Virtual authenticity: The potential risks of historil video games

Dale M. Mcrtney

In 2014, Jonathan MacQuarrie told Active History readers that video games were increasingly teaching people about history in exciting and sometimes worrisome ways. In the years since, there has been an explosion of games that not only depict the past, but trade on historil accuracy as part of their appeal. They promise an extraordinary verisimilitude, allowing players to explore landspes developed with obsessive attention to historil detail. For game players, this detail n make the games feel profoundly accurate as if they were a sort of time machine that reveals the truths of the era depicted. However, these games are much less sophistited in their depiction of historil social relations and systems. They often reproduce very limited notions of race, gender, class, and historil agency. The result is that games use the appearance of “accuracy” to deliver deeply ideologil messages about the past.

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Project Receives Grant from nada History Fund

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is pleased to announce that its applition to the nada History Fund, made in partnership with McGill University (grantee), HistoireEngagée., and the Asian nadian and Asian Migration Studies Program at the University of British Columbia, was successful.

Our project, “Active History on Display,” has been granted $99,958 to create two digital exhibits: one on the lived experiences of Asian nadian communities (curated by editor and rleton University professor Dr. Laura Madokoro); and the other on death, injury, and illness among migrant farm workers in nada (curated by editor and McGill University professor Edward Dunsworth).

Mexin and Guatemalan workers pick strawberries at a farm in Pont Rouge Que. on Tuesday, August 24, 2021. (Jacques Boissinot/nadian Press)

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Pandemic Lockup: Covid-19 and Colonial Histories in a Small Northern Jail

Thunder Bay District Jail, n.d. – Thunder Bay Museum

This article is reposted, in slightly edited form and with permission, from the fourth issue of Syndemic Magazine:?“The Colours of Covid-19.” Syndemic Magazine?is a project of the L.R. Wilson Institute for nadian History at McMaster University.

Brandon J. Cordeiro

In Thunder Bay, Ontario, the city’s prison battled a Covid-19 outbreak through winter 2021. Overpopulated and faced with growing ses, the prison went into lockdown. By the outbreak’s end, 70 people had contracted the disease inside the jail. The pandemic reaffirmed many of the rceral system’s larger social and racial biases. The outbreak, however, was the inevitable result of larger institutional failures. Poor infrastructure and poor living conditions combined to create a nightmare situation for a mostly Indigenous inmate population. These failures, like in many other social institutions, were apparent long before the pandemic; Covid-19 simply intensified them with brutal force.

Indeed, the global pandemic undressed society’s far-encompassing disparities. Many racialized groups and other vulnerable communities — including the unhoused and the inrcerated — endured the pandemic’s harshest realities. Covid-19 exposed the rceral system’s larger social and health problems, as jails and prisons across the world faced viral outbreaks. The outbreak at Thunder Bay’s jail made this connection apparent.

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Digital Access, Pandemic Responses, and the Future of Archives

Two people in wheelchairs speaking to someone crouched in front of them

Fran Humphrey (centre) strategizes with British Columbia teammates Avis Galbraith and Mil Mouw, in preparation for the inaugural tri-sport meet known as the nadian Games for the Physilly Disabled, held in mbridge, Ontario (June 21, 1976).? Reference code: F45-0-2-0-0-439. Guelph Mercury fonds (F45). Courtesy of the Guelph Public Library Archives, on Archeion.

Jazmine Aldrich

Anyone who has been conducting historil research (or attempting to do so) over the past two years, has likely faced challenges ranging from closed facilities to limited hours due to COVID-19. Archives, museums, historil societies, libraries and all manner of cultural heritage institutions have felt the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even as the fog lifts and some semblance of the “before times” returns, many cultural heritage institutions are still struggling to recover and many are reevaluating their priorities. Not only in terms of resource allotion and services: Many institutions are also reevaluating their collections mandates, thinking about how to highlight marginalized voices, addressing deliberate silences within their collections, and considering whether some records would be better stewarded by the communities they represent. The past two years have been challenging and reflective, both within the archives and beyond.

