Teaching

Welcome to the new CHA Syllabi Central

This portal will showcase the different methods used by members to teach History. We hope this resource will be of value to graduate students, new instructors, and established teachers who want to shake up their approaches in the classroom. We invite you to submit syllabi from all levels of classroom instruction, representing any geographical region or historical period, and written in either official language. All submissions should have a description of the course that will be searchable and can be up to 250 words in length.  We trust that members will use these shared resources responsibly.

HIS 4360: Origins to the Digital Era: Historians and Archives in Canada Author: Jo McCutcheon
Course Subject: History of archives in Canada from the earliest collections to the digital era
Posted: June 22, 2020

This course will explore the history of archives in Canada from the earliest collections to the digital era. What roles have historians had with archives and how have their roles changed? Students will explore the challenges and opportunities digitally born sources, digital archives and cloud computing offer historians in the 21st century.

Students will be introduced to a range of works on archives in Canada, the professionalization of archivists and the growth of professional associations within the landscape of galleries, libraries, archives and museums in Canada. Beyond course readings, we will also critically engage a range of digital tools and resources as students will also learn how to construct, post, maintain and implement new media in their course work. This course will explore the current and potential impact of the use of digital media on historical analysis, practice, research and presentation.

HIS 4135 Canada's Material Past in the Digital Era Author: J.M. McCutcheon
Course Subject: Material Culture, Digital History, Methodology
Posted: May 30, 2020

This course will explore Canada’s history using material history methods and material culture research.  Using inter-disciplinary approaches including, but not limited to archaeology, art history, Indigenous studies and museum studies, students will examine and contextualize artifacts and objects to learn about Canada’s past using a diversity of digital tools available. Students will evaluate, interpret and create history through their course work throughout the session. 

What happens when the study of the past is presented in the digital realm? How does research and writing in a time when millions of significant primary and secondary source texts, photographs, videos, audio sources, artifacts, maps and much more have been made available via academic and public realms? What can/will/should we do to manage big data?

Students will be introduced to a range of works on evaluating, interpreting and creating history using digital tools. Beyond course readings we will also critically engage a range of digital tools and resources as students will also learn how to construct, post, maintain and implement new media in their course work.  This course will explore the current and potential impact of the use of digital media on historical analysis, practice, research and presentation.

HIS 4360: Origins to the Digital Era: Historians and Archives in Canada Author: J.M. McCutcheon
Course Subject: Historians, Archives, Methodology, Primary Sources
Posted: May 30, 2020

This course will explore the history of archives in Canada from the earliest collections to the digital era.  What roles have historians had with archives and how have their roles changed?  Students will explore the challenges and opportunities digitally born sources, digital archives and cloud computing offer historians in the 21st century. 

Students will be introduced to a range of works on archives in Canada, the professionalization of archivists and the growth of professional associations within the landscape of galleries, libraries, archives and museums in Canada. Beyond course readings, we will also critically engage a range of digital tools and resources as students will also learn how to construct, post, maintain and implement new media in their course work. This course will explore the current and potential impact of the use of digital media on historical analysis, practice, research and presentation.

Canada Health History (2014-15) Author: Elsbeth Heaman
Course Subject: Epidemics and Public Health
Posted: May 8, 2020

When cholera swept around the world in 1832, people struggled to make sense of the experience: medically, morally, and politically. A new, free, and progressive country like Canada should, in theory, have been exempt from such old-world calamities associated with backwardness, filth, poverty, and fatalism. Cholera initiated a century of urgent, practical soul-searching about how processes of human history should be scrutinized and managed. Typhus in 1847, smallpox in 1885 and influenza in 1918 were no less politically and intellectually confounding. When authorities tried to quarantine or hospitalize people, or destroy their property in an effort to clean up local environments, they found their (often very new and fragile) legitimacy tested. Tuberculosis had its own perplexities as the disease, commonly attributed to overcrowding, spread through Indigenous populations in defiance of that precept.

Epidemics and public health unraveled nineteenth-century laissez-faire government. Liberal states had minimal mandates to manage private life; they saw themselves as facilitators of market forces. But what if the market brought death? Adam Smith had made airy promises that such a thing could never be—but there it was, spectacularly on display wherever epidemics were imported. To what extent did epidemics indict market forces or the state—whether liberal or authoritarian? To what extent did they unbind people from ordinary constraints of civil behaviour? What changed first: the medical profession’s ability to give good advice or the state’s administrative abilities? How did a long term shift from epidemic to endemic disease change things? These are some of the scholarly questions we will be addressing in this seminar.

