Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Gold Medal Winner
Jim Miller, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Gold Medal Recipient

On Thursday, December 16th, SSHRC and Industry Canada announced that Professor Jim Miller (Canada Research Chair in Native-Newcomer History) has won the SSHRC Gold Medal, Canada's highest research honour, for his award-winning scholarship on Native-Newcomer histories.

Many department members were in attendance at Convocation Hall on December 16th to congratulate Jim on his marvellous achievement.  We are very proud! This is the first time that a scholar from the University of Saskatchewan has been awarded this distinction.  And there is really a gold medal, which we expect to see Jim wearing on all "ceremonial" occasions in the Department--or at the very least, the first department meeting of 2011...

For more details on the award and Jim's research contributions (and to see a video of the actual presentation, if you missed it), please see the article by the U of S Research Communications.

Congratulations, Jim!
Introducing a Future Historian?

Congratulations to Vickie Lamb Drover (Ph.D. student) & Doug Drover on the birth of their son, Samuel Clement Drover.  Sam was born on Sunday December 5th.  Big sister Grace has been handling the adjustment with aplomb.

Best wishes from all of us in the History Department!

Monday, November 29, 2010

World AIDS Day, Wednesday December 1st
Simonne Horwitz, our own AIDS scholar, would like to draw your attention to World AIDS Day.  In the past this has been a day of activism and global awareness but with the increasing availability of Antiretroviral Treatment in the North less attention has been paid to HIV/AIDS. The disease continues to affect many in the global south, while the statistics for Saskatchewan - double the Canadian national average - are horrific. A number of student groups of campus have arranged an awareness event, the screening of the brilliant docu-drama "A Closer Walk" followed by two brief presentations.  Professor Horwitz will be speaking.

Where: Neatby Timlin Theatre
When:  Dec. 1, From 5 p.m.
Cost: Free

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sir Hans Sloane's Correspondence Online
Credit: Wellcome Library, London
Sir Hans Sloane. Mezzotint by J. Faber, junior, 1729, after Sir G. Kneller, 1716.

Using my editor's privilege, I am pleased to announce the launch of my database of Sir Hans Sloane's Correspondence: . 

The pilot project already contains entries for over 1400 letters addressed to Sir Hans Sloane (1660-1753), who was a physician, scientist and collector.  Sloane's books, plant samples and curiosities formed the foundation collections of the British Library, British Museum and Natural History Museum.  The correspondence covers a wide range of topics from travel and collecting to scholarly disputes and medical cases -- and more is to come, as there are thirty more volumes of correspondence to enter.

Some transcriptions of letters are provided, but the database's initial intent to facilitate the use of the collection.  The collection has, until now, only been indexed according to letter-writer's name.  This has made it difficult to trace relationships between authors or to find specific subjects, given the sheer size of the correspondence.  As the database grows, it will be possible to make even more interesting connections.

But it is not just my project alone, as several students and alumni from our History department have provided research assistance for this project over the last couple years:
Jason Grier (B.A. Hons. and current M.A. student)
Amanda Harrigan (B.A. Hons. and M.A., now at the University of Alberta)
Rob Konkel (B.A. Hons., now at Oxford University)
Kurt Krueger (B.A. Hons. and M.A., now at the University of Victoria)
Melanie Racette-Campbell (M.A., now at the University of Toronto)
Heather Stanley (Ph.D. candidate)

I am sure that they will be just as glad that their efforts are finally seeing the light of day!

Interview with an Environmental Historian

Jonathon Clapperton, a doctoral candidate in our department, was recently interviewed for the Canadian Environmental History Podcast (Episode 18).  The interview is on Desolation Sound Marine Provincial Park, a popular destination for boating tourists and swimmers.  Jonathon considers the interconnections between the park and British Columbia's displacement of the Aboriginal population.

To download this episode, visit:

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Call for Papers: Keewatin Country Graduate Student History Conference, April 28-30, 2011

Facebook: Keewatin Country Graduate Student History Conference 2011

The Departments of History and the History Graduate Student Associations of the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Manitoba/Winnipeg invite proposals for the Keewatin Country Graduate
Student History Conference 2011.

Presentations on ALL HISTORICAL TOPICS are welcome. The conference aims to promote interdisciplinary dialogue and is open to submissions from any relevant discipline. We encourage papers addressing a diverse range of regional, methodological, and thematic topics.

Over the past two years, the Keewatin Graduate Student History Conference has attracted graduate students and outstanding undergraduates from across Canada, the US and abroad. We look forward once more to welcoming young scholars to this opportunity to present exciting new work in an engaging and supportive academic environment.

This year we are excited to welcome keynote speaker Professor Sterling Evans, Louise Welsh Chair Oklahoma, Southern Plains, and Borderlands History at the University of Oklahoma. Author and editor of four books, Professor Evans is a leader in the fields of transnational borderlands and environmental histories. His address "Nothing New about NAFTA: Connecting the Prairies to a Larger North American History" will be based on his book Bound in Twine, which won the Theodore Saloutos Best Book Prize from the Agricultural History Society in 2008.

