The Return of the History Wars

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Last week a story in Le Devoir caught my attention.  The headline read: ‘Quebec’s history has been left behind by the universities.’  The article reports on a study lamenting the quality and quantity of history-specific training in Quebec universities.  More importantly – and this is what caught my attention – the spokesperson for one of the study’s sponsors, the Coalition for the History of Quebec, argued that the teaching of political and economic history had been subsumed by an over emphasis on social and culture history.  After reading this critique of Quebec’s university history departments, I realized that the so-called ‘History Wars’ are still alive and well in the Canadian public sphere. Continue reading “The Return of the History Wars”

Conversation, Contradiction and Conflict in ‘The Historical Present’

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A couple of days ago Christopher Moore posted British historian Richard Overy’sThe Historical Present” from The Times Higher Education on his blog.  This short reflection captured my attention because of the dichotomy that Overy makes between academic, policy-oriented and popular histories.   Splitting history up into these categories misrepresents the value and purpose of practicing history and fails to acknowledge many of the contributions that shape the discipline as a whole. Continue reading “Conversation, Contradiction and Conflict in ‘The Historical Present’”