New Publication by Dr. Bruce Strang

6 December 2006 - Thunder Bay
The Department of History is pleased to announce the publication of the Canadian Edition of Historica: 1000 Years of Our Lives and Times by Raincoast Books. Bruce Strang, Chair of the Department, was the edition's chief consultant and provided the volume's introduction.  
Historica explores the evolution of the world and of people's lives over the last thousand years, and shows how dramatically the world has changed from era to era. In the year 1000, most people lived in rural areas; cities were centred around cathedrals or fortresses; transport was by horse; most of the population couldn't read. The world is a different place today, and Historica demonstrates the ways that changes have happened. Historica takes a close look at the wars, inventions, explorations and the fascinating people who have played a key role in the major events of the world.
Further information on the book can be found online at Raincoast Books website located at
Dr. Bruce Strang can be contact by phone at (807) 343-8059 or by email at

Passing of Dr. Jiri Smrz

30 November 2006 - Orillia and Thunder Bay
It is with sadness that the Department of History announces the death of Dr. Jiri Smrz on 15 November 2006. Dr. Smrz was an instructor of history courses at the Orillia Campus. Many students and staff attended Jiri's funeral in Toronto to pay their last respects to him and offer his family some support.
The faculty and staff of the Orillia Campus have decided to award the Dr. Smrz prize to the best History 1100 student each year in Jiri's honour. The University will be contributing to the memorial being arranged by Jiri's family and friends and LUSU is planning a memorial from the student body at Orillia.
For information, please contact:
Dr. Sally-Ann Burnett
Director of Operations, Orillia Campus
t: 705 329 3746

Dr. Carl Young featured in the "Agora"

22 November 2006 - Thunder Bay (LU Agora)

Religion and Politics: Dr. Carl Young is fascinated by the interaction of religion and politics in Korea

by Rae-Anne Robinson

Dr. Carl Young is a man of the world.  Born in Montreal, he received a BA from McGill University, a Master's from Australian National University, and a PhD from the University of London. He is also fluent in French, English, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, and Korean.   


Young is an Assistant Professor of History at Lakehead University and is currently working on two research projects.  The first focuses on the interactions between Canadian Protestant missionaries and Korean Protestants in the early twentieth century. The second involves reworking his PhD dissertation, which deals with religion and nationalism in Korea during the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century, specifically the native Korean religions that were politically active at the time. It was for this project that Young received a Junior Fellowship to conduct research in Korea at the Academy of Korean Studies last summer. 
Young lived in Southeast Korea for two years during which time he had the opportunity to live both in the countryside and in large cities, to experience Korean culture, and to learn the language. He had taken two years off halfway through his undergraduate degree in 1988 to work as a volunteer for a church organization. He arrived eight months after the military dictatorship that had ruled the country for 35 years was overthrown, and the first democratic elections had taken place. 
Young experienced a fragile period in Korean history; one that gave him insight into the power of the people, led by groups both religious and non-religious, who were driven toward democracy and economic reform.  Seeing the interaction of religion, social change movements, and politics sparked a deep interest in East Asian Studies in the young scholar, and later influenced his research on Korean history and religion.
In 1910, when Korea was colonized by Japan and its culture and national identity were subsumed under imperialistic rule, religion became one of the few ways in which an individual could find self expression. The two native Korean religions that Young studies arose from this period.
The Tonghak or Eastern Learning movement developed in opposition to Christianity and Westernization in 1860.  Its main premise was based on Kaebyok (Opening) ideology, which signalled the beginning of a new cosmic era and, with it, a new paradise on earth centring on Korea.  This fostered a feeling of nationalism in the Korean population culminating in rebellion in 1894.  Out of the Eastern Learning movement came the advent of a new religion in 1906, Chondogyo (Heavenly Way).  A twentieth century Korean religion, its main philosophy stressed the divinity of all people, and contained elements borrowed from several other Korean religions, including Buddhism, Shamanism, Confucianism, Taoism, and Catholicism.
"Today in North and South Korea both the North and the South claim these movements as building Korea's national identity," says Young.  "They are important players but there hasn't been a lot of research on them to date in Western languages."
An important aspect of Carl Young's research focuses on the interactions between Canadian Protestant missionaries and Korean Protestants in the early twentieth century. Working mainly in Northeastern Korea, Canadian missionaries were known for their social focus in the Christian gospel and liberal theology. Some of the Koreans that the Canadians were in contact with had the opportunity to come to Canada where they were trained by the Canadian missionaries. Upon their return to Korea, some became leaders of the Christian Social Movements that contributed to the democratic movement in the 1970s and 1980s.
Carl Young's research should help explain why Korea developed the way it did, and give us a better understanding of how religion and politics interact today.
Those who want to learn more about this fascinating country − particularly in light of recent news coverage of North Korea testing nuclear weapons − will be interested in attending his public lecture on November 30, 2006, being offered through the Canadian Institute of International Affairs, Thunder Bay Branch, and sponsored by the Lakehead University Department of History. This free public lecture entitled, "The Korean Peninsula: Crisis and Division" will take place on campus in RB-2047 and will begin at 8 p.m.
Rae-Anne Robinson is a Lakehead University student taking part in SPARK - Lakehead, a student writing program sponsored by The Chronicle-Journal.

