Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Hot of on the hooves of last year's ground-shuddering success, we bring you Buffalo II!

A lot of people talk about the Return of the Buffalo, but here at the University of Saskatchewan we make it happen....

The University of Saskatchewan Department of History
Invites proposals for the 2nd annual

Buffalo Province History Conference

Presentations on all historical topics 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.

Proposals for both complete panels and individual papers are welcome.

Panel Proposals should include a 250 word abstract for the panel as a whole as well as information for the individual papers. For an individual paper, please include a 250 word abstract and short biographical sketch. Please send submissions to Keith Thor Carlson ( by December 17th 2007.

For more information, visit our website:

About the Buffalo Province History Conference
In 1904, Sir Frederick Haultain, the Northwest Territories’ first and only premier, had a dream: to unite the prairies into a single province called Buffalo. Building on that dream, the Buffalo Province History Conference seeks to bring together graduate students and faculty from Canada’s Prairie universities in a rigorous and collegial environment. Manitou Springs Resort and Mineral Spa ( is located in the centre of Buffalo province, one hour southeast of Saskatoon in the resort town of Manitou Beach.

Monday, November 26, 2007

The next CMRS colloquium will be held on Thursday, November 29th at 4:00 in STM 344B (with the presentation slated to begin at 4:30). And this one is special. "Frescoes, Fountains and Fizzy Water: Three Weeks in the Eternal City" is a presentation by the student participants in this past year's Rome Summer Program (Katrina Bens, Chantal de Medeiros, Becky Littlechilds, Sarah Ostafie, Felipe Paredes-Canevari, Nina Thurlow), who will discuss their experiences in Rome and the nature of the program. Since this will almost certainly not be the last Roman study-abroad opportunity offered by Professor Angela Kalinowski, there's all the more reason to see what the wildly successful first edition was all about.

While it might seem cruel [note from editor: it is cruel] to remind people in Saskatchewan in
late November of what Rome can be like in the Summer, this promises to be a highly entertaining and inspiring presentation. Everyone welcome.

Friday, November 23, 2007

While the current moratorium on library lending makes life undeniably difficult for all history students, the growing array of electronic sources does make life less difficult than it might otherwise have been. In addition to Historical Abstracts, Academic Search Premier, Early English Books Online, Eighteenth Century Collections Online, and various treasures you probably already know about, there are others you might consider.

For one thing, the library continues to roll out new offerings on a permanent or trial basis: you can see what's new for yourself at

Don't forget to check out the History subject page in the library catalogue, which pulls links to most of the main electronic sources under one roof. When you click on the History link, it opens by default to the options for finding journal articles.

To see the offerings under books, click on the "Books & Theses" tab near the top of that page, and scroll down to check the options for "eBooks". You might get lucky and find just the tome you need, in its full searchable entirety.

One potentially useful option not presented on the library page is the University of California Press, a leading academic publisher that makes a surprising number of its books free to the universe via their "eScholarship Editions" web portal at
You can click on "View Public Titles" under the search box to filter out books that are not available for free. Note that the default for the simple search box on their site is a title search, so don't be surprised if your author search gathers zilch first time. Click here to see one especially useful book they offer free to everyone.

And don't forget that you can find amazing things at Google Books Search (not to be confused with a regular Google search), and Live Search Books. Both sites offer tens if not hundreds of thousands of out-of-copyright (but often still state-of-the-art) books that can be read and downloaded freely, and both sites also allow you the option of searching their entire holdings by keyword or a key phrase. That's a revolution. Both, and especially Live Search Books, offer access to significant portions of some brand new books, as well: don't assume that you won't find anything new there. Both sites are particularly valuable for finding 19th and early 20th century editions of earlier works, including diaries and editions of letters or public records that were never published in any other edition.

We all know that there is no such thing as a free lunch, but it seems that sage advice does not apply to breakfast. Not, at least, if you are a student of the College of Arts and Science. Because if you move quickly and get your name on the list, you could get in on the following Breakfast Opportunity of a Lifetime (offered monthly).

Breakfast with the Dean, College of Arts and Science

Dean Jo-Anne Dillon
invites Arts and Science students to join her
for breakfast and conversation.

Time: 7:30 am
Date: Tuesday, November 27
Place: Faculty Club

The first 12 students to sign up will be reserved a place at breakfast.
Sign-up sheet is posted in the ASSU office.

Breakfast with the Dean will be held monthly.
An important announcement from the U of S Library:
For the duration of the CUPE strike, no loans (that is: check-out, interlibrary loans, laptop lending) are available at University Library branches.

However, through arrangements between the University and the USSU, photocopying in all University Library branches will be free to students while loan services are unavailable.

Photocopiers are also available in the Reserve areas of each branch library for copying Reserve materials. Also, a DVD/video player is now available in the Murray Library Reserve area for viewing DVDs and videos on Reserve in Murray while these items are not available for loan.

Fines have been suspended for the duration of the CUPE strike. However, books can be returned--if you do not need them, return them so others can use them in the Library. This also applies to Interlibrary Loan materials. Books that have been returned are being reshelved.

Although the STM Library Catalogue has been integrated with the U. of S. Library Catalogue, the STM Library is independent. Books can be borrowed from STM Library.

There are other collections on campus that are also independent. See "other Library Catalogues" on the Library's web site.

Note that books borrowed from STM or other campus libraries do need to be returned when due.

