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Articles on History

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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.
The expansion of railways meant more people could travel around the country for seaside getaways. Gordon Samson/Alamy

How the Victorians invented the ‘staycation’

Expanding railways and changes in labour practices meant that the Victorians had time for a proper holiday and many took to the British coast.
Poster showing ‘The Leader of the Luddites’ (1812) Wikimedia Commons

I’m a Luddite. You should be one too

Why a workers’ rebellion in 19th-century England is relevant in the age of data extraction, gig labour and management by algorithm.

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