In addition to sharing exciting new scholarship and collegial interaction, the conference venue offers opportunities for physical relaxation and mental rest as well. Hotel accommodation at the conference venue includes complementary access to the rooftop mineral pool overlooking Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.

Applicants are invited to submit proposals of 250 words along with a short (one page maximum) CV. The submission deadline is January 31, 2011. Please submit your proposals, and any questions, to .

Monday, November 15, 2010

National Ph.D. Dissertation Prize Winner
Congratulations to our recent graduate Jonathon Anuik!  At the biennial meeting of the the Canadian History of Education Association meeting in late October, he was awarded the Cathy James Memorial Dissertation Prize for the best thesis on the history of education in Canada. Dr. Anuik is an assistant professor of History and Interdisciplinary Studies at Lakehead University in Ontario.  His dissertation, “Métis Families and Communities and Christian and Public Schools: The Affirmation and Reclamation of Métis Identities in Saskatchewan, 1885-1979” (2009), was supervised by Dr. Jim Miller.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

A Midterm Academic Road Trip

On Friday, October 22 in the midst of midterm exams, essay preparation and course work, U of S history enthusiasts Laura Shaw (3rd year History undergrad), Amy Samson (PhD History), Justin Fisher (4th year History Honours), Sheila Gibbons (MA History), Shannon Coleville (4th year History Honours), Amanda Shea (4th year History Honours) and Professor Erika Dyck participated in a 2-day workshop in Edmonton, Alberta (named in the order they appear in the photograph). The Community-University Research Alliance (CURA) project combines scholars and students with community partners and activists, including sexual sterilization survivors, who are committed to establishing a more inclusive history and the current debate over human rights issues surrounding past practices of sexual sterilization and current experiences of isolation and segregation for people with intellectual disabilities.

The first day of the workshop showcased the summer research that U of S students had conducted on this topic, including presentations about the way this issue has been covered in newspapers (Fisher), how the United Farm Women of Alberta advocated for sexual sterilization of people then deemed "mentally defective" (Gibbons), and the role that public health nurses played in advancing models of femininity and moral motherhood (Samson).
University of Saskatchewan contingent immediately following their stimulating presentations last Friday.

Saturday, October 23 conference participants reassembled at the Edmonton Public Library, where sterilization survivor Leilani Muir (now O'Malley), who is a member of the research team, read a statement from the Mayor of Edmonton, Stephen Mandel, declaring October 23 the "Remembering the History of Eugenics in Alberta" Day in Edmonton. This recognition, Leilani told participants, is a very important step in Alberta's history and a significant achievement for the CURA members. Over the course of the two-day event we worked closely with members of the public, survivors like Leilani and Judy Lytton, scholars and students from universities of Lethbridge, Calgary and Alberta (Edmonton) to promote a more inclusive understanding of mental health, disability and human rights in our society.

Leilani Muir (in the Riders' ball cap) and Judy Lytton (in the Rider's winter hat) pictured with U of S contingent as the conference winds down.
The conference closed just in time for Leilani and Judy to help the Saskatchewan contingent prepare for the Riders v Eskimos game, which ended poorly for the Riders.

U of S contingent in full Rider fan gear, still optimistic that the Riders may not suffer widespread embarrassment in what ultimately resulted in a final score of 39 to 24.

News coverage from the conference can be seen here:

Monday, November 01, 2010

Event: Organizing for Women's Security

The news is disheartening: hundreds of missing aboriginal women, high poverty rates among single mothers, domestic abuse of women and children, lack of equal pay for equal work, low percentage of female elected officials...  In September, over 120 people met with Governor General Michaelle Jean to address these and other obstacles to women's security.

Please come to learn about what happened and what still needs to be done to improve women's security in all its dimensions in Canada.  Along with Beth Bilson (Acting Dean, Law) and Omeasoo Butt (History graduate student and President of the Graduate Students Association), Pam Jordan (History) will be hosting an informal discussion about the Governor General's Conference on Women and Security. An open discussion with the audience will follow formal remarks.

All are welcome.

Where: Theatre, Frances Morrison Library, 311 23rd St. E.
When: Wednesday, November 3
Time: 7:00-9:00 p.m.
Cost: Free

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

All in a Week's Work

Last week was eventful for two members of our department. As reported in The StarPhoenix on October 21, Professor Janice McKinnon has been named as one of this year's recipients of the Saskatchewan Order of Merit. This is the most prestigious award in the province and is awarded for major contributions to the province and its residents. Then, on October 24, Professor Bill Waiser became our department's only Doctor Doctor, when he received a D.Litt. at Convocation. The honorary degree recognizes his long record of research and publication.

Congratulations to Dr. McKinnon and Dr. Dr. Waiser!