The Library's Electronic resources continue to be available as normal through the Library’s website.
Reference service remains available in Murray Library in most of the other branches when they are open. The AskUS Live (IM) ( services are available as normal.
Library hours are continually being revised, please see the website before making a trip to campus.
Bill Waiser has received two Saskatchewan Book Award shortlist nominations for two different books. In the non-fiction category, Everett Baker’s Saskatchewan (Fifth House Publishers) examines the photographic work of Saskatchewan Wheat Pool field man Everett Baker, who documented on film everyday people doing everyday things in Saskatchewan in the 1940s and 1950s. His colour photographs have been described as a national treasure.
Nominated in the Children's category, Tommy Douglas is a biography of Saskatchewan’s longest serving premier in Fitzhenry and Whiteside’s “The Canadians” series. The book is aimed at adolescent readers and represents Waiser’s first venture at writing history for a younger audience.

Allison Fairbairn, events coordinator at Saskatoon’s McNally Robinson bookstore, said, “Bill Waiser has the remarkable ability to choose topics that resonate deeply with prairie readers, and to make history both readable and immensely enjoyable. At McNally Robinson we know that a new book by Bill will be an instant bestseller.” The Saskatchewan Books Awards are now in their fifteenth year. The awards gala will take place at Regina’s Conexus Arts Centre on November 24. Good luck, Bill!
In the fantastically good news department, we here at What's Up would like to extend a belated Happy Birth Day to Shoshana Abigail Miller, and to welcome her to the history community. Shoshana was born at 4:02 a.m. on Thursday, November 15th, and weighed in 7 pounds 1/2 oz. Shoshana is the daughter of M.A. candidate Tenyia Miller and her husband David Miller. All the Millers are doing well. Very well, in fact.
Congratulations to Ph.D. candidate Merle Massie, whose article "‘Has Saskatchewan any History?’: Writing Provincial History in Saskatchewan 1913-2005 will appear in the Fall 2008 edition of Prairie Forum. The essay is an expanded version of the paper Merle gave at the Buffalo Province conference in Watrous in May 2007.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

This just in to the What's Up news desk, from our loyal HUSA correspondent, Margaret Robbins...


What: The Killing Fields
When: Tuesday, November 13 at 7 pm
Where: Neatby-Timlin Theatre (aka ARTS 241)
Why: Come here Professor Pam Jordan introduce the film and learn about this dark chapter of Cambodian history. The story is about an American in Cambodia during an 'ethnic cleansing' campaign.Whether you know a lot of or no Cambodian history this would be a super time to learn something new! The movie has a fantastic reputation and Professor Jordan will extrapolate on the history and the portrayal. It promises to be an informative and super interesting night!

Don't forget that the movie is FREE and there will be a small concession there for all your movie munching needs. Feel free to bring non-history students to this event because it is free for all. Hope you all can make it! Hooray!
Margaret Robbins

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Remember how T.A.s and Profs used to always go on about how it was important for students to prepare for tutorials or seminars? Well, click here for an enlightening two minute video demonstration of what can happen if you don't do your homework. With thanks to the crack news team at the Onion News Network.
The Department of History is extremely pleased to announce that the University of Saskatchewan will present Carla Fehr with the University Medal in Social Sciences and the Dean of Arts and Science Medal at fall convocation, this coming Saturday, October 27th.

Fehr grew up on a farm in the Osler area and attends the University of Saskatchewan where she recently earned a Bachelor of Arts Honours Degree in International Studies (Development Stream). During her undergraduate career, Fehr was involved in various on-campus groups, including Engineers Without Borders, the International Studies Student Association, and the Model United Nations.

Carla is at present in the Master’s program in History studying under the supervision of Dr. Jim Handy. She is the examining The Economist magazine between 1843 and 1871 and its role and influence in shaping the modern world.

Congratulations to Carla!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Say it loud!





The sixth annual HUSA History Film Series!


Thermopylae, 480 B.C.E. Greece vs. Persia. The greatest last stand in ancient history.

To save their fellow Greeks from domination at the hands of the Persian ruler Xerxes, King Leonidas of Sparta and his band of 300 warriors defend a crucial mountain pass against an army of countless thousands. They fight knowing that their fate is certain annihilation. But their self-sacrifice delays the invasion long enough to allow the rest of Greece to prepare for resistance—and ultimate victory.

First told by the Greek historian Herodotus, the tale of Leonidas now comes to life in the graphic novel by Frank Miller and the 2006 film 300 by Zack Snyder. But as history or myth? Come find out with HUSA!

Introduced by Angela Kalinowski, Department of History/CMRS

DATE & TIME: Thursday, October 25 @ 7:00 p.m.

PLACE: Arts 241 (Neatby-Timlin Theatre)

ADMISSION: free! (refreshments available for a small fee)

Tomorrow's History Graduate Students Colloquium features presentations by Mandy Fehr, "The Relationships of Place: A Study of Memory, Change, and Identity in Aboriginal British Columbia", and Tenyia Miller, "Sickness as a Scripted Occasion: Reading Religious Language in Seventeenth-Century Illness Narratives." Friday, October 19, 3:30 pm in the Faculty Club (downstairs). Grad students and faculty welcome.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Ever wondered not just why you would, and not just whether you would, but how you would actually apply to grad school? If so (or even, frankly, if not), have we got an undergrad workshop for you! And just so as nobody is confused, we're calling it:

How to Apply to Grad School

A History Department Undergraduate Workshop

Wednesday, October 17th, 2:30-4:00pm in Arts 102

If you are even thinking of applying to graduate school in the next year or two, be sure to come along for some pertinent, helpful, and altogether free advice.*

Our resident experts will set you straight on

Canadian, American, & British grad programmes!

(and programs!)

Get the inside scoop from current grad students and faculty members involved in grad school within living memory! Find out what you need to do to get to the best place for you! Learn how to get somebody else to pay for it!


All that, plus

Refreshments will be served!

As they say in grad school, “whaddayagoddalose?”

