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.

HGSC Steak Night

The HGSC is hosting a Fundraiser Steak Night at Winston's English Pub, downtown Saskatoon (243 21st St E) on Tuesday, February 2nd at 6pm (dinner at 6:30).

(There is also a meat-free stir-fry option available as an alternative to steak.)

Tickets are $15 each and ALL proceeds go to help subsidize student travel to the 2010 Keewatin Conference to be held this year in Manitoba at Riding Mountain Park.

To purchase your ticket, please see Nadine in Arts 721. Tickets are also available from HGSC members in McLean Hall (Mandy Fehr, Mat Mossey, and Kelly Butler).

For more information on Winston's,
Questions may be directed to Kelly Butler,

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Professor Chris Kent's Retirement

Professor Kent's students are invited to his retirement celebration, which will be held on Thursday, February 4 in the Faculty Club, Fireside Room (3:30-5:30).

If you are interested in attending, please R.S.V.P. to Nadine Penner by email ( or by telephone (966-5797).

Monday, January 18, 2010

Thirteenth Annual Michael Swan Colloquium

The Department of History will be hosting the annual Honours colloquium on Friday, January 22 , from 10:00 until 4:00 at the Diefenbaker Centre. The sessions show our students' wide-ranging research interests.

Session 1 (10:00-10:15): Totalitarian Policy in Practice
Session 2 (11:00-11:45): Science and Medicine
Lunch 11:45-1:00 -- Served in the Foyer
Session 3 (1:00-2:00): Marginalized Populations
Session 4 (2:15-2:50): Crime and Punishment
Session 5 (3:00-3:45): War and Peace

It looks like an interesting day ahead. Faculty, friends and family, graduate students and undergraduate students are all very welcome to attend!

Monday, January 04, 2010

The Great Trek

On January 5, from 12:30 to 1:00, grad student Merle Massie will be chatting to Garth Materie on CBC Radio's Blue Sky. The topic of the show will be The Great Trek -- migration in Saskatchewan during the 1930s. This follows on from her earlier Blue Sky appearance in October (see previous What's Up entry), when Merle discussed northern freighting.

Update: The podcast is now available!