Source: Lakehead University Agora 23:4 (November/December 2006), URL <>

Graduate Student Featured in "Canadan Sanomat"

13 November 2006 - Thunder Bay
In the 8 November issue of Canadan Sanomat (Canada's Finnish weekly newspaper), second-year Master's student Nathan Hatton discusses the history of wrestling in the former cities of Port Arthur and Fort William.
For the full article see Canadan Sanomat #41 (8 November 2006), p. 3 and 9. 
Nathan Hatton can be reached via the Department of History at (807) 346-7725 or by email at


More information on Canadan Sanomat can be found on their website 

Department Member Interviewed in "Le Devoir"

4 November 2006 - Thunder Bay

Français pour suivre l'anglais. 
Department member and IDRC historian, Ronald Harpelle, spoke to Le Devoir about IDRC’s beginnings and its links to Lester B. Pearson’s internationalism.  The article appeared in a special insert of the newspaper commemorating 50 years of UN peacekeeping. The complete article can be downloaded by clicking here
Le professeur de l’Université Lakehead Ron Harpelle, qui a été choisi pour rédiger l’histoire de l’apport intellectuel du CRDI, s’est entretenu avec une journaliste du Devoir au sujet des premiers balbutiements du CRDI et de ses liens avec la vision internationaliste de Lester B. Pearson. L’article est paru dans un cahier spécial de l’édition du 4 novembre 2006 commémorant les cinquante ans des Casques bleus.  Lire l’article : À la rescousse des chercheurs du Tiers-Monde

Graduate Student Profiled in the Lakehead University Magazine

1 November 2006 - Thunder Bay
From: Lakehead University Magazne (Fall/Winter 2006)
Les Praisley has long been fascinated with Asia. While working on his undergraduate degree in English and History at Lakehead, he spent a summer in Japan.  After graduating he spent a year in Korea teaching English. Now he is back working on his Master's degree in History with Professor Carl
Young; his topic − Kabuki Theatre and its relationship to urbanization in Japan between 1600 and 1868. As President of the Lakehead Graduate Student Association last year, Praisley helped to organize regular social events for graduate students. "The potential at Lakehead is unbelievable," he says. "We have excellent researchers and faculty who are drawing students from around the world. As an undergraduate student you don't really see that.... I am proud of having a degree from Lakehead and confident that I can compete for any position in any PhD program in History. 
Speaking on his experiences working on a Master's Degree at Lakehead, Les had the following to say: "Professors in the Department of History are stellar," he says. "They are genuinely interested in seeing all of us succeed.... Lakehead produces about 145 graduate students a year at this point, and they are quality students who can compete with the best in the world." 
For the complete profile, go to 
Comments by Les Praisley in a larger article appearing in the Fall/Winter issue can also be read by viewing 

