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Susan Nance's Historical Elephants featured on Research Matters blog

This week, Dr. Susan Nance's research on historical circus elephants is featured on the Research Matters blog, sponsored by the Council of Ontario Universities.

After more than a century of parading in pink tutus with dogs balancing on their backs, elephants in the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey’s circus are preparing to take their final bow. By 2018, the star performers will retire from the spotlight to live out their lives in an elephant conservation centre. 

These days, fewer and fewer circuses use elephants and their stage exit mirrors the public’s increased empathy toward these animals. But studying their heyday as performers reveals important insights about their audience, in other words, about us as consumer of entertainment. 

Enter Susan Nance, an associate professor of U.S. history at the University of Guelph whose research concentrates on entertainment, from vaudeville to street performers. Her interest in circus elephants was piqued after she uncovered “shocking things that circus historians don’t like to talk about,” says Nance, who set out to change the way historians look at animals. ... read the rest of the blog

Congratulations to Professor Catharine Wilson!

Congratulations! Our own Professor Catharine Wilson is the 2014 winner of the Canadian Historical Review Prize for her article: “A Manly Art: Plowing, Plowing Matches, and Rural Masculinity in Ontario, 1800-1930," which appeared in the June 2014 issue of the Review. Dr. Wilson is Francis and Ruth Redelmeier Professor of Rural History in the Department.

praise from the CHR board: This article contributes to a now substantial body of literature on changing forms of masculinity in the context of industrial capitalism; unlike most existing work, however, this article considers farm men. Thus, it simultaneously contributes to rural history, and the history of rural work. It examines what is probably the activity most frequently associated with rural men, plowing, over a long period of time. In so doing, it is able to examine the intersections between technological change and intergenerational identity formation. Wilson makes use of an impressive diversity of sources including visual and audio-visual sources. Her attention to iconography is especially commendable and makes for a rich, multifaceted analysis. Her evocative writing conveys the physical and aesthetic pleasures of plowing. It is an exemplary piece of historical writing and argumentation, one that will have wide appeal and value for anyone interested in rural history, technological change, and/or masculinity.

Sir John A. Macdonald's Legacy: Scottish Studies Spring Colloquium

Scottish Studies Spring Colloquium Poster


On April 18 at Knox College, University of Toronto the University of Guelph Centre for Scottish Studies & Scottish Studies Foundation present the 2015 Scottish Studies Spring Colloquium: "Sir John A. Macdonald's Legacy"

The Colloquium runs from 12noon to 4:30pm. All Welcome! For more information visit Scottish Studies

Get the schedule .pdf
Get the poster .pdf

J. Andrew Ross' New Book on the National Hockey League

Ross.Joining.the.Clubs coverOur own J. Andrew Ross, a Post-Doctoral Researcher in the History Department, has just published Joining the Clubs: The Business of the National Hockey League to 1945 with Syracuse University Press.

Congratulations from all of us!

from the jacket:   How did a small Canadian regional league come to dominate a North American continental sport? Joining the Clubs: The Business of the National Hockey League to 1945 tells the fascinating story. ... The NHL had a special challenge: unlike other major leagues, it was a binational league that had to sell and manage its sport in two different countries. Joining the Clubs pays close attention to these national differences, as well as to the context of a historical period characterized by war and peace, by rapid economic growth and dire recession, and by the momentous technological and social changes of the modern age.

Joshua MacFadyen Lands Faculty Position at Arizona State University

Our own Dr. Joshua MacFadyen has accepted a tenure-track position as assistant professor at Arizona State University, beginning August 2015. Dr. MacFadyen earned his doctorate in our Department in 2010 and has since held a post-doc at the Historical GIS Lab at the University of Saskatechewan where he works in the Sustainable Farm Systems Project. Josh is also well known for his many years work with NiCHE, the Network in Canadian History and Environment and his research on energy, soil nutrient, and landscape sustainability in historical agro-ecosystems.

Congratulations from all of us!

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