Doctor Doctor Waiser receiving his honorary D.Litt. at Convocation

Tuesday, October 05, 2010


On Saturday, October 2nd members of our Department, including Sara Roberts, Amy Samson, Blaine Wickham, Lucas Richert, Simonne Horwitz and Erika Dyck joined some of our co-regionalists for a day of history of medicine.  The event was hosted by the University of Minnesota's History of Medicine group as the second annual 'MOMS' Day.  MOMS is the clever acronym for Manitoba-Ontario-Minnesota-Saskatchewan.  We were treated to a lovely reception at early modernist Jole Shackleford's house in St. Paul on Friday evening, where we met colleagues from the University of Minnesota, the University of Manitoba and the Northern Ontario School of Medicine.  On Saturday we heard and participated in a variety of presentations, including panels on eugenics, health care professions and diseases.  We closed the meeting with dinner on the 'West Bank Campus', seen here.

Image: The Merry Band of Mom-ers
Image Credit: Erika Dyck

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Your Chance to Win... A Roman Coin!

The Archaeology Students Association is now selling tickets for a chance to win an authentic Roman coin. The coin is a silver denarius from the Roman Republic (c. 104 BCE) with Roma on the obverse and Saturn in his chariot on the reverse.

Tickets are $5 each or three for $10. The draw date will be November 1st.

Tickets can be purchased from any one of the ASA executive (President Lyle Goldie, VP Jeffrey Seckinger, Treasurer Heather Kerr or Secretary Rebecca Jackson). Their office is on the third floor of the Archaeology building (rm. 334) and they can usually be found lurking around the coffee pot.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Images: Past, Present, Future

Former history instructor, Dr. Jack Coggins, shows us that historians need not only focus on history. His exhibition, Images: Past, Present, Future, is now on at the STM College Art Gallery.

Dates: September 20-October 23
Hours: Regular building hours
Location: STM College, 2nd Floor, outside the Library
Admission: Free

Monday, September 27, 2010

Graduate Student Success

Congratulations to Ph.D. student, Liz Scott, who has received two awards this year for her project "'I Bless the Hour I Came Here:' East London Emigration and Perceptions of Empire, 1867-1914".

This summer, she held an Andrew W. Mellon Pre-Dissertation Fellowship in the Humanities (Institute of Historical Research, London). She was paired with a mentor from Birkbeck College, Dr. David Feldman. Liz reports that it was a fantastic experience and lovely way to spend the summer months! [ed. comment: Indeed, the weather in London was far better than in Saskatoon this summer.]

In January, she will be off to London again. She has been awarded a SSHRC Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplement and will be working as a Visiting Research Fellow, hosted by Dr. Barbara Taylor (University of East London) at the Raphael Samuel History Centre. This is part of a partnership between the Bishopsgate Institute, the University of East London and Birkbeck College for the Study of the History of East London. She is delighted that the centre is located just around the corner from Spitalfields Market and the old Petticoat Lane Market, which will provide excellent study-break spots! [ed. comment: What she does not note is the RSHC's close proximity to Brick Lane, which is one of London's top curry house destinations.]

Happy researching, Liz!
Oral History Workshop

Interested in learning more about how to do oral history in your own research?

Please join Omeasoo Butt, Liam Haggarty, and Mandy Fehr, PhD candidates in the Department of History, to share what they learnt from the Regional Oral History Office at the University of California, Berkeley this summer at the Advanced Oral History Summer Institute. Topics to be addressed include:
· Methodology – how to set up your interviews, the pre-interview, interview questions
· Theory – Understanding your role and the role of your interviewee
· Project Planning- where to start?
· Writing Oral History

Please RSVP to Mandy Fehr at no later than Wednesday September 29th. Space is Limited.

Date: September 30
Time: 1-4 p.m.
Place: Arts 1007

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Place and Replace
On September 16-18, our History Department was well represented at the 'Place and Replace' joint meeting of Western Canadian Studies and St John's College Prairies Conference in Winnipeg. Although conference attendees still haven't come to a consensus on whether or not the west is the prairies, or the west includes BC, we nonetheless forged ahead with a diverse set of papers covering an expanse of topics that centred around examinations of 'place'. Topics included areas of Aboriginal, environment, gender, technology and migration history, indicative of the vibrant scholarship in western Canadian history. Members of our department included Tolly Bradford, Jon Clapperton, Stephanie Danyluk, Erika Dyck, Mandy Fehr, Liam Haggarty, Heather Stanley and former U of S student Margaret Robbins.

Story credit: Erika Dyck
Photo caption: Conference-weary travelers at the Winnipeg airport

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Girl with the Pearl Earring

HUSA starts its annual film series with Girl with the Pearl Earring, introduced by Dr. Lisa Smith. The film is a beautiful depiction of seventeenth-century life, portraying the household of painter Johannes Vermeer from the perspective of young maidservant Griet. This movie has it all: simmering domestic tensions, the precariousness of art as an occupation and history by the bucketloads. Starring Colin Firth and Scarlett Johansson.

When: September 29
Where: Arts 134
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Price: Free

Monday, September 20, 2010

Revival of the A.S. Morton Chair

Dr. Bill Waiser, SOM, FRSC, starts off the year as our newly appointed A.S. Morton Chair. The Chair, with a term of five years, was created in 1967 to recognise excellence in scholarly achievement: publications, national and international reputation, research grant success and peer reviews.

