Tuesday, September 23, 2008

This just in:

Our friends in the Library will be hosting
History Research Help Sessions
next week, as follows:

Wednesday, October 1 at 9:30 a.m.

and repeated on
Thursday, October 2 at 2:00

Both sessions will be held in room 161 Murray Library and will provide time for hands-on practice.
These are "drop-in" sessions -- no pre-registration; interested students should just show up.
Additionally, please note that there will be a number of other subject specific drop-in library help sessions which could also be beneficial to history students.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Congratulations to Mark Meyers, our new departmental webmaster, on the very successful rollout of the MARVELLOUS New DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY WEBSITE! The site, which Mark designed and and developed in conjunction with the College of Arts and Science web gurus, is already very cool and will continue to evolve over the next while.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Current developments on the political scene remind us only too forcefully that Canada's Next Great Prime Minister may not necessarily arise from the current generation of party leaders. So it is time to look at the rising generation. Yours, perhaps.

CBC Television is ramping up for the next installment of Canada's Next Great Prime Minister, which the Ceeb describes as "the competition of a lifetime."

"Young Canadians have the ears and eyes of the nation listening to their thoughts about what would make our country even better. The competition begins online. Young Canadians aged 18-25 are invited to apply for the show and campaign to be a finalist. Through debate and challenges, the candidates are narrowed down to four who appear on CBC Television, where they engage in a heated debate on the issues facing Canada today. The audience votes and the winner receives $50,000 and a paid internship at Magna International, The Dominion Institute and the Canada-US Fulbright program. Second, third and fourth place winners also receive cash and internship prizes. "

The show airs once a year on CBC Television. As you may recall, the first time the competition was held, our very own Omeasoo Butt (currently a doctoral candidate in our department) was one of the four finalists, and she done us all proud during the live broadcast.

Graham Cunningham from CBC-TV will be on campus drumming up support and answering questions on Wednesday, September 22nd. If you are fortunate enough to have a History class that day, you may hear Mr. Graham make a brief presentation at the start of class. Otherwise, keep an eye out for him around campus (check notices in the usual non-What's Up venues), and if you have a hankering for politics, service, and setting the world right, then why not throw your hat in the ring?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Speaking of Merle Massie's forthcoming History 395.3, New Directions in Historical Research. "Wheat and Wilderness: Canadian Regions, Boundaries, and the Places in Between", you should know that the course has been moved to a new time slot in Term 2. It is now scheduled to run, starting in January, on Wednesdays from 1:30-4:30.

We apologize to anyone adversely effected by the change, but we hope that more students will be able to avail themselves of this exciting new course, the first of a new series in which a different edition of History 385: New Directions in Historical Research will be offered each year by a senior doctoral candidate teaching a seminar in his or her research field in consultation with faculty teaching mentors. Merle's course, developed in consultation with Bill Waiser and Gordon DesBrisay, promises to be fascinating and provocative. There is still space available, so if you are on the look-out for a cutting-edge, pushing-the-envelope, out-of-the-box, down-with-cliches sort of course, or know someone who is, then sign right up!
Ph.D. candidate Merle Massie features in a recent profile published in the 5 September 2008 edition of OCN: OnCampusNews. Merle explains there that "history is about creating and shaping identity", and that she is interested in the identity of this, her home province—and how she might, in fact, change it. Merle is working on two main fronts, in fact. One concerns her own doctoral research on the "transition zone" between the borreal north and the prairie south of Saskatchewan. The other concerns her forthcoming teaching in her inaugural edition of History 395.3, New Directions in Historical Research. "Wheat and Wilderness: Canadian Regions, Boundaries, and the Places in Between" (about which more below) which will inform students that the regional concepts which divide Canada into easily described units like the prairies or the north actually over-simplify Canadian history. "Perception," she explains, "is the key. When we identify regions, we impose boundaries and create static geographies, lifecycles, and economics that really have no bearing on reality. When we define Saskatchewan as a 'prairie' province only, we allow one landscape to dominate our history, politics, and culture. I'm working to change this." And so shall her lucky students be.
Bill Waiser will be reading from his newest book this Tuesday, September 16th, at 7:30 pm in the Prairie Ink restaurant of the McNalley Robinson Bookstore. Who Killed Jacki Bates? (Fifth House, 2008) begins with events on the morning of 5 December 1933, when a young RCMP constable discovered a grisly scene in the Avalon schoolyard in rural Saskatchewan. A young boy lay dead in a rented car, an apparent victim of carbon monoxide poisoning. In the car with him were his parents, who would survive both the effects of the gas and self-inflicted knife wounds only to face murder charges in their son’s death. The subsequent trial of Ted and Rose Bates ranks as one of the most hotly debated in Saskatchewan history. Bill examines an incident long held up as an example of the sheer despair and bureaucratic heartlessness of the Depression and shows that the truth is much more complex. Bill's carefully researched take on the Jackie Bates story was first presented to the public as an episode of his celebrated "Looking Back" tv series on the CBC. One regular What's Up correspondent reports that he wept when he first heard Bill tell the story, though he went to add that the story will make you think and reflect as well as cry.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Bring Out Your Money!

Professor John Porter is a desperate man.

Desperate, that is, to support the CMRS Program in the guise of his alter ego (that's Latin, by the way):

Professor Porter has signed up for Easter Seals Superhero Drop Zone 2008. If we can raise enough money in
the next little while, he will be joining others in rappelling off the top of the 22-story Carlton Tower in downtown Saskatoon on Sept. 12.

The people who do
this, do so in costume, so you will not only get to see Prof. Porter jump off a building (a wish that has occurred to many) but will see him do so in the guise of CMRS MAN.

We need to raise a good deal of money for this to happen, but it's for a good cause, so dig deep!
Easter Seals Canada is a registered charity dedicated to serving children, youth and adults with disabilities, striving to ensure that no one is left behind. More than 100,000 Canadians and their families annually access programs and services provided by Easter Seals organizations across Canada.

Its best known services are the Easter Seals camp programs. In 2008, 22 camps across Canada provided camp opportunities to more than 6,000 kids with disabilities. Since 1949, an estimated 160,000 children with disabilities have attended Easter Seals camps.

Help John Porter help Easter Seals and plummet in terrifying safety from a tall building. You can find the details at:


Please give generously.