Canadian History Blogging: A Conversation Among Editors

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Monday, May 30
Time: 8:30-10:00 am
Location: Science B-142

Poised at the intersection of research, storytelling, public outreach, and digital technology, blogging (or weblogging) is flourishing among Canadian historians. Both emerging and established scholars are increasingly turning to blogs as venues for online publication. Like peer-reviewed journals, many blogs are devoted to specific geographical, thematic, temporal, or methodological areas of research.

Despite the rapid proliferation of Canadian history blogging in recent years and the tendency of some Canadian historians to write for more than one blog, most multi-authored Canadian history blogs have developed independently of each other. Recently, there has been a turn toward collaboration and aggregation. Witness the just-completed series on early Canadian environmental history hosted jointly by Borealia and The Otter~La Loutre, or the brand-new weekly “Canadian History Round-up,” in which Andrea Eidinger summarizes the content of new blog posts, news, and podcasts on Canada’s past.

The time is right to begin a collective discussion about how blogging is reshaping the ways in which we research, write, publish, and teach Canadian history. Bright and early on the morning of Monday, May 30th, five editors of group blogs — myself (The Otter~La Loutre), Keith Grant (Borealia), Stacy Nation-Knapper (Findings/Trouvailles), Beth Robertson (Active History), and Corey Slumkoski (Acadiensis’ blog) — will share their thoughts at the annual meeting of the Canadian Historical Association. Sean Kheraj will moderate the conversation.

We will consider the following questions and themes, among others:

  • Blogging, research, and storytelling: How does blogging enable historians to tell new kinds of stories? Can blogging provide a platform for voices traditionally underrepresented in, or excluded from Canadian history narratives? How do we communicate our research differently online, and to mixed or non-academic audiences?
  • Blogging and publication: How does blogging complement traditional academic writing and publishing? How might it affect the eventual publication of research in books or articles? How does blogging fit into discussions about open-access publishing?
  • Blogging and teaching: How can blogging be used as a classroom activity? Should blog posts be assigned as readings in Canadian history classes?
  • Blogging and academia: Is blogging scholarship, or service? Does it hinder, or help academic careers?

Please consider joining us and adding your voice to the conversation!

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Assistant professor in the Department of History at Simon Fraser University. I research and teach Canadian and environmental history, with a special focus on the Arctic and Subarctic.


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