Bill has written widely (thirteen books!) on western Canadian social and environmental history. Recent titles include Tommy's Team: The People Behind the Douglas Years (2010, with S. Houston) and the award-winning Sasatchewan: A New History (2005). In addition to regular media appearances, he also hosted the CBC Saskatchewan T.V. program, Looking Back: 1999-2001. His list of accomplishments includes receiving the Saskatchewan Order of Merit (2006) and Centennial Medal and induction into the Royal Society of Canada (2007). At the U of S, he has received awards of excellence in teaching, research and alumni honour.

In the words of our Department Head, Valerie Korinek, Bill "exemplifies the Department's culture of research intensity, teaching excellence, and community engagement, and we congratulate him on this award. We know he will be an excellent ambassador for historical research."

Image: A very young Bill Waiser
Image Credit: Provided by Bill Waiser
Meet the Profs

Once again, HUSA's "Meet the Profs" night is upon us. History students, students interested in history and history professors all welcome!

Date: Thursday, September 23
Time: 7 p.m.
Place: Alexander's (second floor)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Dying and Dining in a Roman Cemetery

The Classical, Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program is very pleased to invite everyone to an illustrated lecture by Professor Lea Stirling, Canada Research Chair in Roman Archaeology at the University of Manitoba, entitled "Dying and Dining in A Roman Cemetery in Leptiminus (Lamta, Tunisia)."

When: Friday, October 1
Where: St. Thomas More College, Rm 344B
Time: Refreshments 3:30, Talk 4:00.
Roman Feast?

The University of Saskatchewan’s Museum of Antiquities is honouring its recent benefactors and sponsors with a themed dinner, “The Flavours of Ancient Rome”. Taste Roman-inspired delights created by Faculty club chef Kevin Calder! The event will take place in the Window Room of Faculty Club on Thursday September 30 at 6:00 pm. For information and tickets please contact Tracene Harvey at 966-7818, or visit the Museum of Antiquities Rm. 106 College Building. Ticket prices: $15.00 students. $50.00 non-students. All are welcome!

Friday, September 03, 2010

History of Medicine Seminar Series (2010-11)

The Canada Research Chair in Medicine (Erika Dyck) will be hosting the first ever History of Medicine Seminar Series this year. She's organised a fantastic line-up of speakers and everyone is welcome to attend. The seminars will be held at 4 p.m. at the Faculty Club (Club Room) -- and refreshments will be included.

October 21: Lucas Richert (U of S), "Protecting Americans to Death?: Revisiting Reaganomics, the FDA and Free-market Pharmaceuticals in the 1970s and 1980s"

November 18: Susanne Klausen (Carleton), "'We want to ensure that what happened in England will not happen here': The Abortion Debate in Apartheid South Africa"

January 20: Geoff Hudson (Northern Ontario School of Medicine), "'An Indescribable Level of Degradation': Pre-Nightingale Nursing Re-examined"

February 17: Lesley Biggs (U of S), "Beyond the Two Silos: A Framework for Theorizing Alternative and Biomedical Knowledges"

March 24: David Herzberg (SUNY), "'The Pill You Love Can Turn On You': Feminism, the Valium Panic, and Late 20th-century Prescription Scares"

For more information, contact Dr. Lucas Richert (Postdoctoral Fellow): .

Interesting New History Websites

Over the last year, I've been compiling a list of nifty new history websites. There may be a slight history of medicine bias... But if you've discovered some other sites that you think would interest people, let me know.

The Casebooks Project is putting the records of early modern astrologer-physicians Simon Forman and Richard Napier online, if you'd like to find out how astrology and medical treatment used to go hand-in-hand.

Recipes, Remedies and Receipts focuses on manuscript recipe collections (c. 1500-1900), providing finding aids, links to libraries with relevant holdings and historical context information (if you want to know more about "snail water" or "oil of swallows"). But why stop there? If you have a pre-modern manuscript recipe collection, the site authors would love to hear from you!

In related news, The Wellcome Library (London) has been digitizing their collection of seventeenth-century recipe collections, if you fancy trying your hand at reading them.

Six archives and libraries in the U.S. have formed a History of Medicine Finding Aids Consortium, bringing together their finding aids. It makes it possible to do easy searching for many American history of medicine topics. Carrying on the "recipe" theme, I found thirteen different entries at four different libraries.

Have you visited any history of medicine monuments or places recently? If so, Himetop (the History of Medicine Topographical Database) would like to know about it. There are only two entries for Canadians so far. It's a wiki, which allows contributors to share their knowledge and pictures of places related to the history of medicine.

The Livingstone Online project is an online edition of David Livingstone's medical and scientific correspondence. You can view the original documents, as well as read transcriptions. The site authors have provided a helpful "historical companion" to the letters.

London Lives is my current favourite, largely because I've discovered some rapscallions in my husband's family tree. The database brings together holdings from over eight archives, making it possible to search over 3 million names of Londoners (1690-1800). The documents can tell us much about crime, poverty, apprenticeship, voting... and makes it possible to reconstruct biographies of individuals.