A Syllabus for History After the TRC Author: CHA
Course Subject:
Posted: August 22, 2019

Introduction

What does the teaching and researching of history in Canada look like after the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC)? The TRC was established in 2008 as part of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, an agreement between the federal government and approximately 8000 Indigenous people who had attended residential schools.    Over the next six years, the TRC took on a staggering project of both research, public engagement, and advocacy.  The TRC did extensive archival research in the papers left by Canadian governments and churches, twice going to court to compel Canada to produce promised archival records.  As historian Mary Jane Logan McCallum notes, a serious commitment to gathering and analyzing oral testimony – and the different histories it told -- differentiated the shape and mandate of the commission’s research. [1] The TRC created an oral archive based on interviews with more that 6,000 people, most of whom had themselves attended residential schools.[2] 

The TRC’s final report was published in 2015, and as a document, the report makes clear how the TRC was both a powerful work of history and an important moment in history.   The TRC was focused on the particular question of Indian Residential Schools funded by the federal government between the 1880s and the 1990s.  The church-run schools that preceded the federal system were excluded, as were the church, province, or First Nation administered schools, including many of those that Metis children attended.  For all the specificity of this focus, the TRC became a vehicle for a wider, more critical discussion of the past and the present of Canadian colonialism, and the multiple ways it has cost Indigenous people and shaped Canada. 

The TRC was in no small way a reckoning with Canadian history, and it makes sense that the work of history and historians played an important role in its work.  A quick review of the Final Report’s bibliography makes this clear:  there are historians from Arthur Ray, Winona Stevenson/Wheeler, George Stanley, Sarah Carter, Mary-Ellen Kelm, Cornelius Jaenen, James Daschuk, Jean Friesen, along with the names of historians who have written what are generally considered the standard, monograph length studies on the history of residential schools, J.R. Miller and John Milloy. 

The TRC’s Final Report concludes with ninety-six calls to action designed to “redress the legacy of residential schools and advance the process of Canadian reconciliation.”[3]  Read at their most literal level, many of these concern the practice of historical scholarship and its production and application in classrooms, archives, and meetings rooms.  Read broadly, the Calls to Action that concern education (6-12) and Language and Culture (13-17) speak to the practices of working historians in Canada.  Call to Action 45 calls on Canada to jointly develop with Indigenous peoples a Royal Proclamation of Reconciliation that would build on the Royal Proclamation of 1764 and the Treaty of Niagara of 1764.   Call to Action 57 calls on federal, provincial, territorial and municipal governments to educate public servants on “the history of Aboriginal peoples, including the history and legacy of residential schools, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Treaties and Aboriginal rights, Indigenous law, and Aboriginal-Crown relations.”  Calls to Action 62 and 63 calls on governments to create curriculum and the capacity to integrate it in classrooms. 

Calls to Action 67 through 70 concern Museums and Archives, calling on the federal government to fund a national review of museum policies (67), establish a funding program for “commemorative projects on the theme of reconciliation” (68) and that Library and Archives Canada adopt and implement the documents, including the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, or UNDRIP which assert Indigenous peoples’ “inalienable right to know the truth about what happened and why, with regard to human rights violations committed against them in the residential schools,”[4] ensure that its holdings related to residential schools are accessible to the public, and commit more resources to public education materials on residential schools.  Call to Action 70 calls on the federal government to fund the Canadian Association of Archivists to work with Indigenous peoples to produce a national review of archival policies and a plan to implement international mechanisms as “reconciliation framework for Canadian archives.”[5]  Calls to Action 71 through 76 address the need for more records and more cooperation to document the children who died at residential school. 

Calls to Actions 77 and 78 concern the establishment of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.  Calls to Action 79 through 83 concern Commemoration, calling on the federal government to amend the Historic Sites and Monuments Act and to revisit the National Program of Historical Commemoration with an eye to integrating “Indigenous history, heritage values, and memory practices into Canada’s national heritage and history,”[6] develop a national heritage plan for commemorating residential schooling, and to establish a statutory holiday and monuments to Residential schools in capital cities.

Four years have passed since these Calls to Action were first issued.  Historian Ian Mosby’s regular accounting makes clear that concrete action on the calls remains overwhelmingly incomplete or partial.[7] The calls to action have produced valuable institutional responses form some (though far from all) post-secondary institutions, units, and scholarly and professional organizations have engaged in a range of formal and informal responses to the TRC.  These include the Canadian Federation of Library Association/Fédération canadienne des associations de bibliothèques’s very substantial “Truth and Reconciliation Report and Recommendations,” the University of Regina’s Faculty of Arts Statement and Report on Indigenizing and the TRC’s Calls to Action.[8] 

