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Articles on History

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Lukas Coch/AAP

10 things every politician should know about history

Education Minister Alan Tudge has rejected the draft history curriculum. He wants students to learn that ‘we live in the greatest country on Earth’. That’s not history. It’s jingoistic nationalism.
Rally participants hold up signs and wear orange shirts as they march in support of residential school survivors and the families of missing and murdered Indigenous children in Winnipeg on. July 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mike Sudoma

Ignore debaters and denialists, Canada’s treatment of Indigenous Peoples fits the definition of genocide

A better understanding of what most genocide scholars believe can help people understand how Canada’s Indian Residential School system fits with the definition of genocide.
Ancient military innovations – like the bit and bridle that enabled mounted horseback riding – changed the course of history. Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin/British Museum via WikimediaCommons

The horse bit and bridle kicked off ancient empires – a new giant dataset tracks the societal factors that drove military technology

Did ancient technological advancements drive social innovation, or vice versa? Studying cause and effect in the ancient world may seem like a fool’s errand, but researchers built a database to do just that.
A man fishes the head of a statue of Queen Victoria from the Assiniboine River in Winnipeg. Her statue and a statue of Queen Elizabeth were toppled and vandalized on Canada Day. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Kelly Geraldine Malone

‘History wars’ in the U.S. and Canada provoked by a racial reckoning with the past

Movements that challenge former national icons demonstrate the importance of history-making in an age of racial reconciliation. But ‘history wars’ won’t get us anywhere.
Afrofuturist’s work is rooted in the desire to transform the present for Black people. Here actor Mouna Traoré in ‘Brown Girl Begins’ (2017) directed by Sharon Lewis set in a post-apocalyptic version of Toronto. Urbansoul Inc

Afrofuturism and its possibility of elsewhere: The power of political imagination

Afrofuturist’s work is rooted in the desire to transform the present for Black people. To do so, they imagine a reality in which Black people are the agents of their own story, countering histories that discount and dismiss them.
Before satellites, fire crews watched for smoke from fire towers across the national forests. K. D. Swan, U.S. Forest Service

Big fires demand a big response: How 1910’s Big Burn can help us think smarter about fighting wildfires and living with fire

The US has learned that it cannot suppress its way to a healthy relationship with fire in the West. That strategy failed, even before climate change proved it to be no strategy at all.
‘That physicians in the Anti-Vaccine Society (England, early 19th C) were concerned that Jenner’s smallpox inoculation gave people bovine-like features.’ – historian’s tweet in reply to author asking about memorable finds. Twitter/Wellcome

I asked historians what find made them go ‘wait, wut?’ Here’s a taste of the hundreds of replies

Historians, archivists and other researchers got in touch with tales of their archival finds and bizarre research moments. These ranged from the quirky to the disturbing to the profound.

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