How to be a Retronaut offers an irreverent look at history, bringing together the past and present in intriguing ways.

I'll end on a modern, rather beautiful note. If you want to see coloured photos of Russia a century ago, recently had a series of fascinating images of the Russian Empire.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Human Rights are Women's Rights

On August 24, her Excellency, Governor General Michaelle Jean was on campus to speak on "Human Rights are Women's Rights". Following the Governor General's very moving speech was no easy task, but our own Pam Jordan and Omeasoo Butt (graduate student) rose to the occasion admirably before a packed Convocation Hall.

Professor Jordan's discussion of international women's experiences, empowerment, and "possibilities and opportunities" available to those of us who believe that change is possible was deftly handled, thought-provoking, and struck the perfect balance between education, international gender politics, and encouragement to activism.

Ms Butt's contribution was poised (and often humorous), urging the assembly to work towards decolonization and partnerships between many groups -- women and men, First Nations and settlers, as it is the only way for the country, society and the academy to go forward.

What a fantastic and inspiring morning!

Story Credit: Valerie Korinek

Image 1: Her Excellency, Governor General Michelle Jean speaking
Image Credit: University of Saskatchewan Media Room, # 15

Image 2: Pam Jordan (left) and Omeasoo Butt being hugged by her Excellency (right).
Image Credit: John McCannon

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

How Professors Spend the Summer

Look out Congress Clio-paloozers, the Society for the Social History of Medicine hosted its annual meeting at Durham University (U.K.) this July, complete with a Saturday night Scottish-style Ceilidh. As was made evident by the dancing attempts, historians are better in the archives than on the dance floors, but it didn't stop Professors Smith and Dyck from dosey-doeing with the best of them. Aside from the folk music, conference attendees also witnessed the annual miners' march through Durham. Brass bands marched through the town carrying union banners; miners and their families filled the streets while onlookers spilled out of the pubs to pay tribute to the now-dead Northern tradition of coal mining. Although the festivities left precious time for scholarship, we left our mark by anchoring the conference with back-to-back presentations on gender, fertility and reproduction, or rather its lack, in papers about castration in eighteenth-century France followed by a paper about hysterectomies in post-WWII Alberta.

Story Credit: Erika Dyck


1. Professors Dyck and Smith with various academics from Spain, Portugal, the U.S. and the U.K. at a pub.

Image Credit: A Yorkshire Miner who kindly took a photo using Professor Dyck's camera. His troop of miners regaled us with a sing-along and refused to let us leave unless we sang a song. Did we? Or didn't we? What happened in Durham, stays in Durham.

2. and 3. Durham Cathedral, with a procession of the miners going into the Cathedral for a special service to honour miners who died in mining accidents.

Image Credit: Erika Dyck.

* N.B. There are no images of the dancing. Sadly, all such images have been blurred in a terrible photography accident.

Undergraduate Student Essay Awards

Congratulations to Vanessa Cowan, Jordan Sherbino, Jason Grier and Alana Zuzak for winning the History Department essay prizes in the 2009-2010 competition!

Vanessa (History 111) and Jordan (History 152) were awarded the Simpson Prize, an annual prize that recognises first-year students who have written the best final examinations in a 100-level History course.

Jason's excellent essay on "The Surgery for Samuel Pepys: Scientific Curiosity and the Medical Marketplace in Seventeenth-Century London" for History 481 was awarded the James H. Gray Essay Prize in History (demonstration of academic excellence in a 400-level History course).

Alana's superb essay, "Supposedly Idyllic: Enemy Alien Internment at Banff National Park" (History 258), received the Glen Makahonuk Book Prize for best labour history paper in an undergraduate or graduate History course.

The quality of all essays submitted to the competition was extremely high and impressed the Awards Committee.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Attention Local and U of S History Buffs!

If you happen to be around campus this week, you might be interested in a special event. On Thursday, July 29th, the U of S celebrates the 100th anniversary of laying the cornerstone of the College Building. The celebration will take place at 2:30 at the Nobel Plaza, 107 Administration Place. A Reception will follow in the College Building Gallery (Main Level).

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Possible Career Option for Historians

Although What's Up often highlights academic success, it is important to note that there are, in fact, other career options for historians.

Wendy Gillis, for example, has had a busy summer as a journalism intern at the Ryerson Review of Journalism and the Toronto Star. As of May, she was working on a magazine feature about hyper local online news sites and collaboration with readership at the Ryerson Review. More recently, Wendy began an exciting 10-week internship in the newsroom at the Toronto Star.

And Toronto, between blackouts, earthquakes and riots, is certainly a newsworthy place to be this summer! A quick search of the Toronto Star website reveals that Wendy has been covering a wide-range of issues, from alleged police brutality or the Niagara miracle to a medieval knight at the G20.

While a history student in our department, Wendy developed her journalistic chops by editing The Sheaf and writing occasional articles for the Saskatoon Star Phoenix. Wendy is currently a student in the Master of Journalism programme at Ryerson University and has had an embarrassment of riches to undertake her studies: an Ontario Graduate Scholarship (which she declined) and the prestigious SSHRC Bombardier Graduate Scholarship.

