the elections for officers to the Graduate Student's Committee of the Canadian Historical Association is June 16th. Ph.D. candidate Selena Crosson is also a candidate for Treasurer of the GSC.
We historians are of course in the business of bending time, but you will need more than usual skill in order to catch last night's broadcast of Long Shadows, the SCN tv series dedicated to the lives and stories of prominent Saskatchewenians. Last night's episode featured the life and story of our own Bill Waiser. Happily, you need only stay up late tonight (and have cable) in order to catch the repeat showing at 11:30 pm.
While we here at What's Up were vacationing just now, word arrived over the newswires that Brendan Kelly, who graduated with High Honours in History, was awarded two convocation awards last week: the Charles W. Lightbody Convocation Prize in History and the Copland Prize in the Humanities. A fantastic accomplishment. Congratulations, Brendan.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Why, it seems as though it was only April 22, 2005 when we congratulated Laura Mitchell (BA hons. 2005) on being accepted into the M.A. program at the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto. And now here we are again, congratulating her for her swift advance on to the doctoral program there. Well done, Laura!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

What's Up's loyal correspondent and founding mentor Peter Scott, retired from the U. of S. and now a roving library internet guru to the world, keeps an eye out for fascinating web resources that the global What's Up community needs to know about. Among his latest gems is Newsfilm Online, planned to be 3,000 hours of British television news and cinema newsreels, taken from the huge collection of the ITN/Reuters archive, is to be made available online in high quality format for teaching, learning and research. Newsfilm Online will, if it does say so itself, be a gateway of unmatched richness to nearly one hundred years of news, from the 1910s to the present day. This demonstrator web site is making some fifty news clips (approximately one hour of material) freely available for downloading to all users. These clips are arranged by theme and decade, and we welcome your comments on any of these. We hope to add more clips to the site in due course. The main delivery of 3,000 hours will be in February 2007. Check it out at:

The George Grantham Bain Collection at the Library of Congress represents the photographic files of one of America's earliest news picture agencies. The collection richly documents sports events, theater, celebrities, crime, strikes, disasters, political activities including the woman suffrage campaign, conventions and public celebrations. The photographs Bain produced and gathered for distribution through his news service were worldwide in their coverage, but there was a special emphasis on life in New York City. The bulk of the collection dates from the 1900s to the mid-1920s, but scattered images can be found as early as the 1860s and as late as the 1930s. Click on any of the images above to enlarge, or check out the entire collection at:
ProQuest Information and Learning has completed the digitization of the British House of Commons Parliamentary Papers from 1801 to 1900. Parliamentary Papers are considered to be the most detailed primary source for information on 19th-century Britain, its colonies (including, of course, Canada), and the wider world. Have a look at:
Library and Archives Canada has announced the launch of the Census of 1851 (Canada East, Canada West, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia). By 1851, the pattern of decennial census taking had been established. Searchable by geographic location, the 1851 Census offers a rich source of information about Canada East, Canada West, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia in the middle of the 19th century. The digital images within this database are copies of the original microfilm records held by Library and Archives Canada, and are searchable by geographic location only. There are limitations: not all geographic places are covered, and the database is not searchable by family name. Still, the data here can be used to prepare family histories where the family's location is known, and forms an essential base for the history of towns and villages, research immigration trends and a great deal more. Check it out at:

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Rob Scott (M.A. 2004) will be moving south from his Alberta base at the end of the summer. Rob has been accepted and offered funding in the doctoral program of the University of Arizona,where he will continue his work on Guatemala. Congratulations Rob!
Slightly belated congratulations to former M.A. candidate Lynda Airriess , who successfully defended her thesis, "'Apuleius' The Golden Ass: Anti-Christian Opinion Concealed as an Ass-Tale" on April 28th.
More timely congratulations to one-time M.A. candidate Jean Ruiz, who yesterday successfully defended her MA thesis on "Civilized People in Uncivilized Places, Nature, Race, and Rubber in Northwestern Amazonia".
John McCannon and Gordon DesBrisay are named in the 2006 Maclean's Guide to Canadian Universities (available now at newstands everywhere!) in the list of "Popular Profs" at the U of S, according to "current students".