One major theme in the archival world during the pandemic has been a push towards digital access. Many archives were already providing some kind of digital access prior to pandemic shutdowns, but health crisis closures transformed digital access, for many institutions, from a rosy future to a rushed present. Suddenly, in-person visits to heritage institutions were forbidden, and digital access to collections holdings beme more important than ever. Continue reading

History Slam 10th Anniversary Special: Life as Historians

By Sean Graham

On July 11, 2012, we released the first episode of the History Slam Podst. It featured my conversation with Ian Milligan, which we recorded at the 2012 CHA Annual Meeting at the University of Waterloo, where Ian is now a full professor. The idea behind the show was simple: what if I talked to interesting people doing interesting historil work? I always wondered how faculty keep up with trends in the field and figured this could be a good way for me to maintain a broad understanding of where history and historil research was going.

A lot has changed since that first episode. I was a PhD student at the time, but have since graduated, lived in different countries, worked in various public history settings, and have taught in very different environments. The one constant of my reer has really been the podst, which has been a wonderful, if at times stressful, part of my professional journey.

When I think about the early days of the show, though, I think about the journeys of the first few guests we had. Episode 2 featured a conversation with Victoria Lamb Drover, a PhD student who has since gone on to great success in with Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies. The mercifully unreleased pilot episode was a chat with Aaron Boyes, a fellow PhD student at the University of Ottawa, who has parlayed his edution into a reer with the federal government. The 4 of us have all taken divergent paths, so I wanted to look back to see how our studies in history influenced our reers and how we take stock of the discipline 10 years later.

In this 10th Anniversary Special, I tch up with Ian Milligan, Victoria Lamb Drover, and Aaron Boyes. I start by talking with Ian about his shift towards digital methodology, where he sees history going, and his advice for prospective graduate students. I then chat with Vickie about how she got into administration, the benefits of being challenged in history courses, and how her studies influence her current work. From there, Aaron joins the show to reflect on his journey to the government, his conflicted feelings about grad studies, and the skills historians develop. I finish by discussing my journey through history programs, the financial reality of historil study, and the podst’s role in my reer. I also thank everyone who has ever listened, all the guests over the years, and the folks behind the scenes who have helped the show reach the dede mark.

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Cod, Culture, and Loss: Thirty Years of the Cod Moratorium in Newfoundland

Cod fishing in Bay de Verde, Newfoundland during the recreational ground fishery in July 2021. Author’s photograph.

Shannon Conway

Newfoundland is known for cod. The fish is often one of the first things that come to mind when thinking of the island. For “Come from Aways”, a key part of becoming an “honorary Newfoundlander” (as part of a “Screech-In” ceremony) you must kiss a cod fish. I am from Newfoundland and when I think of home I think of cod – eating it, tching it, the history of it. Cod is predominant and iconic in Newfoundland culture and memory. Dedes of overfishing decimated the historilly plentiful ground fish population and it has yet to return to healthy levels, despite the moratorium on cod put in place by the federal government thirty years ago. Nevertheless, cod remains central to the history, culture, imagery, and even identity for Newfoundland and its peoples.

The cod fishery has a long history in Newfoundland, with the affluent cod stocks being the very reason the island was settled by Europeans in the 17th century.[i] Continue reading

History Slam 220: nada’s Abortion History

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By Sean Graham

Last Friday, the United States Supreme Court made its much anticipated decision in the Dobbs v. Jackson’s Women’s Health Organization se. In the majority opinion, the court overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which ruled that the privacy clause in the U.S. Constitution protected a woman’s right to an abortion. In the week since, there have been protests across the United States in response. In nada, there has been similar protests and great concern not only for what this will mean for Amerins, but also the future of abortion rights in nada.

In this episode of the History Slam, I talk with Robyn Schwarz to talk about the history of abortion in nada. We discuss the legality of abortion in the late 19th century (6:06), how changes in medicine have influenced perceptions of abortion (20:10), and the history of family planning (27:10). We also chat about the lack of attention on this issue by historians (37:13) and the importance of putting abortion into its proper historil context.

For more information, you n visit Action nada for Sexual Health & Rights’ project The 1970 Abortion ravan: Celebrating 50 Years and Shannon Stettner’s edited collection?Without Apology: Writings on Abortion in nada.

