Invitation to History (Theme: Canadian Football and the History of Sports) (HIST*1050) | College of Arts

Invitation to History (Theme: Canadian Football and the History of Sports) (HIST*1050)

Code and section: HIST*1050*03

Term: Fall 2022

Instructor: James Fraser



Two interactive lectures/seminars per week (1.5 hours each)


This course introduces students to the basics—or the fundamentals—of the historian’s craft, including interpreting primary sources of evidence, locating and critically analyzing secondary sources of information, and writing formally for the discipline of History. Utilizing small classes of fifty students or less, it highlights and provides students with the tools they will need for success in a History major, minor or area of concentration.

The specific topic that will be studied in striving to achieve these aims is the history of the sport of Canadian football. The course encourages students to reflect on the whole idea of sports history as “serious” history, and on the ways in which the history of sport can both inform, and be informed by, developments in other specialist or general understanding of the past. By way of illustration the course zeros in on Canadian football, and considers how the history of the sport, including its evolving stature and significance in Canadian society and culture, speaks to wider themes in Canadian history, including demographics and identity(-ies), race and racism, US cultural and commercial influence, and so on. By the end of the course, students will have acquired some practical experience in handling primary sources, and will have formed opinions concerning the role of the discipline of History in grappling with some of the big questions facing Canadians in the present century.


D. Morrow and K. B. Wamsley, Sport in Canada: a history (Oxford University Press, 2016).


  • Short essay proposal - 10% - due end of September
  • Midterm exam (remote) - 20% - mid October
  • Essay source project - 15% - due end of October
  • Research essay - 25% - due end of November
  • Class Contribution - 10%
  • Final exam (remote) - 20% - TIME TBD

*PLEASE NOTE: This is a preliminary web course description only. The Department reserves the right to change without notice any information in this description. The final, binding course outline is distributed in the first class of the semester.