David Ratz Awarded PhD in History

The Department of History is pleased to announce that alumnus and faculty member David Ratz recently successfully defended his doctoral dissertation at Oulun yliopisto - University of Oulu.

Cover of The Canadian Image of Finland"The Canadian Image of Finland, 1919-1948: Canadian Government Perceptions and Foreign Policy" is the first study to to explore the perceptions of Finland and Finns held by Canadian government decision-makers and how it underscored the relations between the two countries. 

Congratulations Dr. David Ratz from all of us in the Department of History!

Two Department Members Promoted

1 July 2018

The Department is pleased to announce that two members of the Department of History have achieved significant career milestones. 

Dr. Steven Jobbitt has been awarded tenure and been promoted to the rank of Associate Professor of History. An alumnus of Lakehead University (HBA, MA), Dr. Jobbitt received his PhD in modern east central European history from the University of Toronto. He was a tenure-track Assistant Professor in the Department of History at California State University - Fullerton for a number of years before returning to Lakehead in 2013.

Dr. Michel S. Beaulieu had been promoted to the rank of full Professor of History. An alumnus of Lakehead University (HBA, BEd, MA), Dr. Beaulieu received his PhD in History from Queen's University. He returned to Lakehead University to take up a tenure-track position in the Department in 2007.

Congratulations to them both on these significant career milestones! 

Lakehead Orillia's next In Conversation lecture will cover atrocity in image

March 14, 2018 – Orillia, ON

Do photographs of suffering bodies provoke viewers to intervene against abuse and atrocity? What separates humanitarian concern from voyeuristic curiosity?

At the next instalment of the In Conservation Speaker Series at the Orillia Public Library, Lakehead University Orillia’s Dr. Valerie Hébert, Associate Professor in the History and Interdisciplinary Studies departments, will discuss the complex ethical dilemmas associated with taking, viewing, publishing and exhibiting photographs of victims of atrocity in “Suffering and Spectatorship: On the Ethical Dilemmas of Viewing Photographs of Atrocity”.

A specialist in transitional justice, Hébert lectures on the history of 20th century Europe, the Holocaust, Nazi Germany, and on the connection between photography and human rights discourse. In June 2017, she led an international interdisciplinary research workshop on atrocity photography at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC.

Hébert’s lecture will take place on Tuesday, March 20 at 2 p.m. at the Orillia Public Library. This session is free and open to the public. Register by email to info@orilliapubliclibrary.ca or by phone at 705-325-2338.

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Media contact:  Jaclyn Bucik, Marketing & Communications Associate, 705-330-4008 ext. 2014, or jbucik@lakeheadu.ca

Lakehead Orillia's next In Conversation lecture will cover People’s Knowledge versus Scientists’ Knowledge: Perceptions of Climate Change in the Western Himalaya

At the next instalment of the In Conservation Speaker Series at the Orillia Public Library, the Department of History's Dr. Pallavi Das will explore how climate change is perceived and experienced by ordinary people, such as apple farmers, and compares it to the experiences of the scientists in Western Himalayas, India.

Dr. Das' lecture "People’s Knowledge versus Scientists’ Knowledge: Perceptions of Climate Change in the Western Himalaya" will take place on 17 April at 6:15 pm at the Orillia Public Library (36 Mississauga Street West). This session is free and open to the public. Register by email to info@orilliapubliclibrary.ca or by phone at 705-325-2338.

Faculty Member Interviewed on Radio-Canada's "Le matin du Nord"

L'hiver se fait long cette année, mais c'est une bonne nouvelle pour les fondeurs du Nord.

Dans le nord de l’Ontario, les amateurs de ski de fond profitent de la neige printanière pour parcourir encore les sentiers qu’ils affectionnent. C’est le cas, notamment dans la région de Thunder Bay où les pistes de ski de fond sont toujours bien entretenues.

Nicolas Lépine est professeur à l’université Lakehead qui s’est installé dans la région de Supérieur Nord pour le travail, mais aussi pour la nature. Randonneur à ses heures, il y a découvert une culture du ski de fond très riche grâce notamment à la nature de la région propice à ce sport.

Listen to the full interview Nicolas Lépine recently gave about skiing to Radio-Canada's program "Le matin du Nord." -  https://ici.radio-canada.ca/premiere/emissions/le-matin-du-nord/segments/entrevue/66281/mdn-saison-ski-fond-thunder-bay

Lakehead Thunder Bay's next In Conversation lecture will cover food on the home front in the First World War

On Saturday, March 17 at 2 pm, Beverly Soloway from Lakehead’s History department will give a talk at the Brodie Library called Kitchen Soldiers: Feeding the Home Front in WWI.

