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