* not to be confused with the sort of free advice best left unheeded

The Diefenbaker Centre is hosting a fascinating exhibition, "Imagining Reproduction in Science & History", on now through October 28th. The exhibition features images of the body dating mainly from the period 1650-1800, and is being held in conjunction with a conference of the same title, October 19-21st. The conference, which is by invitation only, involves scholars from Canada, the U.S., and Britain, and presenters include our very own Lisa Smith and Larry Stewart. Click here for the conference program, and to see more of the images on display.
As previously noted below, don't forget to remember to attend Gary Zellar's HGSC Lecture Series presentation, “African Creeks: Race and Identity in the Creek Nation”, Thursday October 18th at 3:00pm in Room 1022 of the Education Building. Click here for details.
This week's CMRS colloquium will be presented by Dr. Maud McInerney of Haverford University in Pennsylvania:

Amazons in Haute Couture: Translation and Transformation in the Twelfth Century Troy Story

Thursday, 18 October at 4:00 in STM 344B. (Talk to begin at 4:30.)

Dr. McInerney specializes in medieval English literature, but also has degrees in Classics. Her discussion of the history of the Tale of Troy promises to be most interesting. Everyone welcome.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Some of our best friends are profs. Seriously.

And students.
So you can bet that we here at What's Up will be sending one of the top reporters to bring you all the action as it happens tomorrow night at the

HUSA Social Highlight of the Year,

Meet the Profs Night!

You don't want to miss this one. The beveraging and munching and convivial yakking gets underway at 5pm, Thursday October 11th in the proverbial back room of Louis', right here on campus.

* Please note that the faculty have agreed to check their swords at the door on this occasion.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The Department of History has begun to issue press releases celebrating the major achievements of our faculty and students. These bulletins are sent to news outlets on campus, around town, throughout Saskatchewan, and across Canada. But you can read them here first. Be sure to congratulate Jim Miller when you see him, by the way.

Miller Key Player in Aboriginal Treaties Exhibition
University of Saskatchewan History Professor, J.R. (Jim) Miller has helped curate a new national exhibition, "Spirit and Intent: Understanding Aboriginal Treaties," at Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa.

Miller, Canada Research Chair in Native-Newcomer Relations and Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, is one of the leading authorities in historical Aboriginal studies in Canada and author of several books, including the award-winning Skyscrapers Hide the Heavens. His latest project is a comprehensive history of treaty-making in Canada.

Over the past year, Miller and fellow curator, Dr. John Borrows, Law Foundation Chair of Aboriginal Justice and Governance at the University of Victoria and a member of Chippewa of the Nawash First Nations, have worked closely with Library and Archives staff in Ottawa to identify and select a rich collection of artifacts for the exhibition. Indeed, their work together on the exhibit is a reflection of the partnership underlying the treaty process.

“Spirit and Intent explores the assumptions and motives behind agreements between Aboriginal peoples and the Crown,” said Dr. Miller. "This process has been an important building block for modern Canada."

The artifacts in the exhibition include publications, maps, paintings, wampum belts, trade items, totems, diaries, land claim negotiations, and modern agreements. One of the many highlights is the original Treaty 9 document from 1905-06, also known as the James Bay Treaty.

"This exhibition is a significant expression of our continuing dedication to preserve and make the history of Canada’s First Peoples known," said Ian Wilson, Librarian and Archivist of Canada. "It contains treasures of our shared past that are extremely rare, priceless and of immense historical and cultural significance."

Miller’s involvement in the project illustrates the growing pre-eminence of the University of Saskatchewan in Aboriginal and Native-newcomer studies.

The Spirit and Intent exhibition is on display in Room C at Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa until March 24, 2008. The exhibition is also profiled on the LAC website:

Friday, October 05, 2007

For students new to this university or looking to upgrade their research skills, the following events are just the ticket. Except there are no tickets. Just drop by.

There will be a "drop-in"
History Research Help Session on Wednesday, October 24 at 2:00 p.m. in Room 161 [the computer lab] Murray Library. This session is suitable for all levels of students.

In case you don't know, our library has quite astounding microfilm resources, and much of that collection has not and may never see the light of online. So rather than just laying down and avoiding microfilm, or waiting for the digital age that may never come, why not make your peace with microfilm, and learn how to find and read the piece of microfilm you need?

So, with that in mind, on Thursday, November 1 at 3:00 p.m. there will be a help session on Microfilm Resources, in the Microfilm Reading Room, 2nd floor of the Murray Library. The session is suitable for upper level undergraduates, graduate students and researchers.

Spread the word.
The History Department is hosting two workshops for students considering applying for grad school and grad school funding. Current undergrad inhabitants of Planet History ought to have been bombarded by now with emails about this, but it never hurts to offer a reminder. And if the time to apply might be a year or more away, you can learn about your options in advance.

(The term "workshop" is something of a misnomer, by the way, as no work whatsoever is required of those wishing to attend, beyond showing up. These are information sessions designed to offer tactical advise and to answer any questions you might have.)

Applying for Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Funding”. Friday October 5th, 2:30 pm, Arts 710:

If you are thinking of applying to do a Master’s degree next year anywhere in Canada (including here), then you should be seriously considering applying for a SSHRC MA Scholarship, and tomorrow’s workshop will offer valuable advice. The first half of the workshop will, in fact, be directed specifically to applicants for MA funding, while the second half with focus on doctoral applicants.

“How to Apply to Graduate School”. Wednesday, October 17th, 2:30-4pm, Arts 102

This workshop concerns more general issues surrounding grad school: How do you choose a good school? A supervisor? A topic? What does the application process entail? What does it cost to apply? And what can you do to secure funding? Faculty and current grad students will be on hand to answer your questions about how the whole process works. There will also be brief presentations on why you might consider, and what would be involved in, applying to grad programs (or programmes) in Canada, the United States, and Great Britain, with sound practical advice.

