Alumnus Recognized with inaugural NOVA Shift Disturber Award

Alumnus Sean Murray has been awarded the inaugural Northwestern Ontario Visionary (NOVA) Shift Disturber Award and recognized as one of Northwestern Ontario's Top 20 Under 40.

Murray NOVA Award

Awarded by SHIFT: Thunder Bay's Young Professionals Network, Sean has been recognized as a game changer; disrupter; someone who is unafraid to challenge the norm... a young professional who is is making waves by doing things differently.

Sean received his award at the 4th Bi-Annual Gala that celebrates the top 20 under 40. Over the past eight years, the awards have recognized over 200 nominees with 60 award winning young professionals from across Northwestern Ontario spanning from Kenora all the way to Geraldton.

Congratulations Sean!

Click here for more the NOVAs.

Alumnus and Faculty Member Becomes President of the Champlain Society

Chair and Associate Professor of History Michel S. Beaulieu has become the President of The Champlain Society.  Since 1905, the Society has been the foremost publisher of the documentary history of the Canada. Through its books and digital collection, its blog and its podcasts, it makes the adventures, explorations, discoveries, and opinions that have shaped the country available to all who have an interest in its past. Being named the Society's president is a significant recognition of Beaulieu's standing within the field of Canadian history as he joins the ranks of the country's foremost historians who have previously held the position. 

Click here to learn more about The Champlain Society.

Champlain Society Crest

Faculty and Alumni Receive Publication Award

 From left to right, Eda and Bruce Leaman (on behalf of Beverly Leaman, Ernest's widow), David Ratz, and Michel S. Beaulieu received the award on Sunday, Jan. 7.

The Department of History is pleased to announce that the late Ernest Zimmermann and alumni and current faculty members Michel S. Beaulieu and David K. Ratz have been awarded the M. Elizabeth Arthur Award by the Thunder Bay Historical Museum Society for their book The Little Third Reich on Lake Superior: A History of Canadian Internment Camp R (published by the University of Alberta Press). 

Adjudicated by an independent panel of jurors, the M. Elizabeth Arthur Award is awarded every two years for the best publications dealing with the history of Northwestern Ontario. This year's winners were recognized at the Society’s annual President’s Reception held on Sunday, Jan. 7.

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Faculty Member Awarded a Northern Arts Grant from the Ontario Arts Council

Dr. Ronald Harpelle has received a Northern Arts Grant from the Ontario Arts Council for a documentary film entitled Toxic Time Bomb, on the ongoing legacy of the production and use of Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. 

The film focuses on Elmira, Ontario, a picturesque farming community which was home to Uniroyal Chemical, a manufacturer of Agent Orange. During the Vietnam War the United States used the chemical to defoliate and expose transportation corridors to aerial strafing and bombardment. Over 2.5 million litres of the herbicide sprayed on the jungles and people of Vietnam was produced in Elmira. 

Today, the legacy of Agent Orange haunts both the people of Vietnam and Elmira. In Vietnam children continue to be born with serious deformations and in Elmira, the poor disposal practices of the toxic waste associated with the manufacture of Agent Orange, has resulted in chemicals seeping into the aquifer, causing local water wells to close in 1990 and high levels of dioxins and furans in the local creek. Dr. Harpelle is working with French filmmaker Sylvie Jacquemin on a France/Canada co-production.

New Publication Explores Post-World War I Austrian Burgenland

Assistant Professor Steven Jobbitt’s latest publication explores the role that geographical knowledge production played in the post-World War I “discovery” of Austrian Burgenland. Co-written with Ferenc Jankó of the University of West-Hungary, Sopron, "Making Burgenland from Western Hungary: Geography and the Politics of Identity in Interwar Austria" appears in the current issue of Hungarian Cultural Studies.

Abstract: This study explores the role that geographical knowledge production played in the post-World War I “discovery” of Austrian Burgenland, focusing in particular on the relationship between geographical discourse and the politics of identity formation in the 1920s and 1930s. The primary task is to offer insight into this knowledge-making process by highlighting the discursive strategies employed in a variety of scholarly and popular texts, and by shedding critical light on the various actors and epistemic communities responsible for the imagining of Burgenland from its annexation to Austria in 1921 to the dissolution of the region and its subsequent re-invention as a Greater German border zone after the Nazi Anschluss of 1938. As Jankó and Jobbitt argue, Burgenland’s discovery between the wars was both figurative and literal. Whether the “discoverers” were Austrian or German, national or local, Burgenland was as much a discursive concept as it was a physical reality. Its emergent identity as a region, therefore, much like its actual borders, was fluid and often contested.

Reference: Ferenc Jankó and Steven Jobbitt. "Making Burgenland from Western Hungary: Geography and the Politics of Identity in Interwar Austria." Hungarian Cultural Studies 10 (2017): 14-40. DOI: 10.5195/ahea.2017.313

Faculty Members Recognized for Contributions to Northwestern Ontario

Congratulations to faculty members Nathan Hatton and Kelly Saxberg who were recognized last week by Thunder Bay-Superior North MP Patty Hajdu for their contributions to Northwestern Ontario.

The Superior Northerners campaign celebrates people working to make a difference in Northwestern Ontario and the recipients were awarded certificates of recognition and Canada 150 Sesquicentennial pins last Friday at the Waverley Resource Library.

To read more, click here.