History 236 (201) Memory, Representation and Interpretation: Public History in Canada




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An introduction to public history in Canada, this course will explore the politics and practice of remembering, representing, and interpreting the country’s past outside of academia today. We will consider: what is the relationship between history and commemoration, and between academic and popular history? How has Canadian history been used and misused, celebrated and contested in the world around us? Why do such public representations of the past matter? And ultimately, what purpose can Canadian history serve in the present? Through lectures, discussions, and assignments, we will explore these issues by thinking widely and creatively about where Canadian history gets told in public, from art installations, museums, documentaries, state apologies, and government celebrations, to advertisements, fiction, music, and graffiti. While building a strong understanding of the uses and significance of public history in Canada. HIST 236 will introduce students to the methods of historical practice, including primary-source analysis, historical writing, library and research skills, and public history.