If grad school is one of the options you are considering, these workshops will provide much useful advice.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Congratulations to Valerie Korinek, who delivered the Keynote Address "RE-oriented, Diverse & Modern: Queerying the Prairie" at The Prairies in 3-D Conference, in Winnipeg at St. John's College, University of Manitoba, this past Saturday, September 29th.
Breaking news: reports reaching the What's Up news desk at this hour indicate that Valerie Korinek's keynote address was an even bigger hit than first thought, scoring an 8.6 on the CRS (Conference Richter Scale). It is now confirmed that, in addition to delivering the widely anticipated scholarly goods, she also hit all her marks, the audience laughed at appropriate times, and many good and perceptive questions ensued.
The History Grad Students Committee is pleased to announce the first in the HGSC Lecture Series for 2007-08, which will be presented by our newest faculty member:

Dr. Gary Zellar

(Department of History)

African Creeks: Race and Identity in the Creek Nation.

Thursday, October 18th at 3:00pm

Room 1022: Education Building

The Lecture is open to the general public. That means you!

Click here for more details

Monday, October 01, 2007

Just in: this all-points bulletin from Margaret Robbins, Commander-in-Chief of HUSA:

Hey-o HUSA members!!!
Welcome to HUSA! Hooray! I just wanted to send out a quick welcome email and let you know about our first event of the year! So, welcome first! This year looks like its going to be super fun. we have lots of events planned for the coming months which you will hear about through email and also keep an eye out for posters around campus. We also have a Facebook group - U of S HUSA- for anyone who wants to see what we're up to that way! all and all it looks like it will be a fantastic year starting with out fantastic first event!!
The State of the Department Address!!
When: Thursday October 4, 4:30 p.m
Where: Arts 217
What: Our friendly department head Professor Fairbairn will give a presentation on the various goings on in the Department of History and the undergraduate program. He will also answer any questions you may have about the department or the program!
Why: for fun! and also for information! greatest combination ever!
This is great opportunity to find out about the department and to take an active role in your program! Professor Fairbairn will be happy to answer questions so come prepared to ask and be told! hooray! It doesnt matter if you're a first year or in the upper years, all history students are welcome!!!
If you have any questions about this event or anything else to do with HUSA feel free to email us at
HOORAY! so thats all for now but keep your eyes open for emails to come with information about Meet the Profs Night, Movie Nights and Haloween parties!!!

If you are in a nostalgic mood, you might want to check out Everett Baker's Saskatchewan: Portraits of an Era selected and with an introduction by Bill Waiser. The book is published by Fifth House in Canada, and Fitzhenry & Whiteside in the U.S. Baker's photographs, mainly from the 1940s and 1950s, offer a remarkable (and beautiful) record of Saskatchewan life. The magic of nostalgia is that, done right, it can speak to you even if the past in question was not exactly your own. This is done right.

Congratulations to Leanne Bablitz (M.A., 1996), now Assistant Professor of Ancient History at the University of British Columbia, on the publication of her new book, Actors and Audience in the Roman Courtroom (Routledge: 2007). The book asks what you would see if you attended a trial in a courtroom in the early Roman empire. What was the behaviour of litigants, advocates, judges and audience? It was customary for Roman individuals out of general interest to attend the various courts held in public places in the city centre -- and thanks to Leanne you can now tag along, too. Learn more about it by clicking here.

Monday, September 24, 2007

As if the thrill of starting a new term was not enough, get ready for the SOCIAL EVENT OF THE YEAR!

It is once again time for new and returning history students to get acquainted with their instructors -- that's right, HUSA is hosting the umpteenth annual Meet the Profs Night! This one will be happening October 11th @ 5:00 PM in the back room at Louis'. Refreshments and keen history students will be provided, which is a sure trap with which to lure History Faculty. Everyone in the Historical Universe is welcome.
Itching to break into print? Here's your chance. The editors of “The Mirror,” the undergraduate history journal published by the University of Western Ontario these past 28 years, are soliciting (soliciting being legal in Ontario) high-quality undergraduate student essays for their next edition. Deadline for submission is Thursday, November 1st. The Mirror’s editorial staff traditionally selects 10-12 papers for publication, among which are traditional essays on any historical topic, one historiographic essay, and a couple of book reviews. Submissions should be 12-20 pages in length and include a correctly sourced bibliography. Essays must have received a mark of 80% or higher. The grade of the essay, as well as the author’s contact information including email address must be attached to the submission. For further details contact the editor, Cari Ferguson.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Congratulations to Alison Jeppesen (M.A., 2002) and Jeff Wigelsworth (Ph.D., 2006), and welcome to their wee bairn James Wigelsworth (C.E. June 9, 2007). This classic history family resides in Halifax these days, where Jeff has just begun the second year of his two-year SHRC postdoc at Dalhousie, and both he and Alison are doing some teaching as well. His thesis on Deism in Enlightenment England will be published by Manchester University Press in 2008 -- not that young James doesn't trump all that. And not just because this style-conscious bairn can pull off the Brian Johnson look so easily. It is easy to see what the Jamesian fuss is all about if you check out James' blog.

Monday, September 17, 2007

This just in from loyal correspondent and new HUSA president, Margaret Robbins:

This is just to let you know that HUSA (History Undergrad Students' Association) is starting our year! We will be in the tunnel on Monday September 17, Wednesday September 19th and Friday September 21st and this year membership is free!

Our plans this year include a Meet the Profs Night, movie nights, and other fun events in and around campus. If you have any questions about HUSA please feel free to
email us!