Department Member's Research Highlighted in Annual Report

30 October 2006 - Thunder Bay
From the 2005-2006 Annual Report
Strategic Directions: Research Activity and Research Internationalization
"Two Lakehead historians, Dr. Ronald Harpelle and Dr. Bruce Muirhead, receive funding and special access to examine the historical role of the International Development Research Centre, Canada's international development agency."
The "Strategic Directions" section of the report can be viewed online at 
The entire 2005-2006 Annual Report can be viewed online at

Department Member to Speak at CIIA Meeting

20 October 2006 - Thunder Bay
Dr. Carl Young has been asked to speak on the topic of the Korean Peninsula by the Thunder Bay Branch of the Canadian Institute of International Affair. Dr. Young's research interests focus on religious social movements, nationalism, and imperialism in modern Asia, centring especially on Korea and Japan. He also has a strong interest in comparative world history and cross-cultural interaction between different world regions, focussing on Asia as a case study. 
On 30 November 2006, Dr. Young will be speaking on "The Korean Peninsula:  Division and Crisis." His presentation is co-sponsored by the Department of History. For more information on the time and location of the presentation, go to
For 78 years, the Canadian Institute of International Affairs has been providing Canadians with a non-partisan, nationwide forum for the discussion and analysis of international affairs. As a non-profit, non-governmental organization, we are dedicated to helping Canadians obtain a better understanding of foreign policy and global issues through our conferences, seminars, speaker events, publications, and other services that we provide. With 13 branches and a membership of 1,300, the CIIA is the only private, voluntary organisation in Canada concerned with the whole range of global issues, and has established close relations with business, government, the media, universities, opinion leaders, and like-minded institutions throughout Canada and the world.
For more information visit the CIIA's website at 

Department Members and Former Students Nominated for Regional Publication Awards

7 July 2006 - Thunder Bay
The Department of History is proud to announce that the work of members of the department and former students have garnered five nominations for the 2006 Thunder Bay Historical Museum Society's Publication Awards.
Every two years, the Thunder Bay Historical Museum Society gives out awards for the best recent publications that deal with aspects of Northwestern Ontario's history. These awards are intended to help publicize such works, to recognize the excellence of local writers, and to encourage new authors to write about our history. The awards are given out in four categories: for full-length scholarly and popular works and for scholarly and popular articles. The winners are chosen by independent panels of judges in each category.

Nominated this year are articles by Dr. Helen Smith and former student Michel S. Beaulieu (MA 2003) for the J.P. Bertrand Award for best academic article. In the popular history category, Dr. Peter Raffo and John Potestio (MA 1982) have been nominated for the Gertrude H. Dyke Award for best popular full-length study. Former award winner Jean Morrison (MA 1974) is nominated for the George B. Macgillivray Award for best popular article. Award winners will be announced in January 2007 at a Gala held at the Thunder Bay Museum. The complete list of those nominated can be found below.

Elizabeth Arthur Award: (Academic full-length)

- Philip Girard, Bora Laskin: Bringing Law to Life (Toronto: Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History, 2005).

- K.C.A. Dawson, Original People and Euro Canadians in Northwestern Ontario: The Road West, the Hinge of a Developing State (Thunder Bay: Lakehead University Centre for Northern Studies, 2004).

J.P. Bertrand Award: (Academic article)

- Jayne Elliot, "Blurring the Boundaries of Space: Shaping Nursing Lives at the Red Cross Outposts in Ontario, 1922-1945," Canadian Bulletin of Medical History 21:4 (2004): 303-325.

- Michel S. Beaulieu, "The Best Picture Ever Made in Canada? Thunder Bay Films Limited and The Devil Bear," Canadian Journal of Film Studies 14:2 (Fall 2005): 18-37.

