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History: Dr. Richard Reid on African-Canadians in the US Civil War

by Teresa Pitman for @Guelph

African Canadians in Union Blue by Richard Reid, Professor Emeritus looks at why so many black Canadians left the safety of home to serve in a foreign war.

Each year Canada honours the legacy of black Canadians during Black History Month in February, and Canadians can gain insight into the experiences of black Canadians and their vital role in the country’s history. But what many people might not know is these contributions extended beyond the border. In the years before the American Civil War, many African-Americans moved to Canada – or, more accurately, the territories that would become Canada in 1867 – seeking a better life without slavery or restrictive laws. Racism was still a reality in Canada, but it was not institutionalized as it was in the U.S.

read the rest of the story @Guelph

History: Winter 2015 Newsletter of the Department

History Newsletter Winter 2015



Our Winter 2015 Newsletter is now out! Thanks again to our Newsletter editor, Dr. Femi Kolapo, and all our contributors who keep us in the loop with their accomplishments and events. If you have news for future issues - let us know!

Get the Newsletter .pdf.


History: Dr. David Murray's History of the University of Guelph - Gone Digital



from @Guelph

Hatching the Cowbird’s Egg: The Creation of the University of Guelph, a book commemorating the University’s 25th anniversary in 1989, is now available as an e-book through the Internet Archive.

Written by David Murray, a retired U of G history professor and former dean of the College of Arts, and published by the University of Guelph, the book chronicles the formal creation of the university in 1964 and the contributions and obstacles faced by those involved in the transformation of three colleges into a university. Visit the digitized version of the Hatching the Cowbird’s Egg at the Internet Archive.

History: Apply by Feb. 2 for Summer Undergraduate Research Assistantships

This summer the Department offers the following Research Assistantships:

Dear Diary Archive: Discover and Transcribe Rural Ontario’s Past, Research Assistant and Social Media Coordinator, Supervisor Dr. Catharine Wilson

Childhood Origins of Adult Health, Supervisor Dr. Kris Inwood

Gender, Sexuality and Propaganda in Late Medieval Europe, Supervisor Dr. Christine Ekholst

Morality and Health: The Health League of Canada, Supervisor Dr. Catherine Carstairs

For more information on these projects and how to apply by February 2, 2015, visit our job postings page


History: Call For Papers: Artifacts in Agraria Symposium

Call For Papers: Artifacts in Agraria Symposium
University of Guelph, 17-18 October 2015

A pottery jug, rag rug, handmade nightdress, coal-oil lamp, plow, buggy, barn…. Some experiences of the agrarian past have escaped being put into language but survive long after the period under study as artifacts.

We invite proposals that begin with a material artifact of everyday life, either made or used, and explore it as a valid historical source that gathers meaning when understood in the context of surviving written records, family history, fashion trends and international commerce. How is the artifact conceived and used by particular groups? How does it connect aesthetic and cultural beliefs, symbolize self-identity, affirm values, tell stories, purvey heritage and have meaning ascribed to it through display? We encourage papers that provide a better understanding of rural life in and beyond Canada, and that explore new methods or ways of viewing and contextualizing artifacts. Though organized by historians, we welcome ethnologists, archaeologists, art historians, cultural geographers, museum professionals and connoisseurs.

Please submit a 400 word proposal and 1 page CV to C. Wilson,
For more information visit:
Deadline for proposals is 26 January 2015.

Sponsored by the Redelmeier Professorship in Rural History

History: Rural History Roundtable Winter Season Announced!

Happy New Year and welcome to another season of Rural History Roundtable Talks!

Our Winter 2015 RHRT Speaker Series features:

Lisa Cox, Postdoctoral Fellow, Ontario Veterinary College
“Canada's War Horses: The OVC, Veterinary Medicine, and the Great War, 1914-1918” (Wednesday, February 4, 3:30pm-5:00pm, MacKinnon Building 132)

Jack Little, Professor, Department of History, Simon Fraser University
“History of Oxen and Horse Power in Rural Canada from the 17th to the 20th Centuries” (Thursday, February 26, 1:00-2:30pm, MacKinnon Building 132)

David Zylberberg, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of British Columbia Okanagan
"Warm, Well-fed and Employed? Fuel Prices and Regional Lifestyle Divergences in Rural England, 1750-1830" (Thursday, March 12, 1:00-2:30pm, MacKinnon Building 132)

Mike Commito, PhD Candidate, Department of History, McMaster University
“Yvon and the Five Bears: Rural and Urban Attitudes Towards Black Bear Hunting in Northern Ontario” (Tuesday, March 31, 1:00-2:30pm MacKinnon Building 132)