Monday, August 13, 2007

We here at What's Up are not quite ready to leap back into the bloggerly fray on a regular basis, but since we are here anyway we thought you might like to check out our resident Russianist (and Arctic-ist) John McCannon's timely intervention into the Arctic freeze-out* being played out between Canada (and the West generally) and Russia. If it sounds just like old times, then it is all the more important that our leaders keep the historical and cultural context in mind -- as John reminds them, and us, in his op-ed piece in the Ottawa Citizen of Friday, August 10, 2007.
Click here to read it.
* (click here for undeservedly obscure musical reference)

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Ian Dyck, a scholar of Victorian England who received his BA and MA in our department, and taught for a year at STM in the mid-80s before taking a permanent position at SFU, died on July 15th in Vancouver. A memorial service was held in Borden on July 28th, at his great grandfather's homestead where his brother and family now live. The following obituary appeared in the Star Phoenix.

Ian Dyck, 1954 2007 It is with profound sorrow that we announce the untimely passing of Ian Dyck, a remarkable father, son, brother, teacher, scholar and friend. Ian passed away in Vancouver on July 15, eight months after a bone marrow transplant and seven years from diagnosis of a chronic form of lymphocytic leukemia. A proud son of Saskatchewan farmers, Ian completed BA and MA degrees at the University of Saskatchewan before taking up doctoral work at the University of Sussex. D. Phil. in hand, Ian taught for two years in Saskatchewan and Lethbridge before coming in 1988 to Simon Fraser University, where he became an associate professor of History. His William Cobbett and Rural Popular Culture, published by Cambridge University press in 1992, established a reputation that he enhanced with two edited collections, a dozen articles and scores of reviews. His most recent work was a fine edition of Cobbett's Rural Rides for Penguin (2001), and he was gathering material for a seminal study of Rural Song in England. He will perhaps be best remembered as a superb teacher, a talent that won him the university's Excellence in Teaching Award in 1991. Hundreds of undergraduates delighted in his Western Civilization lectures and seminar on Popular Culture in Britain, and few professors made such an impression on graduate students. Ian is survived by his daughters, Jennifer of Ottawa and Kathleen of Vancouver, and their mother Karen. His father Clifford Dyck of Saskatoon; siblings, Murray (Linda) Dyck, Sherrie (David) Culver of Moose Jaw; nephews Matthew (Chris), Andrew (Gwen), their children (Wyat and Owen), Devon (fiance Virginia) of Moose Jaw. Meaghan (Jonathan) Hutzul of Edmonton. Several aunts and uncles and numerous cousins. Ian was predeceased by his mother Agnes Dyck (December 11, 2006). Family wishes to extend special thanks to Dr. John Stobbs, a colleague of Ian's for his unswerving attention and care in all situations. Also to his life long friend Jim Sutherland and other colleagues that visited him in hospital. Memorial donations in Ian's memory may be made to Vancouver General Hospital, Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, 899 W 12 Ave., Vancouver, BC V52 1M9.
Published in the Saskatoon StarPhoenix on 7/21/2007.

Click here to link to the Guest Book at, where you can read and post rememberances of Ian.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

What's Up is currently on summer hiatus, but History never sleeps and so there will be much to catch up on and report when the academic sap rises in September. Stay tuned for that. In the meantime, however, we here at What's Up interrupt this hiatus to bring you news of a great honour just now bestowed upon one of our own.

Bill Waiser has just been elected to the Royal Society of Canada. If Bill wore skates to work it would be like being elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame, except that Bill is very much not retired. The citation for Bill's nomination reads as follows:
W.A. (Bill) Waiser combines an impressive record of scholarly publication with effective communication of scholarship to the general public and service to his professional peers to make a profound contribution both to the academic world and Canada's general citizenry. His scholarship always ties the western region on which it is focused to the wider concerns and interests of the nation of which the West is a part, and he regularly communicates his findings to the general public through television and the press. These practices extend Waiser's valuable scholarship from the ivory tower to the public square.
If you would like to congratulate Bill personally, you can do so by turning out to the McNally Robinson bookstore in Saskatoon at 7:pm on July 3rd, where Bill will be signing copies of Everett Baker's Saskatchewan, a book of photos Bill selected and described drawn from Everett Baker's remarkable Kodachrome slides of Saskatchewan life between 1937 and the 1960s.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Public Lecture: Same-Sex Intersections of Saskatchewan’s Settlement Era: the Roots of Prejudice.

Recent research into the history of male homosexuality during Saskatchewan’s settlement period (1880- 1930) will be the subject of a public presentation by historian Lyle Dick at the Avenue Community Centre, 7pm on May 29th held in conjunction with Congress 2007. The Congress, the annual series of meeting convened by the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, will bring over 5,000 academics (yikes!) to the University of Saskatchewan during the week May 26 – June 2. This year’s theme Bridging Communities: Making Public Knowledge and Knowledge Public is intended to inspire academics to reach out to the communities they serve, to share and receive knowledge beyond the academy.

Lyle Dick has been a public historian in Canada for 30 years. Since 1977 he has authored more than 65 publications in Canadian, American, and Arctic history and historiography. Among his published research are several studies relating to the Motherwell farm operation at Abernathy (Saskatchewan) and his most recent book Muskox Land: Ellesmere Island in the Age of Contact which was awarded the 2003 Harold Adams Innis Prize for Canada’s best English language book in the social sciences. Mr. Dick is a member of the Council of the Canadian Historical Association and serves on the advisory boards of several historical publications and programs. He was active in the gay liberation movement in the 1970s and 1980s, where he worked in the successful campaign to amend Manitoba’s Human Rights Act in 1987.

