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.