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.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

POTTER-HEADS TAKE NOTE: this summer, John Porter (not Potter) will preside over groups reading the first volume of the Harry Potter (not Porter) series in its Latin and Attic Greek translations. If you'd like to join in, contact John at and let him know when you might be available. And be sure to tell all your friends!

For a sample of the Potter texts, click here. And here.

Never one for half measures, John has, for the Latin version, begun a grammatical commentary to help first-year students deal with constructions they haven't yet met or haven't had time to become comfortable with (esp. uses of the subjunctive, the gerund, and the gerundive). You can find this Porter text at:

Finally, if your hankering for Latin inclines you to more elevated (and longer) subject matter, a group led by Lewis Stiles is working through the Vulgate Bible. Contact Lewis at
Larry Stewart will present a paper in the Reproductive Science and Medicine Seminar this on Thursday, April 20th from 3:30-4:30 in the Club Room of the Faculty Club . Larry's paper is entitled "The uses of humans in experiment: some considerations of an early-modern problem", and reviews the political and ethical difficulties of experimentations on human subjects from the from the 17th century onwards.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Congratulations to former M.A. candidate Karen Sander Thomson, a candidate no more thanks to today's successful defense of her thesis, "Women and Debt Litigation in Seventeenth-Century Scotland: Credit and Credibility".

Karen lives in Regina now, and after completing a one-year temporary appointment she has recently joined the Saskatchewan Archives Board on a permanent basis, as an Information Management Archivist in the Government Records Branch. So congratulations on that, too, Karen.
Dale Miquelon may be retiring from the department, but he is still breaking new ground historically. The latest issue of Revue d'histoire de l'Amérique française (vol. 59, nos.1-2) features Dale's first French-language publication,"Les Pontchartrain se penchent sur leurs cartes de l'Amérique: les cartes et l'impérialisme, 1690-1712". The article works from the assumption that historical maps are not simply scientific reflections of geography, but are better understood as "constructions" that show us how past societies understood their world. The maps in play here, Dale shows, shed new light on the nature of French continental and imperialist ambitions for North America in the last years of Louis XIV.
JUST SAY 'YES' TO HISTORY. Bill Waiser's op-ed piece in the Globe and Mail this past Friday, April 14th, urges all Canadians to answer "yes" to survey question 53 on National Census Day, May 16th 2006. Question 53 asks whether or not you consent to having your census material released once the newly-instituted 92 year (don't ask) holding period is up. Doing the historically unthinkable and answering "no" will deprive historians out of your data long after (sorry) you are dead. Bill was prominent in the public campaign that eventually resulted in federal legislation instituting the 92-year release date, which marks a considerable advance on Canada's previous standard of "never". (Americans, mind you, release their vital statististics after just 70 years, and nobody much minds.) Answering Question 53 in the affirmative on May 16th will allow future generations of genealogists and historians and who-knows-who to delve into one of the most fundamental historical sources there is. So just say yes to history.

Monday, April 10, 2006

It turns out that there is another SSHRC-er in our midst. Chris Kent has been awarded a three-year $59,000 SSHRC grant for his study entitled: "Gentlemen and Tailors: Clothing, Class & Masculinity in Britain, 1840-1914." Congratulations Chris!

Faculty and doctoral students can look forward to a preview of Chris' new work at our next History Faculty Research Workshop on April 28th.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Last night's History Graduation Banquet was a charming affair enjoyed by all those in attendance, including soon-to-be graduates, somewhat-less-soon-to-be graduates, friends, family, and faculty. Keith Carlson gave a fine keynote address, one that featured a remarkable (and for some in the audience, perhaps, slightly uncomfortable in the "too close to home" sense) disquisition on student requests for extensions on essays and what they can tell us, not only about the real-world struggles and other-world creative powers of our students, but about the very meaning of History -- and, indeed, Time itself. Food for thought -- which, along with food for eating and drink for drinking, made for a fine evening all around. Click here to read the text of Keith's talk.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Say it ain't so! You might have thought
that Dale Miquelon was not the
retiring sort, but it turns out, alas, that he is. Dale, seen here practicing for retirement with his wife Pat, taught his very last class (for the record, History 450.6, "French Canada Before 1800") yesterday afternoon. He will retire at the end of this academic year after a distinguished career that features exceptional contributions in research, teaching, and administration -- the three-part academic equivalent of the grand slam.
Geoff Cunfer has good reason to smile. Geoff has just been awarded a three-year $95,000 SSHRC Standard Research Grant for his study "Rethinking the Dust Bowl." Geoff joined our department in September, having taught previously at Southwest Minnesota State University. His prizewinning 2005 book, On the Great Plains: Agriculture and Environment (Texas A&M Press) is racking up glowing reviews. Winning a SSHRC of this value in his first year of eligibility is testimony both to Geoff's outstanding record to date, and to the promise of even better yet to come. Congratulations, Geoff!

Congratulations, too, to Brett Fairbairn. Already principal investigator for a $589,000 SSHRC grant for a major interdisciplinary (and, indeed, cooperative) project entitled "Co-operative Membership and Globalization: Creating Social Cohesion", Brett is now also co-investigator on two new projects that have recently been funded: "Adapting to New Environments:Agriculture and Rural Economies in the 21st Century,"($300,000), and “Strategic Research Network on Social Innovation, the Social Economy, and Civil Society" ($25,000). So Brett, too, has every reason to smile.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The Canadian Historical Association has just announced its list of Clio Book Prizes for this year. And the Prairie Region Clio goes to.... Bill Waiser for Saskatchewan:A New History. The prize will be presented at the CHA meetings at York University later this spring. Congratulations Bill, for this well deserved honour.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Congratulations to Ann DeVito (Classics/CMRS) and Keith Carlson, both of whom were among the nominees for this year's 2005-2006 USSU Teaching Excellence Awards.
The next CMRS Colloqium will be held this Thursday, April 6th and features a presentation by honours student and HUSA stalwart Chris Phillips, "The Syve Will Turne Rounde: Reclaiming Ritual Magic in Oxford MS, Bodley Additional B.1" Chris' talk is a dry-run for a paper he will be delivering next month at the International Conference on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The colloquium meets in STM 344B. Grape beverage and cheese at 4pm, paper at 4:30. Absolutely everyone welcome.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Will be held Friday April 7th at the Travelodge Hotel (106 circle drive west). Reception starts at 5:30 and dinner is served at 6:00. The cost is $25.00 a plate. Feel free to bring friends and family to this event. Those who are not graduating are also welcome to attend.

Tickets will be on sale in the tunnel next week. They will also be available for purchase at the door, however, we will need to know how many are coming so if you could let HUSA know in advance by email ( it would be greatly appreciated. Vegetarian options are available upon request.

The legendary 1907 HUSA banquet, seen above just moments before the police arrived, is not expected to be emulated in its entirety.