- Helen Smith and Pam Wakewich, "'I Was Not Afraid to Work': Female War Plant Employees and Their Work Environment" in Robert C. Thomsen and Nanette L. Hale, eds. Canadian Environments: Essays on Culture, Politics and History, Canadian Studies No. 2 (Bruxelles: P.I.E.-Peter Lang, 2005), 229-247.

- John S. Long, "How the Commissioners Explained Treaty Number 9 to the Ojibway and Cree in 1905," Ontario History (Spring 2006).

- Edward J. Hedican, "Understanding Emotional Experience in Fieldwork: Responding to Grief in a Northern Aboriginal Village," International Journal of Quantitiative Methods 5:1 (March 2006).

Gertrude H. Dyke Award: (Popular full-length)

- Peter Raffo, 1934-2004 Lakehead Psychiatric Hospital From Institution to Community A Transformation of Psychiatric Hospital Services (Thunder Bay: St. Joseph's Care Group, 2005).

- John Potestio, Italians in Thunder Bay (Thunder Bay: Lakehead University Chair of Italian Studies, 2005).

- Our Storied Past: The Legacy of Conmeee Township (Kakabeka Falls: Corp. of the Township of Conmee, 2003).

- Thorold J. Tronrud and David Nicholson, Thunder Bay Quiz Book (Thunder Bay: Thunder Bay Historical Museum Society, 2005).

George B. Macgillivray Award: (Popular article)

- Mike Southon and Bruce Pynn, "Lord Stanley's Bottles," Canadian Bottle and Stoneware Collector 9:3 (November 2004): 28-33.

- Jean Morrison, "Cobalt Agitators Stir Up Lakehead Union Interest," Highgrader Magazone (Fall/Christmas 2005): 22-26.

- Wayne Petit, "Old Town Soda: The History of Coca-Cola in Thunder Bay," Soda Pop Dreams Magazine 9:40 (Spring 2006).

- Elle Andra-Warner, "Up in the Air: The Lake Superior Link to Bush Plan History," Lake Superior Magazine (April-May 2006).

For more information on the Thunder Bay Historical Museum Society, visit its website at


Faculty Member Among Group to Write Book on Northern Ontario School of Medicine

 7 January 2006 - Thunder Bay
The following appeared in the Summer issue of the NOSM newsletter Northern Passages 5:3 (Summer 2006): 3. 
It started with a dream, was fostered and developed by a few brave souls, and finally took shape in the Fall of 2002 with the official start of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine.
The story that is NOSM may not be on the grand scale of Tolkienor Tolstoy, but it has its share of heroic struggles, epic journeys and human pageantry. This story is now being committed to paper thanks to a fellowship of NOSM leaders, with the chief bearer of this quest being Dr. Geoff Tesson.
As the former Executive Director of Health Initiatives at Laurentian University, Tesson was involved in the early days of the School. He is working with fellow lead authors Drs. Geoff Hudson, Roger Strasser and Dan Hunt. Together they are mapping out a book that will capture the excitement and the detail that went into creating Canada's newest medical school.
"There really is a lot of interest and excitement about NOSM, both here in Canada and around the world," says Tesson. "Northerners built this School and they are particularly interested in the story. We hope to write something which will be of interest to both the academic world, as well as the lay reader, especially people in the North."
The writing team includes the four principal authors, as well as a number of people from NOSM's short past; people like Drs. Jill Konkin, Arnie Aberman, Ray Pong, Joel Lanphear and John Mulloy to name a few. Together they will trace the historic line that began decades ago, and culminated with the opening of NOSM early in the 21st century.
At their first workshop session in early June the team came up with a number of broad themes and topics. These run the gamut from politics and social accountability to admissions, curriculum and basic governance. "It was a lot of fun just talking about the big themes," says Tesson. "Sometimes we get caught up in the details, but big ideas are what created this School. Through this book we hope to share some of the thrill."
Tesson expects the book to be ready for publication sometime in 2008.