Monday, May 08, 2006

As if our M.A. candidates had not been in the news enough lately, here comes Jean Ruiz, who will defend her thesis, "Civilized People in Uncivilized Places: Nature, Race, and Rubber in Northwestern Amazonia", in an oral defence to be held Wednesday, May 10 at 9:30 in Arts 710.
Congratulations to Cameron Goodfellow, newly elected president of the University of Saskatchewan Graduate Students' Association (G.S.A.).
Congratulations to our grad students just returned from the University of Regina/University of Saskatchewan Graduate History Students' Conference, held this past Saturday in Regina. Two van's worth of U of S presenters gave papers, including Tom Novosel, “CCF Lost Opportunities for a Provincial Pulp and/or Paper Industry: The Potential for a 'New Empire' in Northern Saskatchewan”; Byron Plant, “Administering the Urban “Indian Problem”: Aboriginal Urbanization and Federal-Provincial Relations after 1945”; Christine Charmbury, “Foreign Indians: Implications of the Dakota Peoples Migration From American to Canadian Territories after 1862”; Rob Morley “Identity, Individuality, Masculinity and Morale in British Pilot Training, 1912 – 1918”; Sarah Person, “Hugo Chavez and the New Latin American Left"; Melanie Racette-Campbell, “Pederasty and the Other in Classical Athens”; Orysia Ehrmantraut, “Reflections on the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church”; Chris Clarke, “Simple Explanations for Individualized Experiences: The Different Voices Within New World Travel Writing"; Cinnamon Pandur, “The Changing Face of Archaeology on Canada's Pacific Coast in the Later Half of the 20th Century”; and Lindsay Manz, “A Soviet Tale: Literary Policy and the Appropriation of Folklore in Children's Literature, 1932-1941.”
History will be well represented at Stepping Stones 2006, the 14th annual graduate student conference sponsored by the College of Graduate Studies and Research and the Graduate Students' Association. The conference is an all-day affair that starts at 8:45 on Wednesday, May 10th in STM 344B. Our very own MA candidate Cameron Goodfellow will start things off at 9:am with an opening address delivered in his capacity as incoming president of the G.S.A., at 9:45 fellow M.A. candidate Chris Clarke will deliver a paper entitled "The Blogger and the Travel Writer: How Today’s Technological Advancement Can Affect Historical Thinking"; and at 11:00 Ph.D. candidate Jason Zorbas will deliver "The Narrative Triumphant: Examining the Lack of Technological and Theoretical Innovation in Canadian Diplomatic History".
M.A. candidates Lindsay Manz, Rob Morley, and Kimberley Bergen were in Winnipeg recently to present papers at the Fort Garry Lectures in History Graduate Student Conference held at the University of Manitoba April 27-29. Lindsay's paper was entitled "A Soviety Tale: Literary Policy and the Appropriation of Folklore in Children's Literature, 1932-1941"; Rob's was "Forlorn Flyboys: Individuality, Masculinity and Morale in the Flight Schools of the Royal Flying Corps, 1912-1918"; and Kimberly's was "I loved my child too dearly: Examing Familial Dynamics through Seventeenth Century Scottish Life-writings". Congratulations to them all.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Congratulations to Gordon Barnhart (B.A. hons. & Ph.D.), who sometime this summer will become Saskatchewan's next lieutenant-governnor, replacing Lynda Haverstock as the Queen's representative to this province. Gordon's career has prepared him ideally for the post, and not just because top posts should always go to historians. He recently took early retirement from his post as University Secretary, and prior to that (with "time out" to complete his doctorate in the interim) he served as Clerk of the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly from 1969 to 1989 and as Clerk of the Senate of Canada from 1989 to 1994: Gord knows protocol. And of course he knows his history, too. Along with everything else he has accomplished, he has managed to publish numerous articles and books, including Peace, Progress and Prosperity, a biography of Saskatchewan’s first premier, T. Walter Scott. Which, we happen to know, is currently on sale at But before you click away to buy it, raise a glass to Dr. Gordon Barnhart, our next Lieutenant-Governor.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

What's Up is relieved to report that Professor Emeritus Hugh Johnson is recovering from a heart attack suffered on April 3rd. What with angioplasty and medication, he is home and doing well. Hugh and Suzanne retired to BC some years ago, and their address is 2128A Weiler Ave. Victoria BC, V8L 1R4.
M.A. candidate Lynda Airriess will defend her thesis, "'Apuleius' The Golden Ass: Anti-Christian Opinion Concealed as an Ass-Tale", this Friday, April 28, 2006 at 9:30 in Arts 710. Good luck, Lynda!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The 2006 Martin Memorial Lectures, entitled Shakespeare Reading St. Paul will be given by Dr. Randall Martin, Professor of English and University Research Professor at the University of New Brunswick. The lectures will take as part of the annual Spring Festival jointly sponsored by Emmanuel and St. Chad and Lutheran Theological Seminary, from May 2-5, 2006, in the Lutheran Seminary Library. Dr .Martin will offer three lectures: Tuesday, May 2nd - 2 pm "Put Grace in your Pocket: Did Shakespeare read St. Paul?"; Wednesday May 3rd - 7 pm "The Ear of Man Hath Not Seen: Paul as Cultural Software"; Thursday May 5th (time to be announced) - "It is Required/You Do Awake Your Faith: Theatre and the Grace of the Event”. Click here to read more.
Regular readers of What's Up will know that Valerie Korinek has been nominated (by multiple people) for the Saskatoon YWCA Woman of Distinction Award. Since 1982, the award has recognized women who are “leaders, mentors, facilitators, communicators, supporters, and listeners.” On all those counts, Valerie is a most worthy nominee. The winner will be announced at the award banquet on June 8th.