Well done, Wendy! We hope that you send us the occasional dispatch from the media trenches, but in the meantime we'll keep an eye out for your byline.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Any text is possible if you take Latin!

Two of our very own department members have created a hilarious send-up of a old deodorent ad. John Porter stars in a YouTube video filmed by Ann DeVito. It is one in a series: see if you can spot the guest appearances and voice-overs by other members of the department...

So make sure you register today! It's never too late to gain the ability to parse Latin verbs or to compose sentences in Latin--in short, to become the most Latinate (wo)man in the world.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Alumna Grand Slam

Becky Littlechilds, who graduated from our CMRS programme in 2008, has had four major life events in the last month. She successfully defended her M.A. thesis (University of Victoria) on June 4, 2010. She then gave birth to a bouncing baby boy named Emrys on June 17. She has also been accepted into the Ph.D. programme in classics at King's College London AND has received maximum funding: a tuition waiver and scholarship to round out her SSHRC grant. Fantastic news, Becky!

Good luck to you and Emrys in Londinium... and don't forget to check out the hidden Roman baths just around the corner from the Strand location of KCL.

Image: Sophocles, King's Building, Strand Campus, KCL
Image Credit: "King's College London", Wikipedia

Monday, July 05, 2010

Seventy-Fifth Anniversary of the Regina Riots

Bill Waiser spoke to Michael Enright on The Sunday Edition (CBC) on July 4 about the On-to-Ottawa Trek and the Regina Riots.

Image: Rioters and police during the Regina Riot, 1 July 1935
Credit: Regina Archives

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Caregiving on the Periphery

Congratulations to Myra Rutherdale (Associate Professor, York University) on the publication of her edited collection, Caregiving on the Periphery: Historical Perspectives on Nursing and Midwifery in Canada (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2010). Myra was a postdoctoral fellow in the department in 2003-4 when she came up with this project.

The book examines women's important cultural and medical roles as nurses and midwives in remote locations (Newfoundland and Labrador, northern Saskatchewan, northern British Columbia, and the Arctic). Topics also include Western Canadian Mennonite midwives, missionary nurses, and Aboriginal nursing assistants in the Yukon. Caregiving at the Periphery highlights religious, colonial and class themes, paying special attention to nursing in Aboriginal communities and the relations of race and medical work.

For more information on the book, please see:

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Hewton Bursary

Congratulations to alumnus Lucas Richert (B.A., University of Saskatchewan) on being awarded a Hewton Bursary earlier this spring.

Lucas recently defended his doctoral dissertation on "Pills, Politics and the Food and Drug Administration During the Reagan Years" (University of London, U.K.). Among his many accomplishments, Lucas has also been a lecturer at the University of Portsmouth and a Historical Researcher and Copy Editor for the Literary Encyclopaedia.

Lucas will next research asylums in nineteenth-century Upper Canada and 1950s Saskatchewan (Weyburn and North Battleford). We heartily wish him luck in his future endeavours!

A book launch for Bill Waiser and Stuart Houston will be held to celebrate their new book Tommy's Team: The People Behind the Douglas Years.

The book examines the people behind Tommy Douglas while he was premier of Saskatchewan. Although the individuals are interesting in their own right, it is their connection to Douglas that shaped and informed their roles. This collection of 36 stories provides a broad, nuanced perspective on Douglas and explains why Douglas was one of the most successful political leaders of his era.

Date: June 15, 7:30
Time: 7:30
Place: McNally-Robinson

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Stand and Deliver:
Three Doctoral SSHRC Awards for Our Students

From community identities to highwaymen to Aboriginal blankets... You might think me biased when I say that our graduate students are coming up with rather cool research projects, but the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council agree. This year, three of our students won awards to undertake doctoral research projects.

Carla Fehr received the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship to research the pressures on community resources in several Guatemalan communities from the late 19th century to the end of the 20th century. She will explore the community identity that often forms around struggles to resist dispossession of resources. At the time of writing, she has not yet decided whether she will stay at the U of S or go to McGill for her Ph.D.

Kurt Krueger received a doctoral SSHRC and is off to the University of Victoria to work with Andrea Mackenzie. Kurt will be looking at highway robbery, particularly considering the intersection of masculinity, crime and culture in eighteenth-century Britain.

Katya MacDonald, who also received a doctoral SSHRC, will be staying at the U of S to work with Keith Carlson. Katya will be researching how blankets have featured in and represented historical narrative in Aboriginal communities.

Congratulations and good luck to our soon-to-be graduated graduates who will be moving on to their new projects in the autumn!

Image: Dick Turpin, Highwayman
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Monday, May 17, 2010

Tommy Douglas and the RCMP

Our own Bill Waiser and Steve Hewitt (department alumnus now working at the University of Birmingham) were interviewed by CBC's Michael Enright on the RCMP surveillance of Tommy Douglas over three decades. The subject of the show explores why those files are closed till this day.