During the First World War, the Lakehead – and all of Canada – undertook a plan of food control to provide for overseas soldiers and allies. This talk looks at how food regulations, thriftiness, and substitutions impacted Lakehead homes including a discussion on food, family meals, and suggested recipes.

Film Receives Multiple Awards at the Equinox Women's Film Festival

The most recent film by faculty members Kelly Saxberg and Ronald Harpelle, A Long Walk Home: The Incredible Journal of Shelia Burnford, has been awarded the Best Overall Film and Best Documentary Film at the Equinox Women's Film Festival. 

For decades, The Incredible Journey has been a family classic with numerous generations embracing the story of two dogs and a cat lost in the wilderness as they attempted to find their way home. A successful Walt Disney movie (and subsequent remakes) have kept the story in people’s hearts. Less is known about the woman who authored the original book: Sheila Burnford. Born in Scotland, she was a woman who embraced adventure and found herself in the middle of history during Europe’s most volatile period. After the war, in her new home in Northwestern Ontario, she once again set off in search of adventure. Everything she saw, everything she experienced, would eventually be used in her writings.

Narrated by Sheila’s daughter, Jonquil Burnford Covello and using Sheila’s own words (published works and personal correspondence), family photos and home movies, this film explores the life of an incredible woman who loved adventure, nature and all animals. And in particular her love for a white bullterrier who was with her through the Blitz, life, death and all major family events. Her desire to memorialize him would lead to her greatest triumph.

Watch the trailer here: https://vimeo.com/244798268

Public Workshop Explores "The Impact of Development: Single Industry Communities and Capital Mobility"

Over the past few decades, many Northern communities have experienced little sustained economic growth and now find themselves at a crossroads where the uncertain future of their extractive resource-based economies is combining with changes in global markets and undermining their social and economic prosperity. The recent global economic turmoil has exacerbated this trend by tying the fiscal hands of government, accelerating the decline in business investments, increasing unemployment dramatically and by stripping away markets and opportunities elsewhere. 

Last week the faculty, students, and the public participated a two-day conference/workshop exploring these issues and the challenges of economic development in single-industry communities. To watch videos from the conference, click here.

The full program can be found by clicking here.

The Impact of Development workshop was made possible through the support of the Resources, Economy, and Society Research Group (RESRG) at Lakehead University, ReSDA: Resources and Sustainable Development in the Arctic, Lakehead University Department of History, Canadian International Council – Thunder Bay Branch, Lakehead University Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Special thanks as well to the Rev. Dr. Randy Boyd and Trinity United Church for hosting the event. 

New Book Edited by History Faculty and Alumni

The Department of History is pleased to announce the release of Hard Work Conquers All: Building the Finnish Community in Canada, a new collection edited by Michel S. Beaulieu, David K. Ratz, and Ronald N. Harpelle.

Published by UBC Press, insightful essays in Hard Work Conquers All explore the nuanced cultural identities of Finnish Canadians, their continued ties to Finland, intergenerational cultural transfer, and the community’s connections with socialism and labour movements.

It is a fresh interpretation of the successive waves of Finnish immigration and their influence on Canadian politics and society. Contributors include four alumni and two recent Lakehead University Chairs in Finnish Studies.

For more information, check out https://www.ubcpress.ca/hard-work-conquers-all

Grant for Film Exploring Métis Involvement in First World War

The Department of History is pleased to announce that Dr. Ronald Harpelle has been awarded a $38,000 Avance medias grant from the Conseil des arts de l'Ontario for a documentary film entitled Le tireur d’élite, about a sniper who claimed he was the nephew of Louis Riel. 

The year 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. One of the fascinating stories from the conflict is that of Patrick Riel, a sniper who claimed to be the nephew of Louis Riel and who was member of the Winnipeg Rifles, the same battalion that fought the Métis in 1885 North-West Rebellion.

Patrick was working as a lumberjack at Shabaqua when the war broke out in Europe. He left Port Arthur in October 1914 and became one of Canada’s most celebrated snipers. He was killed in action in January 1916. 

Dr. Harpelle has produced and directed several award-winning historical documentaries and this is recognized by Avance medias program, which is for mid-career Francophone artists.