2014 News Archives

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Ball State Conference 2015

Applications are now being accepted for the Undergraduate History Conference at Ball State University, in Indiana, to be held on Friday, February 20th.  Every year three to five undergraduates are selected to present essays written in History Department classes.  All themes, places, and time periods are eligible for consideration.  Transportation, meals, and lodging is provided.  To apply please submit a copy of your History essay as an attachment in Word, with the subject heading of "Ball State University Conference," to Professor Eli Nathans (enathans@uwo.ca).  The application deadline is Wednesday, January 14, 2015.  Essays should be roughly ten to twenty pages in length.  Please note the History Department class for which you wrote the essay, and the name of the professor who taught the class.



Macdonald at 200: New Reflections and Legacies

Professor Roger Hall has co-edited, and Professor Ben Forster has contributed a chapter to, Macdonald at 200: New Reflections and Legacies, fifteen fresh interpretations of Canada's founding Prime Minister, published for the occasion of the bicentennial of his birth in 1815.

Macdonald at 200 presents fifteen fresh interpretations of Canada's founding Prime Minister, published for the occasion of the bicentennial of his birth in 1815. Well researched and crisply written by recognized scholars and specialists, the collection throws new light on Macdonald's formative role in shaping government, promoting women's rights, managing the nascent economy, supervising westward expansion, overseeing relations with Native peoples, and dealing with Fenian terrorism. A special section deals with how Macdonald has (or has not) been remembered by historians as well as the general public. The book concludes with an afterword by prominent Macdonald biographer Richard Gwyn. Macdonald emerges as a man of full dimensions — an historical figure that is surprisingly relevant to our own times.

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Congratulations to our MA Public History students on their display located at the Western Archives

Western public history students create a revealing profile on some of London’s heritage homes. Click here to view the story by the London Free Press.


All That Glitters is Not Gold?   

 Professor Michael Dove has completed a review for the Royal Canadian Mint (RCM) of a design proposed for a new coin depicting famous explorer Henry Hudson.  The Henry Hudson $200 gold coin is part of the RCM's Great Canadian Explorers Series and is scheduled to appear in 2015! 

Says Dove: "This gold coin is being created to commemorate Henry Hudson's famed yet tragic final voyage aboard the Discovery in 1610/11 in which he became the first known navigator to sail through the strait and into the bay that now bears his name.  Upon clearing the end of what is now Hudson Strait and spying the glittering expanse of sea that lay ahead, Hudson and his crew believed they had finally reached the Pacific and beyond that, the riches of the Orient.  That feeling, of course, was fleeting, as he and his men found their southern route blocked at the bottom of James Bay, where they were forced to spend a horrific winter.  Most, of course, will be familiar with the final scene when Hudson and several of his crew were set adrift and abandoned by a mutinous crew in June of the following year.  Though the historic voyage ended dreadfully, it did leave a lasting legacy.  Hudson's failed search for a northwest passage inspired numerous northern voyages over the subsequent centuries, leading to the further geographical delineation of Canada's northern region and inviting trade and commercial development, as well as European settlement, in what are now the country's western provinces and territories."   


Congratulations Professor Rob MacDougall

The History Department would like to congratulate Professor Rob MacDougall on his new book publication. His new book "The People's Network" is about the birth of the telephone industry in the United States and Canada, and the fierce battles between politicians, corporate interests, and ordinary people to control the telephone--the cutting edge, disruptive new technology of its day. 

You’re not going to see THE PEOPLE'S NETWORK on Oprah or in airport bookstores, but it really is a good story, told as well as I could tell it. If you care about the politics of communication, if you’re curious about parallels between the past and the information revolution of today, if you were excited once about the democratizing power of the internet but now feel that optimism slipping away, then I wrote this book for you.


You can order THE PEOPLE'S NETWORK, or just find out more about it, at my website: http://www.robmacdougall.org/the-peoples-network/

I’m redecorating my site right now, so some pages may be sparse or wonky. But the book page is there and those sneaky Amazon affiliate links are in perfect working order. If you have ever read a more entertaining book about municipal telephone pole bylaws in the 1880s, I will give you your money back