This fascinating interview is still available as a podcast (May 16, The Sunday Edition) at:

Image: Premier Douglas, talking with Private Campbell of the Saskatoon Light Infantry (M.G.), Barneveld, Netherlands, 29 April 1945
Image Credit: Library and Archives Canada, PA-138035; Mikan ID 3524858.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

More Graduate Student Success

Ph.D. student Camie Augustus will be leaving us for a year to take up a prestigious "Pre-doctoral Dissertation Fellowship Award in American Indian Studies" at Michigan State University. Camie is working on "Indigenous Mixed Blood Identities: A Comparative Approach (Canada, US, Mexico and Australia)" (supervisors: Jim Miller and Jim Handy).

Congratulations, Camie! We wish you the best of luck at MSU.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Spurred to Success

Dave Smith, a doctoral student supervised by Gary Zellar and Keith Carlson, has received two prestigious awards this past year. Last June, his article "Owen Wister's Paladin of the Plains: The Virginian as a Cultural Hero," won the Western Writers of America "Spur Award" for Best Western Short Nonfiction. The article was originally published in the peer-reviewed journal South Dakota History. (See above, picture 1: Dave in appropriate western attire, holding the Spurs.)

Dave continues to ride high. Last week, Dave was in St. Louis where he received the Popular Culture/American Culture association's William M. Jones Award for Outstanding Graduate Student Paper in American Culture for his essay, "American Nightmare: Images of Brainwashing, Thought Control and Terror in Soviet Russia." The essay will appear in a forthcoming issue of the society's journal. (See above, picture 2: Dave receiving the award from Dr. Kathy M Jackson.)

The second article comes from his M.A. thesis, but his first article comes from his doctoral dissertation, which is in progress. He is researching the use of western rhetoric and images by American presidents.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

More Medical History

On March 12 and 13, seven of our students participated in the Annual History of Medicine Days at the University of Calgary. Five students presented papers and one presented a research poster. The conference was well-attended, with over 30 papers and 20 posters. Our students earned 3 prizes.

Heather Stanley: second runner-up, audio-visual category.
Mat Mossey: first runner-up, Bill Whitelaw Award in Internal Medicine.
Adam Fowler (alumnus and current medical student): first runner-up, overall category.

Other department participants included: Leslie Baker, Lucas Richert and Amy Samson. Congratulations to all of the students on such a fine departmental showing!

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Congratulations to Rob Konkel

Fourth-year Honours History student Rob Konkel has won a highly-competitive AMS Hannah Summer Studentship to undertake a summer project. In addition to working with Dr. Lisa Smith on an online database, "Eighteenth-Century Medical Collection Letters Online" (to be made public in June), Rob will write a long research essay considering the ways in which scientific men established medical authority in the physician-patient relationship in early modern England. He will extensively use the U of S library's microfilm collection of Sir Hans Sloane's scientific and medical correspondence. This will be a great introduction to the nuts and bolts of managing and undertaking a large historical research project for Rob -- just in time for him to start an MPhil programme at Oxford in the autumn!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

History Grad Banquet

Grad banquet tickets are now on sale in Arts 721 (The History Department Office) and must be purchased by April 1 in order to ensure that HUSA can keep the booking.

Date: April 8
Time: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. (approximately)
Place: Royal Canadian Legion, Nutana Branch (Beside Eastview Bowl)
Cost: $20 each

There will be dinner and door prizes! And any speeches are guaranteed to be short and sweet! Please join us in celebrating your graduation.

Contact: Kristina Rissling (

Image: George Cruikshank, Sailors Carousing (1825).
Image Credit: Wellcome Library, London

N.B. Smoking indoors illegal, dancing and drinking optional, feasting desirable.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Ides of March Trivia Night

The Museum of Antiquities will be hosting its annual Ides of March Trivia Night on Sunday, March 14. Tickets and t-shirts are on sale in advance in the Arts Tunnel March 5th and March 10th from 10am-2pm. Tickets and t-shirts are also available at the Museum of Antiquities office in the College Building, Room 116. Proceeds provide funding for the student volunteer programs.

Come cheer for either Caesar or Brutus and support the Museum of Antiquities!

Date: Sunday, March 14
Time:6:45 p.m. to 9:45 p.m.
Place: 1337 College Drive, U of S Grad Student Lounge, Emanuel St. Chad Chapel
Cost: $12 for Adults, $9 for Students, and $8 for children

For more information, please contact Tracene Harvey at the museum, 966-7818.

Image: Death of Caesar. Engraving, L. LeGrand after C. Eisen.
Image Credit: Wellcome Library, London

Monday, March 08, 2010

History Graduate Student Workshop:
How to Write Your Thesis/Dissertation

Friday March 12th, 10 am - 4:30 pm

Grad Commons (previously Emmanuel & St. Chad building)

All History Graduate Students Welcome!

This workshop brings together a variety of experts and the otherwise-informed from the department and university to provide information, instruction, tips, and experiences towards writing a history thesis or dissertation. Sessions will be led by faculty, writing instructors, IT instructors, and formerly defended/graduated MA and PhD students.