In the summer of 2017, the Canadian Historical Association/ Societé historique du Canadas struck a TRC response working group.  Made up of Jo-Anne McCutcheon, Sarah Nickel, Adele Perry, and Alison Norman and steered by CHA/SHC Executive Director Michel Duquet, this working group has taken on a number of projects, including funding TRC related projects.[9]  Inspired by the “Indigenous Content Syllabus Materials: A Resource for Political Science Instructors in Canada” released by  Canadian Political Science Association’s Reconciliation Committee in September 2018,[10] the CHA/SHC’s TRC Response Committee decided that an appropriate next step would be to craft this document: A Syllabus for History After the TRC

The goal of this syllabus is to gather together materials on Indigenous history in and around Canada that might be useful for people teaching, researching, writing history or working in public history.   Throughout the syllabus, we seek to centre and highlight Indigenous scholarship, writing, and cultural production.  As much as historical scholarship and research played in the TRC, it is also true that as discipline and a profession, history in Canada – and elsewhere in the settler colonial world – has had an at best uneven, and at worse decidedly negative relationship to Indigenous history as a subject and to Indigenous scholars as practitioners.[11]  In recent months, important parts of this issue has been raised by historian Allan Downey, and the CHA as an organization has and will continue to respond to these conversations, which are past due. 

How does the TRC, and the questions that informed it and the ones that have been raised in the wake of its completion, prompt us to think differently about the work we do in classrooms, archives, museums, and meeting rooms?  How have historians contributed to these conversations, and what needs to be done for us to produce books, articles, and syllabi that speak in more ethical, rigorous, and engaged ways to the questions raised by the TRC and by Indigenous Studies scholarship. As we complete this stage of the syllabus, the National Inquiry on Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women/ l’Enquête nationale sur les femmes et les filles autochtones disparues et assassinées issued its final report, and how does this change our readings of Canada and its histories?

[1] Mary Jane Logan McCallum, “Forward,” John S. Milloy, A National Crime: The Canadian Government and the Residential School, 2nd edition (Winnipeg, University of Manitoba Press, 2017)
[2] See Krista McCracken, “The Role of Canada’s Museums and Archives in Reconciliation,” Active History, 15 June 2015.
[3] Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, Calls to Action (Winnipeg, TRC, 2015) 2.
[4] TRC, Calls to Action, 8.
[5] TRC, Calls to Action, 8.
[6] TRC, Calls to Action, 9.
[7] See “Curious about how many of the TRC’s calls to actions have been completed?? Check Ian Mosby’s Twitter,” 20 October 2017, https://www.cbc.ca/radio/unreserved/how-are-you-putting-reconciliation-into-action-1.4362219/curious-about-how-many-of-the-trc-s-calls-to-actions-have-been-completed-check-ian-mosby-s-twitter-1.4364330, accessed 18 December 2018.
[8] Camille Callison, “Truth and Reconciliation Report and Recommendations,” (Ottawa, CFLA-FCAB, 2016); University of Regina’s Faculty of Arts “Statement and Report on Indigenizing and the TRC’s Calls to Action,” June 2018, found at https://www.uregina.ca/arts/assets/docs/pdf/Arts_Indigenization_Report-Final%202018.pdf 
[9] For more, see Sarah Nickel and Jo McCutcheon, “The TRC and the CHA,” Intersections, 1:1 (2018) 20-22.
[10] https://www.cpsa-acsp.ca/documents/committees/Indigenous%20Content%20Syllabus%20Materials%20Sept%2024%202018[27].pdf 
[11] See, for a discussion and response, the special issue on “Indigenous Historical Perspectives,” with an introduction by Dimitry Anastakis, Mary-Ellen Kelm, and Suzanne Morton, and essays by Brenda Macdougall, Leanne Leddy, Mary Jane Logan McCallum, and John Borrows, Canadian Historical Review, 98:1 (March 2017), 60-135.  Also see Adele Perry, Adele Perry, « “Word from the President: Reading the Royal Historical Society’s 2018 Report,” Intersections, July 2019 1-4.

 

History of Canada Since 1867 Author: Shawn W. Brackett
Course Subject: History of Post-Confederation Canada
Posted: July 18, 2019

Canada has changed tremendously in the past 150 years. Families moved in large numbers from the country to cities; the economy and military became more integrated and entangled with global trends; immigrants changed the social and cultural makeup of communities; and ordinary people staked more radical claims for equality and opportunity. In short, the lives of our forebears would be hardly recognizable—or would they? We will learn what life was like for the powerful and the poor, how individuals and communities faced, resisted, and harnessed global forces, and try to understand the people of Canada’s past. Throughout this course, we will explore how Canada has changed and how it has remained surprisingly similar. Above all, we will consider the meaning and progress of equality for Canadians of many walks of life.

