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College News

History: PhD Candidate Sarah Shropshire Wins COA Teaching Award

PhD candidate Sarah Shropshire is this year's recipient of the Teaching Excellence Award (Teaching Assistant) in the College of Arts. The Selection Committee was impressed by Sarah's dedication to her students, particularly her commitment to supporting students in improving their work and to designing assignments that help students thrive in Distance Education courses. 

Sarah says, "Of any of the awards that I've received, this one really does feel special. It's wonderful that we have teaching awards like this in place for instructors at all levels. Personally, I find it an excellent motivator to keep working at my teaching skills."

Congratulations from all of us on a richly deserved award, which will be presented on Monday October 26 at the Awards Reception in the Atrium of the Science Complex at 4:30pm.

History: Jesse Palsetia's New Book is Here!



Jesse Palsetia has just published a new monograph with Oxford University Press, Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy of Bombay: Partnership and Public Culture in Empire. The book is the first academic study of important philanthropist, merchant, and facilitator of the opium trade, Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy. Through a blend of biographical study and history of commerce in colonial India, the book provides a lucid account of the growth and evolution of the business community in colonial Bombay.

History: Alan McDougall's new podcast: Stasi football & the Cold War

Alan McDougallBerliner FC Dynamo was the football team of the East German secret police, the dreaded Stasi. Alan McDougall discusses how BFC Dynamo was able to dominate East German football in part through questionable referee calls and the controversy this created among football fans.

Listen to the podcast at the Wilson Center Digital Archive

See footage of the infamous penalty in the Lok Leipzig/BFC Dynamo match in March 1986.

History: So They Want Us to Learn French - Matthew Hayday's New Book is Here!

Dr. Matthew Hayday has just published new research with UBC Press:

So They Want Us to Learn French:  Promoting and Opposing Bilingualism in English-Speaking Canada

Since the 1960s, bilingualism has become a defining aspect of Canadian identity. And yet, fifty years after the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism was formed and with over forty years of federal government funding and supports for second-language education, relatively few English Canadians speak or choose to speak French. What happened? Why has personal bilingualism failed to increase as much as attitudes about bilingualism as a Canadian value? Historian Matthew Hayday explores the various ways in which bilingualism was promoted to English-speaking Canadians from the 1960s to the late 1990s. He analyzes the strategies and tactics employed by organizations on both sides of the bilingualism debate. Against a dramatic background of constitutional change and controversy, economic turmoil, demographic shifts, and the on-again, off-again possibility of Quebec separatism, English-speaking Canadians had to respond to the bilingualism issue and face the decision of whether they and their children should learn French. So They Want Us to Learn French places these personal and national experiences within a historical, political, and social context. For anyone interested in language, education, national identity, and Canadian political history, this book provides a vivid narrative of a complex, controversial, and fundamentally Canadian question.

History: Call for Papers due Dec. 1: Tri-University History Conference

CALL FOR PAPERS: "Contesting History: Reflections on Perspective and Approach"

22nd Annual Tri-University History Conference, 5 March 2016

Best Western Plus Royal Brock Hotel & Conference Centre, 716 Gordon St., Guelph, ON

Please join us for the 22nd annual Tri-University History Conference on 5 March 2016 at the Best Western Plus Royal Brock Hotel & Conference Centre in Guelph, ON. Organized by the history departments of Wilfrid Laurier University, the University of Guelph and the University of Waterloo, the theme of this year’s conference is “Contesting History: Reflections on Perspective and Approach.” To this end, we welcome proposals on all aspects of history from both graduate students and faculty. You may submit for consideration an individual paper, panel, or roundtable.

Individual paper proposals should be no more than 200 words and accompanied with a short 1-page CV. Panel and roundtable proposals should provide a succinct overview, no more than 350 words, along with a list of names and institutional affiliations of each participant.