Sessions include:

The Secret Wonders of Word: Using Word's "Master Documents" to Manage Your Thesis/Dissertation

Zotero the Great: Making Your Bibliography Before It Ends You - (Almost) No More Typing

Taking the Plunge: Starting Your Thesis/Dissertation

When It's Over, Is It Really Over? Submitting, Editing, Defending (And Editing AGAIN!)

See the HGSC website for the full schedule:

Contact: Camie Augustus (

Image: A man writing in a book supported by Time, while Mercury is assisted by winged figures in displaying the portraits of French kings; representing French history. Engraving.

Image Credit: Wellcome Library, London.
Movie Night

HUSA will be hosting its fourth movie night of the year: Full Metal Jacket. Professor Smith-Norris will be introducing the film.

Date: March 18th
Time: 6 p.m.
Place: Arts 146
Cost: Free!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

HGSC Book Pub

The HGSC is hosting its annual book pub to raise money for the graduate student conference.

Date: Friday, March 5th
Time: 3:30 p.m.
Place: Grad Commons (between McLean Hall and College Drive)

The book pub includes a book auction, silent auction, appetizers and a cash bar (wine and beer).

Image: Group of three puffers (unintiated alchemists) reading books. A credulous peasant tries his luck at alchemy, while his weeping wife and child beg him to stop.

(Books can be dangerous, but are always exciting! Come try your luck at the book pub!)

Image Credit: Wellcome Library, London

Thursday, February 18, 2010

French Psychiatry at the Front in the First World War

Hosted by the Department of History and the Medical History Group, Professor Pat Prestwich (University of Alberta) will be speaking on "French Psychiatry at the Front in the First World War".

Date: Monday, March 8
Time: 3:30
Place: Club Room, Faculty Club

For more information, please contact Erika Dyck (

Image: "The Room of Recovery", from F.W. Mott, War Neuroses and Shell Shock (London, 1919).
Credit: Wellcome Library, London

Only Humour Helped

Special guest speaker Dr. Tim Cook (Canadian War Museum) will be talking on "'Only Humour Helped': Canadian Soldiers' Humour and Endurance in the Great War".

Date: Wednesday, March 3
Time: 4:30 p.m.
Place: Convocation Hall (College Building 120)

This talk will examine how Canadian Great War soldiers constructed and consumed humour in the Great War in order to cope with the unending stress on the Western Front. While the Great War is not normally viewed through a prism of jokes, laughter, or pranks, soldiers turned to these outlets to make sense of the war and deal with the unending strain. This is a story of resiliency rather than resignation.

Tim Cook is the First World War historian at the Canadian War Museum and an Adjunct Research Professor at Carleton University. He has published four books, including the two-volume history of Canadians fighting in the Great War, At the Sharp End, which won the 2007 J.W. Dafoe Prize, and Shock Troops, which won the 2009 Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction. His new book, The Madman and the Butcher: Sam Hughes, Arthur Currie, and the War of Reputations, will be published by Penguin Canada in 2010.

For more information, contact Professor Bill Waiser (

Image: A Canadian enjoying blackberries which he had just gathered in Bourlon Wood. Advance East of Arras. October, 1918.
Credit: Canada Department of National Defence, Library and Archives Canada.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Frank Klaassen of our department is the editor of new journal Opuscula: Short Texts of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. This peer-reviewed and open-access journal, which is published by CMRS, specialises in developing small scholarly editions of pre-modern texts, ranging from letters and notebooks to court documents and literary works.

And you can check out the very first -- and entirely fascinating -- issue ("Three Early Modern Magic Rituals to Spoil Witches") from the comfort of your own home.

The secrets of charming a witch into confession can now be yours ... for free!

Click now for these secrets and more: .

Image: Witches flying on broomsticks, from The History of Witches and Wizards (1720)
Credit: Wellcome Library, London

Monday, January 25, 2010

Snitch! A History of the Modern Intelligence Informer

Snitch! by Steve Hewitt, alumni of the department and Senior Lecturer at the University of Birmingham, comes out for sale on February 1st -- and it can be pre-ordered through fine booksellers like and

Book Description

This is a vivid account of how some citizens actively assist state surveillance by 'informing' on others, such as during the Cold War and the current campaign against terrorism. With "Snitch!", Steve Hewitt provides a thorough study of human informers, i.e., people who secretly supply information to a domestic security agency (a spy provides information to a foreign intelligence service.) The work begins with an examination of the rise of the modern security state through the Cold War to today's ongoing 'long war' on terror.

Using a unique comparative approach, Hewitt analyzes the practical and political aspects of informing, drawing on past and present examples from the United States, United Kingdom, former Soviet Union, and other countries. He argues that although the scale of the use of informers by domestic security agencies differs from nation to nation, the nature of their use and the impact on those targeted by this form of surveillance do not. An engaging read that combines scholarly research and specific case studies, "Snitch!" will appeal to anyone interested in security and intelligence as well as in issues surrounding the use of informers, especially in democratic societies.