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Inaugural Lecture: Who Broadened Canadian History?

Ramsay Cook
Professor Emeritus
York University

Monday, 19 October 2009
7:00 PM
Convocation Hall
University of Winnipeg

Professor Cook:

Over the past thirty years or so, the content of Canadian history has broadened out in several significant directions. In my years at United College and later when I began teaching university courses, the main, indeed almost the only, Canadian history menu listed political, diplomatic, military and constitutional dishes. In these fields the prominent Anglophone and Francophone men who dominated the“national stage” were featured But in the l970s and 80s, as universities admitted increasing numbers of students from regional, class, ethnic and genders formerly under represented, students began to wonder why their ancestors were so often absent from the history that they were taught. Soon graduate students, often from these new groups, began research into these neglected areas with the result that a new past, or rather an expanded past, was discovered and made part of what is now accepted a more accurate and more diverse Canadian past. The success of this expansion, this enrichment of our past, now raises some new questions about Canadian history, questions which may suggest another broadening dimension based on comparative historical studies.

Professor Ramsay is a distinguished and well known Canadian historian. His career spans his student days on the campus of United College (University of Winnipeg) in the early 1950s to his present status as Professor Emeritus at York University. Professor Cook published over a dozen books and numerous articles on Canadian history, was the Editor of the Dictionary of Canadian Biography until 2007, and the graduate supervisor of many practicing in the profession today as teachers and researchers. Professor Cook was deeply involved in the constitutional debates of the 1970s and 1980s in Canada. Professor Cook is an engaging speaker who will appeal to faculty, students, and our broader community.

Further Information:
Nolan Reilly
Department of History
University of Winnipeg