Here are some further details regarding the gala event itself, which will be held at TCU Place (formerly Centennial Auditorium). Tickets are $90 each or $680 for a table of eight tickets: this is the YWCA's major fundraising event of the year, and all proceeds go towards supporting the programs and services it provides. Tickets can be purchased by calling 244-7034 ext 122 or 121, or by sending in the ticket order form. For more informationion, please email, or call the number above.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Larry Stewart's talk in the Reproductive Science and Medicine Seminar scheduled for last week will in fact be given this week, on Thursday, April 27th from 3:30-4:30 in the Club Room of the Faculty Club . Larry's paper is still entitled "The uses of humans in experiment: some considerations of an early-modern problem", and still reviews the political and ethical difficulties of experimentations on human subjects from the from the 17th century onwards.
Fresh from their financial triumph (ca. $1500!) at this past weekend's garage sale fundraiser, the students heading down to the Medieval Congress in Kalamazoo, Michigan are having their final fundraising event of the season this Thursday (April 27th). They will be holding a beer night at Winston's, running from 7-9 or so. The cost will be $10. This is a great way to end the year and help support CMRS students. Hope to see you there.

Monday, April 24, 2006

The U of S/ U of R History Graduate Conference is to be held in Regina on Saturday, May 6, 2006. It has the makings of a very interesting day. Along with some excellent graduate student papers, there will be a fine dinner at the U of R faculty club, a dinner talk by Professor Daniel Woolf from the University of Alberta on "Globalizing Historiography: Challenges, Obstacles and Opportunities" (a talk that promises to be well worth the drive in itself), and plenty of opportunity to have a drink or two with University of Regina folk. Saskatoon-based faculty recently praised Regina as "nicer than you might think", especially if you happen to be relaxing in the fine bar at the Hotel Saskatchewan. Click here for a poster offering further details, or click here for the registration form.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Each, year the History Department awards the Kathleen R. McKenzie Scholarship, valued at roughly $1500, to the student with the highest cumulative percentage average in all courses who is entering the fourth year of the U of S History Honours program. Unlike most other scholarships over which our department has any say, high-graded students cannot just wait for this one to fall into their lap because students must apply to be considered for this award. So, the thing is, in practice the award does not necessarily always go to the student with the highest average entering their fourth year, but it absolutely always goes to the student with the highest average entering their fourth year who happens to apply. So, if you think you might be anywhere near the running for this, rather than obsess about whether your sterling record to date might or might not be superior to some other person's sterling record, throw your hat in the ring. As the ads for the New York State Lottery so succintly put it: "Hey, you never know." Application forms can be found in the wall unit outside the mail room, or online at
Deadline: April 30

Friday, April 21, 2006

Congratulations to M.A. candidate Christine Charmbury, who was recently awarded a $5,000 Centennial Merit Scholarship from the Province of Saskatchewan. The scholarship program, based on a cost-sharing formula in which the province contributes about half the money and institutions and other donors the other half, was established in 2001 to keep promising young scholars in the province. The overall size of the program quadrupled recently, and this year for the first time local students enrolled in graduate programs could apply. We don't know if Christine raised the ante in her application by threatening to leave, but we're glad she's here.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The New York Times today reports that the German government has decided to drop its decades-long resistance to opening one of the largest Holocaust archives in the world, kept in the town of Bad Arolsen. Many of the fifty million documents, 15 miles worth of paper, were seized by the Allies as they liberated concentration camps. About half of the collection has been copied in digital form to date, and relatives of survivors have been able to request information, but the underfunded (by the Germans) international consortium established to run the archives in 1955 has often taken years to respond to such requests. Today's announcement reverses a previous German position to restrict access to the archives on account of the sensitive personal information they contain regarding both both victims and perpetrators.
In the next little while, over 20 of our graduate and undergraduate students will set out for Kalamazoo, Michigan in the company of Professors Frank Klaassen and Sharon Wright to attend the International Conference on Medieval Studies held there every year. As part of the fundraising efforts to help pay for this epic trek, the Kalamazooers are having a GARAGE SALE this weekend, Saturday the 22nd and Sunday the 23rd of April.

So far, they have everything one could dream of for a successful garage sale: prime location (807 Preston Avenue, on the corner of Main Street), auspicious timing, and enthusiastic volunteers. They could, however, always use more items to sell, and are still accepting donations of stuff. Your stuff, in fact, should you be so kind. Things like furniture, movies or resalable clothing are all welcome. They can't guarantee that it will sell, but they do guarantee that you won't have to worry about it ever again!

Any questions concerning pick up of items, limits on what we will take, or anything else can be directed to John Holgate at If you prefer the phone, his number is 244-2756. And even if you don't wish to donate stuff, do feel free this weekend to come by and buy.
The last History Grad Student Colloquium of the year will be held this Friday, April 21st at 3:30 downstairs in the Club Room of the Faculty Club. Kimberly Bergen will deliver a paper entitled "I loved my child too dearly”: Examining Family Dynamics through Seventeenth Century Scottish Life-Writings", and Adam Crocker will speak on "Indigenous Identity and Political Platforms: The EZLN's Fight For Autonomy in the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve". Faculty and grad students welcome.