Wednesday, July 09, 2008

We here at What's Up and all our colleagues in the History Department are delighted to welcome Robert Englebert as our newest faculty member. Robert joins us from the University of Ottawa, to which he will return briefly this fall to defend his doctoral dissertation, Beyond Borders: Mental Mapping and the French River World in North America, 1763–1805”.

Denizens of the French River World, flinging in earnest

We mention this partly by way of introducing Robert Englebert to the far-flung What's Up community, but also to alert the less flung among you to the possibility that you might like to take a fling with his History 450.6, "French Canada Before 1800".

History 450.6 is an honours seminar that explores French North America writ large, from the European settlements on the shores of the St. Lawrence River to a sprawling French Atlantic empire that included the marshes of New Orleans, the gateway to the West in St. Louis, the sugar islands of the Caribbean, and the winding river valleys of the Canadian northwest. Students will soak up life on the powerful river highways of this continent that captured the imaginations of thousands of young men, who set out seeking work and high (if sometimes damp) adventure. The rivers they traveled, the peoples they encountered, the women they married, and the settlements they built came to define much of the interior of North America for nearly two hundred years. The French and the British both came as strangers to strange lands, but they quickly developed far different patterns of settlement. Among the French, policies of alliance and accommodation underscored numerous mixed unions with native women, which solidified alliances and gave rise to new peoples. French North America was very much about new encounters and old friends, and thus this course will explore the processes of interaction and m├ętissage in its different forms throughout the French river world.

And speaking of new encounters .... Why not enroll in History 450.6 and see for yourself just how cooly the river runs through it.