Monday, June 27, 2011

An Accounting

A note from MA student Mark Geldof (supervisor Sharon Wright) recently appeared in your loyal correspondent's mailbox.  Mark wrote that he "thought the department should know what one of its students has been up to with his GTF (Graduate Teaching Fellowship) the last two years".  And a fine accounting it is, too.  

Earlier this summer, he presented at the infamous Zoo (Kalamazoo, 46th International Congress on Medieval Studies) on “Amen Quod J Ledall: BL Additional 39564 and Late Medieval English Fight Texts".  Just before the conference, Opuscula published his article, “Strokes of ij hand swerde: a Brief Instruction in the Use of Personal Arms.” Opuscula 1, no. 2 (2011): 1-9.  His summer of success will be rounded off when The Antiquaries Journal publishes his article on "Signo Dicti Collegii: Instruction for a Fourteenth-Century Corporate Badge for the College of Trinity Hall, Cambridge” in September (The Antiquaries Journal 92, 2011). 

It is always wonderful to see such projects coming to completion!
Double Trouble

Keith Thor Carlson with his two awards (photo credit: Bill Waiser)

One of the must-read books of the summer for anyone wanting to know more about Aboriginal history is surely Keith Thor Carlson's The Power of Place, The Problem of Time: Aboriginal Identity and Historical Consciousness in the Cauldron of Colonialism.  The book received two awards at the Canadian Historical Association's annual conference and is described by the CHA Clio committee as "engaging, clearly-written, and important".

The awards are the Aboriginal History Studies Group's Aboriginal History Book Prize and the CHA's Clio Prize for British Columbia.  It is worthwhile to read each committee's rationale in full at the CHA website: AHSG and CHA. The short version, however, is that Keith's innovative work examines dynamic Stó:lõ identities since the eighteenth century, situating the identities within temporal and spatial contexts.  His book redefines how Aboriginal history can be done.  By using ethnographical, archaeological, geographical and anthropological tools to frame his understanding of archival and oral sources, Keith shows how Aboriginal history can be studied on its own terms. 

Congratulations, Keith!  This is fantastic and exciting news.

Thursday, June 02, 2011


Congratulations to Bill Waiser and Stuart Houston.  Their book, Tommy's Team, has been shortlisted for the CAA Lela Common Award for Canadian History.  You can read an excerpt of the book at The StarPhoenix -- or even better, buy a copy of it!  We'll keep our fingers crossed for you, Bill and Stuart.

Simonne Horwitz gave a smart, eloquent and thought-provoking interview to John Gormley on May 13 about the John Demjanjuk case:  This is well worth a listen.

On a more frivolous note, Lisa Smith was interviewed by CBC Calgary on April 28 about the rituals of pomp and ceremony surrounding the royal nuptials.  She nearly did not make the interview time, as she had been en route to Moose Jaw for the Keewatin Conference when her car stalled and needed to be towed back to Saskatoon.  She delivered the interview from a telephone in a local garage...   The best bit was when the mechanic burst into the room midway through, exclaiming "Sorry, love, but your engine is shot!"  Or was it?  Alas, you'll never know, as there is no podcast to prove the story either way...
Hot Hot History: The CSHM Version

Whereas our department participated in the CHA, we positively dominated the Canadian Society for the History of Medicine and Canadian Association for the History of Nursing conference!  The count includes five grad students, one postdoc, two faculty and two former postdocs -- considering the much smaller size of this conference, this is an impressive number.  The breadth of our presentations highlights the vibrancy of our history of medicine programme (in which, incidentally, students will soon be able to take a minor).

On the final day of the conference, a miniature meeting resumed at the Fredericton airport, where several CSHMers waited several hours for their much delayed flights.  Fortunately, the company was good, so the time sped by! 

Presentations included (in order of appearance):

Matt Mossey, "From Radon Gas to Radioisotopes: The Birth and Legacy of the Saskatchewan Cancer Initiative"

Myra Rutherdale and Maureen Lux (former postdocs, now at York and Brock respectively) were on the roundtable, "Accounting for the Importance of Home-place, Workplace, Landscape and Identity in Canadian Health Care Services"

Marc Macdonald, "Trafficking Disease: Unexpected Death in an Enlightenment World"

Sheila Gibbons, "'A Moral and Physical Menace': Motherhood and Eugenics in UFWA Politics, 1815-1925"

Lucas Richert, "The American Psychiatric Association's Radical Caucus, 1968-1969"

Amy Samson, "Identifying Mental Suspects: Alberta School Teachers and Eugenics, 1930-1960"

Elizabeth Scott, "'Rejected on Account of His Eyes': Canadian Medical Inspection and Emigrant Selection amongst London's Labouring Poor in the 1890s and 1900s"

Lisa Wynne Smith, "Defining Old Age: Men's Debility in Early Eighteenth-Century England"

Simonne Horwitz, "Reading HIV/AIDS in Saskatchewan's Newspapers, 1981-2010"
Hot Hot History: The CHA Version

Now that we're all back from Congress, it's worth taking stock of our department's participation in the CHA conference.

A highlight of the Canadian Historical Association conference was the roundtable focusing on Keith Carlson's recent book, The Power of Place, The Problem of Time: Aboriginal Identity and Historical Consciousness in the Cauldron of Colonialism.

Keith and Erika Dyck [in absentia] also participated on the same panel, "Silencing the Past: Barriers to Historical Research", which was cross-listed between the CHA and Canadian Society for the History of Medicine.  Keith's paper was on "The Hidden Promise: History, the Archives and Ethics in the Salish Community", while Erika's paper looked at "Searching for the Voices of Patients: Medical Records, Health Information Laws and Challenges/Opportunities for the History of Medicine".

The panel, "Imperialism, Displacement and Resistance", included Martha Smith-Norris speaking on "American Cold War Policies and The Enewatakese: Environmental Degradation, Community Displacement, and Indigenous Resistance in the Marshall Islands") and Daniel Macfarlane (alumnus, now a postdoc at Carleton), "Displaced Waters and Displaced Communities: Exploring the Formation of the St. Lawrence Seaway and Power Project".  Tolly Bradford (U of S postdoc) spoke in another panel on "Religion, Leadership and the Re-Making of Community amongst the Grant River Six Nations, 1822-1870".