Hist 1707: World History Author: Danielle Kinsey and Susanne Klausen
Course Subject: world history
Posted: November 18, 2018

This is a full year, first-year level survey of World History from the 4th century CE to the present. Course description:  This course examines the growth of global connections over the last sixteen hundred years, from about 400 CE to the present. We will begin by looking at how people, ideas, and things travelled over vast distances throughout the Pacific, American, Mediterranean, African and Eurasians worlds, stimulating commodity trades, religious innovation, and the intermingling of populations. This increase in traffic supported many far-flung empires, including those in Scandinavia, West Africa, the Middle East, Central America, and northern Asia. The first semester of the course will be devoted to tracing connections and analyzing the hybrid political and cultural formations that were engendered as people promoted, resisted, and negotiated their way through growing translocal networks. The second half of the course will be focused on the last three hundred years, the so-called modern era. We will discuss the systems and effects of the past few centuries of globalization in terms of mass migrations, industrialization, environmental change, global communications infrastructure, universalist ideas, the international system, multinational corporations, consumer culture, world war, and transnational activism. In addition to learning the content of global history, students will also develop the skills necessary to write history: identifying the difference between primary and secondary sources, analyzing and interpreting evidence, engaging in research, crafting historical arguments, and evaluating historical claims in today’s popular culture. 

Hist 1707: World History Author: Danielle Kinsey
Course Subject: world history
Posted: November 18, 2018

This is the 2nd half of a first-year survey on World History. This half uses Donald Wright's book The World and a Very Small Place in Africa as its main textbook.  Course description: The Winter term will continue to expose students to historically informed, critical analyses that frame contemporary discussions about globalization but we’ll do so by focusing on three interrelated lines of inquiry:
·      How have relationships between the “local” and the “global” changed over time and why is this important? Who and what are local and who and what are global?
·      What can the histories of hybridity and appropriation tell us about world history?
·      How can we study the relationship between globalization and power inequality and how it has changed over time? Why should we?
We’ll be examining historical case studies from about 1250 CE to the present.  These will include discussions about the Mongol Empire, the Indian Ocean World, the histories of various global commodity chains, European empires in the nineteenth century, the rise of fascism as an anti-globalization stance, transnationalism, transnational resistance movements, and the digital revolution.

Hist 3217: Empire and Globalization Author: Danielle Kinsey
Course Subject: European imperial histories; global histories; colonialism
Posted: November 18, 2018

This is a third year course in European imperial/colonial histories. Course description: “Globalization” and “imperialism” are both terms fraught with ambiguity and overuse.  Some, believing in visions of inevitable progress, argue that as populations have grown and technologies have become more sophisticated, the world has naturally become more “globalized” or more integrated in political, social, economic, and even cultural ways.  Others argue that this interconnectivity has come about not because of natural growth but through projects designed to exploit peoples around the world.  They read the term “globalization” as a kinder, gentler way of describing Western imperialism in its present day incarnation. By examining various empires in world history and with particular emphasis on modern European imperialism, this course will explore the relationship between empire and globalization. Four themes will be: difference; intermediaries; resistance; the global. Specific content to be discussed will include: mercantilism, the Atlantic slave trade, science and medicine, time, religion and civilizing missions, the colonial archive, racialized and gendered categories of difference, reproduction and sexuality, métissage, technology, bureaucracy, nationalism and citizenship, decolonization, Commonwealth, postcoloniality, and indigenous resistance movements.

HIST 1001: The Making of Europe Author: Danielle Kinsey
Course Subject: European history
Posted: November 18, 2018

This is the winter half of a first-year survey course on "The Making of Europe."  Course description:  This course surveys the origins, development and continuities of the dominant European societies from Antiquity through to the present day.  The Fall term of the course explored the development of the physical, cultural, and political space that would become known as Europe from Antiquity to the Renaissance.  The Winter term will follow these themes from the seventeenth century to the present, considering the rise of new social and intellectual communities, the development of nation-states and modern empires, and how European culture both shaped and was shaped by substantial interaction with the wider world.  This course provides a general overview of European history by focusing on key themes:
 ·       forms and uses of power
·       the creation and control of religious belief and worship
·       social and cultural exchange
·       transformation of communication structures and forms of cultural representation
·       gender/sex/sexuality/class/race
 In addition to providing an overview of the history of Europe, this course teaches students the basic tools of academic historical inquiry.  Lectures will offer an outline of major historical currents and ask the student to engage with many different ways of doing history.  In discussion groups, students will read, analyze, and discuss primary sources under the direction of a Teaching Assistant. Students will be asked to adopt a critical attitude towards the past and to understand what sorts of questions can be answered by different types of sources.

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