Dick’s Saskatoon presentation is entitled "Same-Sex Intersections of Saskatchewan’s Settlement Era: the Roots of Prejudice". Inspired by the work of pioneering American historians Jonathan Katz and Vern Bullough, Dick began his research in 1978 by examining court records at the Saskatchewan Archives Board hoping that patterns in assault cases might serve as an index to social trends in early Saskatchewan. One of the case files he uncovered was for the sensational arrest and trial of group of men in Regina in 1895 only a few weeks after the much publicized London trials of playwright Oscar Wilde. Dick presented some of this early research at the Sex and the State history conference at the University of Toronto in 1985 but the pressure of many other projects intervened and he put this work on the back burner.

Encouraged by historian colleagues Dick resumed his work on early same-sex dynamics and relationships a few years ago and has traveled to both Saskatchewan and Manitoba to examine early court, gaol, police and church records, as well as coverage of trials and other events in early Prairie newspapers. Based on his intensive study of whatever “slim pickings” he can locate in archives, he is confident in asserting that same-sex dynamics were always present in post confederation Saskatchewan. However same-sex relationships were often causalities of public backlash, encouraged by judicial prosecutions, social purity activism and a generally negative medical discourse concerning homosexuality that emerged in the 20th century. Click here to see the poster for the talk.

Monday, April 09, 2007

This Friday, April 13th, marks the last History Grad Student Colloquium of the year,
at 3:30pm in the Faculty Club. As always snacks will be provided. Kira Olfert will be giving a presentation entitled: "'Much to the Dismay of the Fathers' - Mennonite War Veterans After the Second World"; and Joe Ponic's presentation is entitled "Tintoretto at the Scuola Grande di San Rocco in Venice".
George Fountain was a student from Vancouver who fought at Vimy Ridge in April 1917. He was with a group of engineers burying armoured communication cables through much of the battle of April 9-12: his turn to go over the top came later. Over the next 18 months he was wounded twice and mildly shell-shocked. But he made it home in one piece and lived a fine, full life. More than 60 years later, early in February 1978, a grandson traveling in France, Gordon DesBrisay, called to wish happy birthday and ask where Vimy was, so he could go visit. George gave his geographically challenged grandson directions, chatted amiably, and wished him well. He died in his sleep that night. Below is a page from the diary of April 1917 that George, like so many soldiers, kept (illegally) while in France. Click either image to enlarge.

Monday, April 02, 2007

As every historians knows, times change. Unlike a long-ago book pub depicted in this undated photo from our archives, this year's Umpteenth Annual HGSC Book Pub will follow our more recent practices: it will be held indoors, the books will not be on the ground, women will participate on equal terms, and beer will be served. (Remember that, next time the notion of Progress is disparaged in your presence.) And so, as the U of S and the History Department head into our second century, it might well be that books that somebody found useful, or thought might be useful, at some point in that first century could still prove useful to you. You just never know which tome might open up new historical vistas, provide the missing link for your thesis or essay, yield that one last obscure footnote, or, now that spring is upon us, prop open that just-thawed window. All you can know in advance is that the tomes in question will be available at way attractive prices. Which is why you should attend the Umpteenth Annual HGSC Book Pub on Wednesday April 4th at Louis' Pub. The books will be there to be viewed at 5pm, and the auction begins at 6. Proceeds from the sale of books (though not, alas, the alcohol -- so don't be spending good book money on hootch!) help to underpin the operating budget of the HGSC. Absolutely everyone welcome!
Tomorrow, April 3rd, marks the official 100th birthday of the University of Saskatchewan -- and, indeed, of the Department of History, since ours was one of four founding departments in 1907. So, happy birthday to us!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

The History Grad Student Committee (HGSC) is hosting a fund-raiser this Thursday, March 29th at 7:pm in the lower lounge of Joe Dog's Sports Bar and Grill, to help reduce the costs of students presenting papers at the upcoming Buffalo Province History Conference. Please see the attached poster for details on the fund-raiser. Faculty are, of course, most welcome to purchase a ticket and participate in the fun. Indeed, Faculty (Ed: we here at What's Up commend the HGSC for that capital "F" and the silent but respectfully deferential tip of the metaphorical cap it represents) are welcome to donate whatever amount they care to and not participate in the fun at all, if that be their desire.

All tickets sold and every donation made increases the subsidy for student presenters. Advance tickets are $12 each. (The HGSC wishes arithmetically challenged history types to know that the “Buffalo Pack” of 5 tickets for $60 is a much better deal.) Tickets can be purchased from Nadine in the Dept office starting up to the day of the event (Thursday). Cash or cheques payable to the History Graduate Students Committee gladly accepted.

The History Grad Student Committee (HGSC) is hosting a fund-raiser this Thursday, March 29th at 7:pm in the lower lounge of Joe Dog's Sports Bar and Grill, to help reduce the costs of students presenting papers at the upcoming Buffalo Province History Conference. Please see the attached poster for details on the fund-raiser. Faculty are, of course, most welcome to purchase a ticket and participate in the fun. Indeed, Faculty (Ed: we here at What's Up commend the HGSC for using a capital "F" and the silent but respectfully deferential tip of the metaphorical cap it represents) are welcome to donate whatever amount they care to and not participate in the fun at all, if that be their desire.