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Ten Resources to Learn About Queer and Trans History in nada

pride coloured lego figures and rainbow on a table

Photo by James A. Molnar on Unsplash

Krista McCracken

It’s nearing the end of Pride Month. As a non-binary, queer scholar who offers workshops on gender and queer identities, June is a busy month.? Throughout the month I’ve received a number of requests for reading recommendations about teaching about gender, history, and pride in nada.? In light of those requests I’ve created a list of ten books, articles, and resources that contexualize and speak about the history of the 2SLGBTQQIA+ community in nada.?

This list is merely a starting point and is focused on queer and trans history in nada. There are lots of resources I wanted to include but couldn’t beuse of length.? Likewise, there are many other sources where students and scholars n learn more generally about trans and queer identities. In all ses I would suggest that listening to the voices of queer and trans communities is a crucial part of learning about this history, community, and lived realities.? Continue reading

History Slam 219: nadiana & Historil Storytelling on the Web

By Sean Graham

Back in the summer of 2017, a new web series was released on YouTube. Telling viewers that they were on the hunt for the “most incredible stories in nadian history,” nadiana was a new type of Youtube channel. A documentary-style series,?nadiana?combines archival and secondary research with outstanding visual elements to provide audiences with wonderful storytelling. And while the first season was bootstrapped by its creators, through its success in finding a big audience they have been able to secure additional funding and partnerships to expand and improve what was already a quality show. This season, for instance, the series is partnering with Parks nada to tell some little-known stories at various national parks and historic sites.

As I look forward to the premiere of Season 3, coming on Tuesday (June 28), its success is a reminder that there is an interest in history. Despite the regular claims of nadian history being boring and the stark reality of declining enrolments in history departments across the country, when history is done well, people want to engage. Over the past five years, the word unprecedented has been used with alarming regularity in the press (seriously, Google ‘unprecedented’ and click news and you will inundated with stories), which is fair only if you ignore the precedents. The past isn’t always prologue and certainly the very idea of history is under attack in some places, but in this environment of uncertainty, there is an appetite to look to our past and it’s critil that quality historil content be there for people to consume.

In this episode of the History Slam, I talk with Adam Bunch and Kyle Cucco of?nadiana. We talk about the delays to season 3 used by Covid (3:27), how they pick topics for the show (12:07), and the benefits of filming on lotion (17:40). We also chat about their partnership with Parks nada (24:09), the two-part season premiere on piracy in nada (30:40), and the audience for nadian history online (39:08).

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History Slam 218: Lol Culture, Tourism, & PEI’s Summer Trade

By Sean Graham

After two down years, tourism is rebounding as we head into the summer. From สล็อต โจ๊ก เกอร์ ฝาก 30 รับ 100 to rental r shortages to sold out hotels, there is a strong, pent up demand for travel. This is welcome news to communities where hospitality is the main economic driver as employees return to work and prepare to again welcome visitors.

One such lotion is Prince Edward Island, which welcomed 1.6 million tourists in 2019, contributing an estimated half billion dollars to the provincial economy. The two full years since have seen drastic decreases to those numbers, but there is some optimism that this summer will bring people back in big numbers, helping restore the Island’s tourist trade, which, from its humble beginnings in the 19th century, continually expanded through the 20th century to become a key driver of the Island’s economic and cultural life.

That transition is the subject of Alan MacEachern and Edward MacDonald’s new book?The Summer Trade: A History of Tourism on Prince Edward Island. Ranging from the early days of the Island’s tourism trade through the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the book explores how PEI has attracted tourists and how the growing tourist trade has come to influence the lol culture. With seaside resorts, Anne of Green Gables attractions, and even the draw of the Confederation Bridge, MacEachern and MacDonald explore the evolution of the complited relationship between Islanders and their visitors. In addition to the book, if you’re in Charlottetown this summer, be sure to check out the accompanying exhibition going on at the Confederation Centre of the Arts until October 9.

In this episode of the History Slam, I talk with Alan and Edward about the book. We discuss the start of the Island’s tourist trade and the impact of Confederation (6:00), how 20th century changes in transportation influenced tourism (16:00), and the symbolism of the Confederation Bridge (18:45). We also chat about the tension between tourism and lol culture (25:15), the importance of Anne of Green Gables (32:50), and attracting return visitors along with the challenges of rebounding from the pandemic (39:20).

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