This year’s conference will also feature the inaugural Tri-University “Rapid Fire” Competition. Participants will have 3 minutes to deliver an overview of their dissertation, thesis or major paper to a panel of esteemed professors and conference attendees. The event will take place during the final session of the day and a number of prizes will be up for grabs. The “Rapid Fire” Competition is open to all graduate students. Interested students are asked to submit their name and a presentation title.

Proposals should be sent to by the deadline, 1 December 2015. Get the poster .pdf

History: Shauna Devine is 2015 Cassidy-Reid Lectureship Speaker


"Making Medicine Scientific: The Civil War and American Medicine"

Please join us for the first Cassidy-Reid Lecture in American History. It will take place Tuesday October 6th, 7pm Whitelaw Room B, McLaughlin Library, University of Guelph. The speaker is the award-winning historian of medicine and the American Civil War, Dr. Shauna Devine of the Western University.

Reception to follow.

Get the poster .pdf

History: Alumni Speak about their Careers with a History Degree



The History Department is happy to announce the Fall 2015 Gateway Seminar. History Alumni, Stephanie Hodge (law) and Jessica Murphy (IT industry) will talk about their career paths and the value of their history degrees.

Date: Thursday 5 November 2015
Time: 6:00- 7:30
Location: Mackinnon Rm 231

All History students welcome!
Pizza & Pop will be provided!
Get the flyer .pdf


History: Centre for Scottish Studies Fall Colloquium

Mark your calendars! The Centre for Scottish Studies Fall Colloquium will take place on Saturday, September 26!

This year's colloquium will feature presentations from:
Ewen Cameron (University of Edinburgh), presenting the Jill McKenzie Memorial Lecture;
Allan Kennedy (University of Manchester), winner of the Frank Watson Book Prize, 2015;
Michael Newton (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), launching his new book Seanchaidh na Coille / The Memory-Keeper of the Forest
Debra Nash-Chambers (Wilfrid Laurier University).

Location: The Robert Whitelaw Room (room 246) of the University of Guelph Library
Time: The Colloquium will run from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; on-site registration will be available from 9:30 a.m. in the Library lobby.
Parking: Nearby visitor parking lots on campus are P44 (access from College Ave East) and P31 (access from South Ring Road). Detailed directions to these and other campus parking lots can be found here:

Online registration is now available! Registration is $30 for Scottish Studies Foundation members and for early-bird registrants on or before September 18; the price increases to $35 for non-SSF registrants after that date. A student rate of $10 is available. As always, lunch and coffee break refreshments are included in the registration price. For more information, or to register online, visit If you have any questions, please contact us at Get the poster .pdf

We look forward to seeing you at the Colloquium on September 26!

History: Rural Diary Archive Website Launch & Transcribe-A-Thon

Dr. Catharine Wilson heads up a team including undergraduate students Sarah Kelly and Lisa Tubb, graduate students Jodey Nurse and Jacqui McIsaac, along with Adam Doan and others from McLaughlin Library, building a new website that engages the public in online transcribing of old diaries. Sponsored by the Francis and Ruth Redelmeier Professorship in Rural History, the site currently showcases over 130 diarists from across Ontario (1800-1960) with over twenty full-text diaries available for people to read, search and transcribe.

Join us on Thursday, September 24, 2015 for the official launch of the Rural Diary Archive Website and a Transcribe-A-Thon!

The event will take place on the first floor of the University of Guelph’s McLaughlin Library in the Academic Town Square from 2:30 PM to 5:30 PM. There will be diaries on display and a draw for prizes! Bring your laptop and make your mark on history by helping to transcribe these digital diaries into searchable text. Come learn more about local rural history and the diarists who helped document it.

Please RSVP to or call 519-824-4120 x53888 by September 15th, 2015.

get the eVite .pdf

The University of Guelph resides on the land of the Between the Lakes Treaty No. 3, the territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit. This land is part of the Dish with One Spoon, a covenant between Indigenous nations to live peaceably on the territories of the Great Lakes region. We recognize that today this gathering place is home to many First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples and acknowledging them reminds us of our collective responsibility to the land where we learn, live and work.