All tickets sold and every donation made increases the subsidy for student presenters. Advance tickets are $12 each. The HGSC wishes arithmetically challenged history types to know that the “Buffalo Pack” of 5 tickets for $60 is a much better deal. Tickets can be purchased from Nadine in the Dept office starting up to the day of the event (Thursday). Cash or cheques payable to the History Graduate Students Committee gladly accepted.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Dr. Rhiannon Purdie of the University of St. Andrews (Scotland's oldest and finest university, in the unlikely event that you need reminding) visits the Department of English early next week. On Monday March 26th, at 12:30 in Thorvaldson 205A, she will be participating in an open class in English 316.3 (Literature in Scotland at the close of the Middle Ages). On Tuesday March 27th at 10:30 in Arts 407, she will be discussing opportunities for studying English and History in Scotland; that afternoon, at 4pm in STM 344B, she will be giving a public lecture on "The Geography of Middle English Romance." Everyone welcome to all events.
The Bilson Lecture is held every second year to honour the late Prof. Geoffrey Bilson, who taught in the Department of History from 1964-87. He specialized in America’s colonial past, along with topics in Canadian and medical history, and he published historical fiction for children. The 2007 Bilson Lecture will be delivered by Professor Benjamin Hett of the History Department of Hunter College, City University of New York, on Friday, March 30th at 8pm in the Picasso Room of the Radisson Hotel (click here for directions). Professor Hett will speak on "The Man who Pushed Hitler to the Wall: Remembering Hans Litten, 1903-1938." Litt (seen at right) was a young lawyer who defended anti-Nazis (he once cross-examined Hitler himself ) at nearly all the important political trials in Germany between 1929 and his arrest amidst the Reichstag Fire round-up of 1933. He died five years later in Dachau concentration camp. In recent years lawyers of the re-united city of Berlin named their Bar Association after him. Professor Hett's lecture is open to the general public and free to everyone. Reception to follow.

HUSA presents the 2007 History Graduation Dinner,Wednesday, March 28. 6:30 at the Faculty Club.
All students who convocated last fall or who expect to do so this spring are especially invited, along with family members and friends (not that those two groups are mutually exclusive, necessarily). If past events are anything to go by (and we are historians, so the past certainly ought to be a reliable guide) then we can expect an evening just formal-ish enough to seem special, but also relaxed and easy-going in the classic Saskatchewenian fashion. A nice break from the hum-drum business of trying to actually, like, graduate. The keynote speaker this year is Professor Emeritus Michael Hayden. The bargain price for a fine meal and great company is $30, and tickets can be had from your nearest friendly HUSA rep, or by emailing HUSA at Put your posse together and get ready to chow down historically.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Loyal Correspondent Peter Scott has alerted us to two new must-see websites.

The first is a fine BBC site concerning the upcoming 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade in the British empire, March 25th, 1807. Click here to check it out.

The second is The Broer Map Library, a growing collection of thousands of online historic maps from around the world. The collection features several native language atlases (German maps of Germany -- you get the idea) as well as historic road maps and topographical maps, and military maps from different theaters of action such as unique maps of the Normandy, France area. Some of these maps are viewable in Google Earth so you can compare the historic map with modern conditions. Very cool, and very useful for students and instructors looking for good maps to use in class. And free. Click here to check it out.
The nice folks at the College of Arts and Science Information Technology Resources have a nice new web page, that offers a nice clean way into all the various things they offer. We here at What's Up went first to the free software they offer (hey, you never know) and came across this wee gem: CutePDF. The world seems to run on pdf files these days, the point being that they work well and are ubiquitous and can be opened and read in the format they were created in by anyone on any computer equipped with Adobe Acrobat Reader. The latter program is free and does a swell job of reading pdf files, but it will not create new pdf files for you. That can be done in most civilized word processors, if you have a word processed file to convert, but it is sometimes nice to be able to turn any file into a pdf for storage or distribution. The excellent but sometimes costly for-pay version of Acrobat Professional will do that very well (and university folk get a great discount through the campus computer store). But it seems CutePDF can do that too, and for free. Instructors thinking of putting together documents for distribution via PAWS might be especially keen to check this out.
As part of the University's official centennial celebrations, Lieutenant Governor Gordon Barnhart, one of our department's distinguished alumni, will deliver a public lecture today, February 28th, at 12:05 in Convocation Hall, entitled "A Century of Leadership and Partnership - Saskatchewan and the University of Saskatchewan". Everyone welcome.

Monday, February 26, 2007

This Thursday, March 1, the History Department will proudly sponsor a public lecture by one of our own, Professor Emeritus Michael Hayden, "An Unauthorized History of the University". Among his many achievements, Mike is the author of the authorized official history of the university, Seeking a Balance: The University of Saskatchewan, 1907-1982. This week's lecture surveys our institutional history in the quarter-century since that book was published in 1983. Mike aims to tell us where we the U of S came from, what we were like, what we have become, and what our possible futures might be. The lecture, which is not part of the official centenary celebrations, will be at 3pm in Room 246 of the PAC (Physical Activity Centre -- a.k.a. the new gym), and is open to absolutely everyone. Click here to see the poster, which features Mike's famous "don't-point-that-beard-at-me" photo.
This Thursday, March 1, the History Department will proudly sponsor a public lecture by one of our own, Professor Emeritus Michael Hayden, "An Unauthorized History of the University". Among his many achievements, Mike is the author of the authorized official history of the university, Seeking a Balance: The University of Saskatchewan, 1907-1982. This week's lecture surveys our institutional history in the quarter-century since that book was published in 1983. Mike aims to tell us where we the U of S came from, what we were like, what we have become, and what our possible futures might be. The lecture, which is not part of the official centenary celebrations, will be at 3pm in Room 246 of the PAC (Physical Activity Centre -- a.k.a. the new gym), and is open to absolutely everyone. Click here to see the poster.

Earlier this month, Bill Waiser returned from a four-lecture tour of Japan sponsored by Canada's Department of External Affairs and the Japanese Association of Canadian Studies. Bill spoke of Saskatchewan history to two audiences each in Tokyo and Kyoto. That's Bill to the right, at the Golden Temple outside Kyoto.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

In the fantastic news department, five students in our department have have been chosen for SSHRC MA Scholarships for 2007-08: current MA students Brendan Kelly and Tenyia Miller, and honours students Katya MacDonald, Alice Glaze, and Catherine Ulmer. Congratulations to the Fab Five!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Some of the less attentive among our readers may have thought that this was just some ordinary week. Oh no.

The Government of Saskatchewan has proclaimed the week of FEBRUARY 6 – 12 Archives Week in Saskatchewan. The week is dedicated to activities that profile the vital role that the documentary records of individuals, families, organizations, businesses and governments play in developing an understanding of ourselves through academic and popular research. The week also honors the work done within Saskatchewan’s archival repositories, where valuable archival resources are preserved and made available for use in all of their forms.

If you move very quickly you should just be able to catch, on February 6, CBC Radio’s “Noon Edition” which will feature an Archives Phone-In discussing archival treasures and the practical concern for their care. An exhibit, “Shades of Grey,” in the Main Library Link, University of Saskatchewan focuses on the seven archives on the University of Saskatchewan campus and the dynamic of interaction between user and stored information. An exhibit is also being prepared by the St. Paul’s Nurses’ Alumni Association Archives at St. Paul’s Hospital, Saskatoon, while the Athol Murray Archives of Notre Dame is having a Perusal of Correspondence Day on Thursday, February 9th. In Regina, an Archives Film Night will offer a showing of heritage short films from the holdings of the City of Regina Archives and the Saskatchewan Archives Board at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum on Friday, February 10th, beginning at 7 p.m. In addition, many archives have contributed photographs, documents and information on their collections for a “Collage of Preservation” to appear in print form. Other events are planned in various local communities where archives are located. A special button, “Celebrate Archives,” has been designed for the week, featuring the Council logo in provincial colors.

The Saskatchewan Council for Archives and Archivists, representing 75 institutional and individual members, is responsible for building a cooperative archival network in Saskatchewan. It offers advice on the formation of new archives, promotes the preservation and use of our archival resources, and has spearheaded the development of twenty virtual historical exhibits, including “Medicare” and “Saskatchewan in the Two World Wars,” all of which can be viewed on its website,

HUSA will be beginning its annual clothing sale this Wednesday, February 7th, to Friday, February 9th in the Tunnel from 10am-2:30pm. Like last year, they'll be selling bunnyhugs, shirts, tank tops, sweatpants, and sweater vests, all from the sweatshop-free American Apparel Store ( You can chose to have either CMRS or HUSA printed on the clothing.

As well as the clothes, HUSA will also be selling historical action figures, including last year's bestsellers: Marie Antoinette (can be user-modified to serve as a two-piece non-action figure for the same low price), Jane Austen, and the ever-popular Pope Innocent III.

If you have any questions, HUSA can be contacted at

If you're interested in the history of medicine, or if you just wonder what's so funny about the four humours, then this is for you: BBC Radio 4 has just started a 30-part six-week long series with medical historian Andrew Cunningham. The first broadcast starts with blood-letting, the Ancient Greeks, and the four humours (seen left). You can follow along with Radio 4 online weekdays at 3:45 p.m. GMT (9:45 a.m. Sask Time), although the BBC appears to be maintaining at least a weekly archive available upon demand. Check it out at:

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Congratulations to Samantha Booth, currently completing her honours degree in CMRS (Classics, Medieval and Renaissance Studies), who has been accepted into the graduate program of the Department of Linguistics, Philology & Phonetics at the University of Oxford for the fall of 2007. Samantha's achievement constitutes another stirring chapter in the ongoing "You Can Get There From Here" saga of our top students. And while the achievement is all her own, it also attests to the excellence of the fledgling CMRS program.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Winter got you down? Still trying to work off that extra belt notch you gained over the holidays? Dying to show off your pink lycra body suit to your peers? Here’s your chance to remedy all that: this Saturday the History Grad Student Committee is sponsoring a Cross-Country Ski Outing. Everyone is welcome, including ski newbies. Click here for details about where and when to meet, and where to rent any ski gear you may lack.
In yet another digital coup, our friends in the University Library (as part of their fruitful partnership with the Canadian Research Knowlege Network) have now contrived to provide us with The Times Digital Archive: 1785 - 1985. That would be the Times of London, of course: like other venerable productions of British culture (see "Dictionary of National Biography") it does not bother to identify itself as such. The Times archive can be searched by keyword and offers (in very un-Times-like slashes of colour) "hit-term highlighting"of full facsimile images of either a specific article or a complete page. The entire newspaper is captured, with all articles, advertisements and illustrations/photos divided into categories to facilitate searching. To give a completely random example, those of you keen to follow the exploits of Lieutenant DesBrisay of the Marines of the Amazon need only click on "article" in the first hit for a search under that surname, then increase the magnification level of the ensuing image to something more closely approximating human capacities. Or just click here. The point of searching under that surname, of course, is to establish that one can indeed find almost anything in the Times.

As if having the Times is not enough, U of S Library users can now also access all 2 million or so pages of Toronto (sorry, Canadian) news in the Toronto Star: Pages of the Past published between 1894 and within a year or two or our shifting present. This resource, too, offers not just coverage of the great events of a given day, but a chance to retrieve scarcely recalled events from the vast depths of time. Everyone knows, for example, that the Toronto Maple Leafs have not won the Stanley Cup since Canada entered its second century of confederation, and yet careful checking reveals that the Leafs have indeed won the Cup since the Rolling Stones had their first North American hit, back when Tim Horton was a hockey player and the last of the baby-boomers were being born. Indeed, one diehard Leafs fan and esteemed member of the History Department still bears a small grudge against her otherwise admirable parents for not having allowed her, on account of her extreme youth, to attend the Leafs victory parade of May 5th, 1967 (see Toronto Star edition of May 6). Barely ambulatory but already every inch the historian, the esteemed member understood that future generations would never again celebrate a Leafs triumph, nor even refer to the Cup and the Leafs in the same sentence without a large dollop of irony.

Both the Times and the Toronto Star can be accessed under "T" in the "Database" section of the Library catalogue.